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Quiet Your Mind

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

-Caroline Myss

I took my daughter to the doctor’s office to get one of the myriad of shots they get on their way to adulthood. Typically, these trips are not something I look forward to. 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 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

Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

Over the past two years, I’ve figured out a lot about 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, working out, reading, 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 in my world.

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

Once I’m done with one of these activities, 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.

Photo by  Donald Giannatti  on  Unsplash

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

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 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. 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.

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