The mind is a tool with a determined purpose. Its function is to analyze, theorize, invent and project. There are times though, that the mind’s momentum or persistence gets to an unproductive level. It happens to everyone, this urge to shut that mental voice up. Direct influence rarely works with slowing the mind down. You can’t focus on quieting your mind with more thoughts. If you try and command your mind to do something, the brain will respond with an opposing thought.
Here are some ways to get your mind to relax and return to a productive state. Remember that thinking, analyzing and creating is the function of the brain. Forgive yourself for getting frustrated. Thank your brain for its amazing (though at times not helpful) persistence and performance. You wouldn’t get mad at your heart for beating or your cells for dividing, so don’t get upset because your mind is carrying out its duty. The more energy and emotion you use in a direct and opposing fashion, the stronger the formations you are dealing with will get. It takes a more subtle approach then telling your voice to simply shut up.
Connect With Nature
Nature is a great focal point for healthy and productive formations. Nature uses every available resource and is dynamic in the face of adversity. It does the most amazing of actions with out complicated thought or speech. You don’t have to venture into the great unknown every time you want to connect with nature. A walk through a city street can suffice as well. I find this more useful actually.
While walking I try and notice all the trees, weeds, birds or squirrels and never neglect the sky. The parts of nature I can notice represent my true self. The man made structures represent my mind and its attempt to impose on me. See how the tree’s roots are deep and strong? See how it breaks the cement with its persistence? I use this metaphorical line of thought to bring perspective to my situation.
Repeat Mantras Or Peaceful Phrases
A mantra is a sound or phrase that is repeated to build focus and reinforce intention. This practice is used by every religion, normally under different names. The idea is the same in every example though. You can choose a phrase that is practiced or make your own. If you make your own try and keep it simple.
As you notice your mind running astray or overworking, stop what you are doing and breathe. Breathe with purpose, deliberately making your breaths deep and long. Examine the formation and your relation to it from a mental ‘arm’s length’. Look at how it makes you feel, and address it head on. If it’s an upcoming goal or an existing problem then remind yourself of what you are already or planning to do to handle it. Once you have done all you can do to solve it remind yourself that everything that can be done is being done. Smile inward and acknowledge the situation. Release your mental grip on it and release it. Repeat the solution as you breathe. If there was no readily available solution repeat your intention of productivity and love.
Meditation is a powerful tool to regain control over any formation. If your mind is being very persistent in its activity then a seated, passive meditation may be necessary. If this isn’t an option then active meditation can be just as effective.
Bring intention and consciousness to your breath. Bring your attention and sensory focus to the air moving through your nostrils or the movement of your diaphragm. This is the beginning of both passive and active meditations. Here you are waiting for the mind to wander. As it wanders, smile and acknowledge the formation your mind slipped to. Smile and send love to the formation. Then release it.
As your mind tries to wander, it will show you what your fears and desires are. Remind yourself that you are more than the sum of your thoughts and emotions and return to your breath. Follow this pattern until the momentum of your mind slows.
If my mind is racing or upset then I make time to ‘work it out’. The mental focus exercise takes, refreshes my mind. It cancels out the unnecessary formations with positivity and hard work. Instead of passively battling in my skull space, I re task the energy that would have been spent by my mind and me to productive means. When my mind is a mess, I focus on my body. If I’m not feeling hot physically, I focus on my mind or spirit. This displacement of focus is still productively aimed, so I am helping raise my overall being. The endorphin’s created also help enormously.