How to quiet the unquiet mind

 In Mind, Mindfulness and Life

Mindfulness is a beautiful idea and many can achieve this through a multitude of different things but how do you quiet the unquiet mind that needs a bit more of a hand to break through the noise to find calm. As a self-defined introvert I live most of my time inside my head, and it seems that there are a lot of people in the world like me so I guess I am not as alone in this world as I once thought I was as a child. So how do we introverts who live inside our heads take a break from these beautiful amazing and always active minds.

There are lot techniques out there and I am not here to tell you to not meditate, not exercise or not do whatever it is that you already do. I am merely offering a few other things that you may be able to fit into other parts of your life that you maybe can’t take the time to do the technique you usually do. I use these at different times when I need them, when I am at work, when I am out and about, when I am at home they suit all times.

Write it out

Just do some free flowing writing whether this works best by hand or digitally, just start with a blank page and whatever thought comes to mind just write it down. Your brain will just take you through anything and everything that it needs too. Often when you hear about free flowing writing as a form of ‘therapy’ you will typically be told to throw it out of burn it so as not to hold onto the emotions attached to the thoughts.

I actually like to keep them, I put them out of sight and therefore out of my mind, I then fumble across them when I am doing a declutter clear out. When I do stumble across them I skim them to see how much progress I have made for my life and my mind, or I hope to have progressed, or just laugh at the silly thoughts I had at the time.

Give it a go, sit down in front of your computer or a notebook or piece of scrap paper and write until you have no thoughts left to write.

quiet the unquiet mind write it out

Take a brain break

You may wonder what this means, what I mean by ‘take a brain break’ is do something that requires, for you, the smallest amount of brainpower possible. This needs to be a personal decision as something that takes little brainpower for someone else may take too much for you to use it as a brain break.

Now the good thing about this is that you can do it at work or at home, as everyone has tasks or things they do in either place that they can do without much brain power. It doesn’t make these tasks any less important as most need to be done but it’s just nice way to give an always active brain a small break.

A couple of the things I like to do as my brainless activities, at home at least, are cleaning or organising my house. At work, there are specific tasks that I know I can do without much brainpower so do them when I need to recharge my brain a little or feel a bit checked out.

Zone out

This is similar to the one above but I made it a separate one as it usually includes more enjoyable tasks than the one above. It’s about giving some time out to your brain to just let it all flow.

When I zone out I tend to put a DVD or some music on that I love but also I have watched or listened to a million times. As I have watched or listened to these things so often I don’t need to fully engage in them in order to enjoy them. Some people may also be able to do this with a favourite book, I’m a massive book fan but as I have a large collection of unread books feel guilt when I re-read something.

This is about just letting the mind go wild with thoughts for whatever time period it needs, just let them come and go without trying to stop them just recognise they exist then let them float away. What also happens is that  it will also be easier for the thoughts racing through your brain to float away as you will always have part of your mind elsewhere.

quiet the unquiet mind zone out

Go for a drive

I love driving, I grew up in a country town and well if you didn’t have a car to get around you couldn’t get around so even when I moved to Sydney which has public transport I still opt for driving. I can’t see myself every giving up having my own car.

I always find driving really helpful to clear my head for a few reasons, one is that I am always so focused when driving because you have to be in order to stay safe on the road. Something else that comes from my love of driving but I just get a relaxed feeling when I am behind the wheel of my car, I think it’s because I am in complete control and also secluded.

The other reason is that if I am alone (which most of the time I am or with my puppy) I can actually vocalise all the crazy things running through my head. I can literally talk it out of myself, now this may seem to be a crazy person idea and maybe it will look crazy to people outside your car. But really who cares, most people care more about themselves than others and as one of my favourite quotes says:

Have I gone Mad?

Alternatively, if you don’t have a car or access to one you could swap this for a walk but just maybe ignore the talk it out advice.

These are all things that help me to calm my very active mind whether its just so I can focus on something that will take some brain power to action or to sleep or just to enjoy my day. I am not saying that all of these are right for everyone with an overactive mind but I think it’s always good to have as many tools in the toolbox when dealing with calming your mind.

If you have any other tips or tricks that work for you when you need to quiet the unquiet mind inside your head that you think others might like to try let me know in the comments.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Sarah Jensen

    Oh I hear you on the need for a ‘brain break’ lovely and I’m also a big fan of watching movies or shows I’ve seen a hundred times before, or singing along to or listening to music I love and leave on repeat. I’ve had to make a really focused and consistent effort to learn how to reduce the noise in my head and I’ve also had to accept that my version of a ‘quiet mind’ doesn’t always look like the perfect version of wellness that’s presented in magazines (i.e. it’s not always zen like meditation, it’s often far more practical like watching TV, talking with a friend, or having a sing to a favourite 80s song). I love that you’ve shared so many practical ways to introduce a little mindfulness and quiet a busy mind.

    • Jodie

      Thanks Sarah!

      I just felt that if these things worked to help me get my own moment of ‘zen’ then others might also as well, especially people who can’t always get the time to do meditation or other standard methods of mindfulness.

      Plus the perfect version of wellness we get presented in the media and by others can sometimes be intimidating to some people which then makes them just decide to not try, these are things they can try. 🙂

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