If you’ve been feeling frustrated with the thoughts your mind is throwing at you, especially when this is causing you to feel stressed or overwhelmed then keep reading to find out how you can regain your zen. I find we most frequently lose our zen at this point in the year as we’re busier than ever, trying to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year and if we haven’t… We feel demotivated!
ZEN TECHNIQUES TO ESCAPE FROM YOUR MENTAL CHATTER
Try the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise. It will help get you out of your head and focused on your environment.
1) Describe five things you see. It’s easy to find five things you see, but the rest of the exercise may be more challenging.
2) Describe four things you hear. Really focus your attention on the noises you can hear and fully experience them.
3) Describe three things you feel. It could be the cool breeze blowing over your skin or the firm chair you are sitting on during this exercise.
4) Describe two things you smell. You might have to really concentrate to come up with two.
5) Tell yourself one thing you like about yourself. By the time you’ve finished this exercise, your focus will be in the present instead of on the noise in your head.
AVOID ENGAGING WITH YOUR MENTAL CHATTER
Your brain is going to make noise – and there isn’t a way to make it stop completely. So the next best thing is to learn techniques to distract you from this noise, move your focus and get back to a state of zen. Aside from the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, there are other things you can do daily to help you be in the present and gain a calmer mindset.
- Learn to meditate. Studies have shown that meditation has many benefits. Learn this soothing skill (a big help in the search for zen) and spend some time each day meditating to calm your mind.
- Write it out. Set aside time each day to journal the you’ve been thinking about. It is very cathartic and really works if you give it a chance and do it consistently.
- Use affirmations. Affirmations can improve your life. They also crowd out the negative noise in your head. When the noise starts, use affirmation to keep you mind occupied on thoughts you want. I suggest you create short affirmation statements so you have them ready to go when you need it. Write no more than 3-4 affirmations – repeat them often.
- Focus on your breathing. Put your attention on your breathing. This simple technique is always available to you and is very effective at reducing stress and helping you feel more zen.
- Listen to music. Playing soothing, positive music in the background while you work can help keep you feeling happy and focused. Make sure you don’t listen to music that is sad or angry as this could create more stressful thoughts.
Your brain creates thoughts. That’s what it is designed to do. But there are ways that you can quieten any stressful thoughts. Practice these methods to reduce the thoughts that you don’t want and that you feel are contributing to more stress and a poor mental health state. We all go through times when our negative mental chatter overshadows our inner peace and this can become really stressful. It’s great to remind ourselves of just how important our mental health is and that we need to take better care of it.
Find techniques that suit you and help you to feel more positive, zen and that help you enjoy the present. Call a friend, go for a walk, play with your pet – we are surrounded by amazing tools if we just remember to use them.