Take a look at some of the information below if you are looking to quieten your mind and feel more relaxed.
Quietening your mind
Mindfulness is a somewhat overused and misunderstood word! Quietening your mind can actually be a simple process. We were not born with busy minds. Young children and animals spend much of their time in a mindful state. It is simply a skill that we have lost in our busy lives. The following information may be of interest to you if you would like to learn how to quieten your mind.
A short explanation of why the human mind generates negative thoughts and feelings; how and why the “mind quietening” process works.
The human mind is a very good tool when we use what positive information and learnings it contains. However, when it wanders, usually into the future (planning for problems “what if?”) or into the past (self critical, hindsight, “if only … hadn’t happened”), it is unlikely (without your guidance) to predict positive outcomes. This is because, based on history (not just of what has happened to you personally, but because of anything that you have heard about in the wider world) it tries to warn you off whatever it thinks is not good for you. The fact is that you (not your mind) have the wisdom to know whether what it’s generating (thoughts, feelings etc) is true or helpful, or whether it has any relevance or is even necessary for you at this time!
When you realise that what it’s generating isn’t relevant or necessary etc for you right now, the way to respond (paradoxically!) is NOT to respond at all. As you remain neutral it gets no energy from you to continue and so quietens down. Sometimes the mind can be thought of as a lake that can be absolutely calm BUT when a negative thought occurs, that thought is like a boulder dropping in, which of course disturbs the calm. Our tendency is then to wade in to try and deal with the disturbance and calm the lake down. Of course what actually happens is that when we wade in we keep the disturbance going and may even add to it!
So the most effective way is not to wade into the lake but to stand back (remain neutral), and allow the lake to calm naturally and effortlessly. It may require self discipline not to respond, BUT the rewards of a quiet mind are worth it. The mind tends not to co-operate with these processes because it believes that what it generates is important and relevant, BUT as I said above YOU are the one who has the wisdom to know and decide what’s correct, useful, relevant etc. and then how to deal with it.
YOU are not your mind; neither are you the necessary negative thoughts and feeling it generates. So this process is about YOU stopping, not you stopping your mind.
The mind quietening process in a nutshell:
First of all ask yourself:
Is the negative feeling or thought that my mind is generating really useful or relevant to me right now?
If the answer is no then follow the process below:
1) Find somewhere comfortable to sit, then preferably with your eyes open (but closed if that works better for you); become fully aware of the here and now. Then STOP!
Stop both physically and (as best you can) mentally. This is not about stopping your mind, it is just that you are choosing to stop engaging with it. You may find that saying the word “stop!” out loud or within it helpful to achieve the desired result. Remain in this part of the process for at least 5 seconds, or count 5 relaxed slow breaths (more if you wish) as you become fully aware of this present moment.
2) Then, ALLOW YOURSELF TO SETTLE. Although you may still be aware of external and/or negative activity, just let that fade as you focus on BEING STILL in this moment. Allow the sense of stillness to spread through your whole being. You don’t have to “make” it happen; the secret is just to let it happen for you; no effort is required. Experience this “stillness” for at least 5 seconds (or by 5 relaxed breaths). Focussing on your breathing can really aid achieving “stillness”.
Then as you sit there, just let your mind continue with whatever it is generating (thoughts, feelings, sensations etc) while YOU remain neutral. Don’t respond at all; just let it calm. As described above your mind will then quieten down and become still as it runs out of the energy you were providing by responding and reacting to it.
* This process was designed by a wonderful hypnotherapist called Chris Altree. Full acknowledgement for the process and text goes to him!
For more information please get in touch for an informal chat with Kate: