What Peace and Quiet Can Do for You

Think peace and quiet are overrated? It’s time to think again. Downtime — without constant noise and distraction — heals your mind in several ways. It gives you time and space to just be you for starters.

Your monkey mind, as the chattering in your head is fondly known, offers a stream of memories and imaginary projections into the future. It makes you live in the past or a time yet to come — either way, it’s all in your head rather than reality.

Calmness increases

Peacefulness, when self-talk slows, brings serenity. The stress of going over what you did or someone else did that you didn’t like leaves. Anxiety over what could, but probably won’t happen fades too.

When your mind is quieter than usual, you don’t feed stress with potential problems or talk yourself into a depressive mindset. As a result, you take a break — a mini vacation — from concerns.

Healing is enhanced

As you relax your mind, your body follows suit and relaxes as well. Tension leaves and your mental and physical health improves. Studies show mindfulness and meditation are effective for well-being because they help you focus with intent or ease your flow of thoughts. But they also let your body rest too.

Your thoughts influence your health. When you are tense, your muscles are tight. Ease mental angst by slowing your thoughts to allow more peace and calm and your immune system is likely to respond.

Emotional intelligence grows

Positivity increases when your mind is quiet and you see the world through different eyes. When stressed, the metaphorical spectacles you wear cloud with negativity. You are in fight-or-flight, ready to spring into battle at the slightest provocation. Even when nothing’s wrong, you might imagine something’s amiss and be quarrelsome.

Taming your mind will propel your emotional intelligence sky-high because faulty observations won’t color your perception. Since you aren’t looking for a fight, or being defensive, you are free to view everything in a fresh way.

Unhampered by misapprehension, you don’t jump to conclusions or misread situations to your detriment. You’re more likely to give people the benefit of the doubt than imagine they mean you harm, and most of the time, your assessments will be correct.

Your life improves when you have peace of mind because you don’t judge people, including yourself, so harshly. Plus, you see the funny side of life. Little mishaps become molehills rather than mountainous ranges to traverse with a pickaxe.

Happiness excels

If your mind is choc-a-bloc with trials and tribulations, you can’t help but believe you live in a fearsome place full of perils waiting to harm you. With greater control, you note you are not at the mercy of happenings outside you. You learn to take charge of your emotional well-being instead of letting people and events own you.

You become happier than you were when the voice in your head ruled the roost. As you recognize you control your thoughts, you come closer to self-mastery and the world’s no-longer such a scary place.

How to achieve more mind-harmony

When people speak of quietening their minds, they don’t mean silencing it entirely — not for more than a second or two (and that’s good going). If your inner voice stops for a millisecond or so, you’re making progress.

Don’t worry if thoughts still enter your head when you aim to condense them. They will arise, even if they appear as patterns, objects, or nonsensical mumblings.

Aim for slow thoughts, not no thoughts.

You can sit quietly, meditate, practice mindfulness (focusing on a single image or thought), or observe your surroundings as you walk without using your inner voice to judge what you see.

Usually, one thought flows into another and another. Pieces of stored data rise in your mind as each bit of information links to the next. Something reminds you of a memory, or a chore you must do later. Or a friend talks about a subject that triggers an old wound in you. To experience fewer thoughts, allow each mental comment to exist in isolation.

When another tries to tag along, nip it in the bud. You might acknowledge it, but pay it no further attention. Or take a deep breath, following the inhalation with your mind rather than letting a thought flow.

Then again, you might discover a better way that works for you when you aim to stem your thoughts.

Some people enjoy being in a state of flow (in their zone) because they are naturally mindful when engrossed in a task they enjoy. They don’t experience many thoughts about the past or future because they live in the present.

Other ways to quieten your mind include deep relaxation; listening to guided imagery and brainwave entrainment. Even focusing on calming music with the single intention to note the feelings it inspires in your body can quieten your mind.

Most people find peace and quiet among nature. You can still hear wild creatures, the weather, and water flow or other natural phenomenon, but few manmade distractions that lead to stress exist.

Quietening your mind in the manner of your choosing, will become easier when you practice often and you’ll reap great rewards.