Quiet Your Mind

 Photo by  Milan Popovic  on  Unsplash

I took my daughter to the doctor’s office recently to get one of the myriad of shots they get on their way to adulthood. Typically, these trips are not fun. She gets very anxious when she has to get shots, and with good reason. Shots aren’t fun, so many of these previous trips resulted in screaming and sheer terror. For both of us (the terror, not the screaming). And even though she’s had shots before, the thought of the experience is always worse than reality. 

So as we got closer to the office, I could see her worry. She became quiet, her body tensed up, and I could observe the change in her face. That anxiety crept in and had a hold of her. It took over and I could see and feel how her mind was racing.

Because I’ve been there.

I dealt with anxiety for a long time and still have occasional episodes here and there although they are nowhere close to what I used to experience. And that is because I’ve learned to manage and control it much better. I’ve learned to quiet my mind.

 Photo by  Keegan Houser  on  Unsplash

Over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve begun to figure out myself. I’m not anywhere near finished as I’m continually growing and learning. But part of this process of discovery includes finding what I enjoy. Activities like running, painting, writing or hiking. And I use these activities to help quiet my mind. 

What happens when I am doing one of the above tasks is that I reflect on what I’m thinking about. I reflect on what’s in my mind. When I’m running, I’m constantly processing. I’m contemplating life, my problems, and whatever else is going on at in my world. 

While running and reflecting, I’m also releasing everything. I’m getting it out my head and body through the exercise. It’s a two-for-one type of deal. And it’s not just running. It works when I’m painting, writing, or hiking. These activities allow me to get lost in myself and my thoughts. I can process what I’m going through. 

Once I’m done running or painting or any of the other things I do to get lost, I move on from those thoughts in my mind. I don’t ruminate any longer because I’ve worked through it. My mind is quiet. 

And while it may not remain quiet, I can just repeat this process the next time I get these racing thoughts. 

I reflect, release, and move on. 

I’ve found what helps me quiet my mind. It’s not a cure, but it helps me manage those episodes where my thoughts are trying to take over. 

Many people find meditation to be helpful and mindfulness is also a good way to learn to how to remain in the present moment. But it may not work for everyone. I meditated for a long time and, at one point, had a long streak going where I meditated every day. But I couldn’t sustain it and I didn’t feel it had the same impact as what I’ve found now. 

But I get lost when I run or write or paint. Not only in my thoughts but away from the stresses of life. These two things combined allow that release. And if you can find something which allows that reflect and release, it may also help you. There is nothing wrong with escaping for a bit despite what you’ve been told. If it gives you a little peace that’s what’s important. 

Because sometimes all we need is to get away and find some peace. So get lost in something occasionally. Find that thing or things which allows you to reflect, release, and move on. Empty your mind of what is ailing you and fill it back up with things which excite you. Activities which bring you to life and fill you with joy.

Find your way to quiet your mind.