Ask most people and they’ll be familiar with the conventional ways to calm down their mind: meditate, go for a walk, listen to relaxing music, etc., but what about the uncommon ways to do it? For all of you who like to break the mould, here are some unconventional methods to help your mind calm down.
1. Eat More Mindfully
If you’re puzzled by this one, you’re not alone. Most people like to scarf down their food the second it’s in front of them — very primal of us. But often, it pays to eat slowly and take in every bite — without talking to someone or watching TV at the same time. Instead, focus on the flavors, the titillating textures, and the joy of eating healthy food. It’s called mindful eating.
Hold on, mindful eating will my mind calm down?! How does that work?
When you are solely focused on eating your delicious food, your mind is no longer preoccupied with the past or forging ahead into the future, your attention moves into the present moment and your mind starts to relax. The more the brain relaxes, the more it refreshes and recharges itself. The result? Your mind calms down whilst you’re enjoying your meal!
2. Repeat a Mantra
When your mind has been behaving like busy train station, with thoughts coming and going at high speeds, without any interruption, it needs a break. Switch tracks…slow down…steadily.
Now focus on your heart chakra. Silently repeat a mantra for at least five minutes. Choose one that helps raise your vibration such as Om Mani Padme Hum. Or, one that strengthens your connection to the Divine like Om Namo Narayanaya.
As you focus your mind to repeat the mantra, it begins to calm down and relax.
3. Silence the Rectangular Distraction
Put your phone on silent. Or even better, airplane mode. Yes, it’s a big ask, that’s why it’s ok if you need to take baby steps to get there. We’re so easily distracted when our black screens come alive that we forget to stay focused on the task at hand…and we pay dearly for this interruption.
A study about ‘The Cost of Interrupted Work’ conducted by Daniela Gudith and Ulrich Klocke at the Humboldt University in Berlin, showed that “after only 20 minutes of interrupted performance people reported significantly higher stress, frustration, workload, effort, and pressure.”
Other studies have shown that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus on a task after an interruption.
That’s just one interruption! Imagine the amount of time that goes to waste from repetitive interruptions throughout a day.
The point of this method is that a silent phone helps you be more efficient and keeps your mind in a calmer state — so give it a go!
4. Do Something Mundane
You’re probably thinking a lot in that brain of yours, which means you’re not giving it a lot of time to focus on something without being totally consumed by it. Now most people don’t get excited about mundane, menial tasks like doing the laundry or washing dishes, but it’s great for the mind. Not much thinking involved in these tasks, which gives the mind time to deflate and calm down. Try it out!
5. Use Art to Activate Calm
You may not be a van Gogh or Monet (or maybe you are ;), but that doesn’t mean you can’t use art to calm your mind.
You have a multitude of drawing apps to choose from, so take a 20-minute break from whatever you’re doing and draw to your heart’s (and brain’s) delight. Or go to a museum, alternatively look at your favorite picture hanging on your wall. Art does an excellent job of calming people down and bringing them back to a grounded, more relaxed state.
Simple enough, right? No matter what method (or methods) you choose to try out, make sure you’re doing what feels best for your mind.
Enjoy the calm.