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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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  1. Hello Jeff,

    You know I love your writings, that’s why I usually visit your blog and read your exposures. Well, first of all, I think it’s really hard to see our children in pain. I don’t take even a while to cry for my children. So I can understand how much painful it can be for you.
    On the other hand, it’s my personal opinion that you can’t quiet your mind without meditation. Meditation gives you focus and focus is actually making your mind quiet. Even Bill Gates meditate on weekly basis to improve his focus: he said on his blog. So I will be grateful if you share any other technique to quiet your mind?

  2. Thanks for the response and for reading my writing!

    Besides what I mentioned in the article (running, exercise, etc), when I find my mind really racing about whatever, I always ask myself “are these thoughts useful?” Many times they are not and I begin to recognize when I’m merely ruminating or worrying about things which are beyond my control. Or just merely saying “thinking” when I find myself lost in worry or anxiety helps me also.

    And it’s always a work in progress for me. It’s hard to quiet the mind especially if it’s something you’ve been doing for so long. We get used to it. But it can be overcome with a lot of work.

  3. Are these thoughts useful?

    Trust me, that’s perfect. I have personally experienced it and it works. Because when you ask this question, your mind becomes conscious about the matter. Then you have much more grip on the matter and it helps your keep mind quiet.

    Keep sharing.

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