The Best 4 Ways You Can Quiet Your Mind Without Meditating
“Peace of mind is a perception of a calm and quiet mind.”
― Debasish Mridha (Tweet This)
For years, I struggled with my mind. It exhausted me.
It would spend endless hours at night — when my body wanted to sleep — thinking. I had endless streams of thought that sometimes made no sense and caused anxiety and depression. Yet oddly, the same “thinking machine” that kept me up at night would falter during the day. I couldn’t concentrate at work. My mind felt like it was overtaken by dense fog.
After a while, I assumed this was the normal way of things.
Years later, I began to meditate daily. And that is when so much about the mind, the ego, began to make sense to me.
As the mental chatter quieted down (one of the many benefits of meditation), the fog lifted. I slept through the night and woke up refreshed. My mind started working properly — creating, writing, and playing music. The more I meditated, the more the useless mind chatter disappeared.
My mind was becoming a “lean-mean-thinking-machine” that I could use when needed.
When I talk to clients about my mentally overactive past, there is one common question that follows: “How on earth did you quiet your mind?” Usually, the first word to come out of my mouth is “meditation,” but there’s more to it than that.
Aside from daily meditation, I keep my mind quiet by following these four simple practices:
1. Mental Observations
Here I use my “Hmm… that was interesting” exercise. I try to remain present at all times and cultivate the art of observation without judgment. When I observe a thought that does not align with my essence, I smile and whisper, “Hmm…that was interesting.” I use those words as recognition that I have observed a thought or internal voice that is not imbued with higher energy. And then I let the thought float away without judgment.
2. Practicing Self-Love and Self-Compassion
I’m human. I make mistakes and can mess up, like everyone else. I’m not trying to be the Buddha here. I’m just me. And I love every single particle of “me,” no matter what. This may seem trivial but you’d be surprised how often the ego uses self-loathing as a means to stay in control. I call it the “I-can-do-better” syndrome. If you can always “do better,” then are you actually okay with who you are right now?
3. Slowing Activities Down
Well, except for sprinting up stairs. Sprints make me giggle like a little girl!
But aside from my speed exercise routines, I do consciously slow my activities down. I cut my vegetables slowly or take a little longer than usual to brush my teeth. If I have some sort of “deadline,” I make sure to sit down in silence and be still for a little while before working.
You may think that slowing things down is a “waste” of time. Far from it. Doing things mindfully increases my productivity. How? Because the mind stays quiet and precise. There is no interference from the pointless mind chatter that characterizes overactive egos. A “precise” mind equals creativity and productivity.
4. “Switching Off” Mentally at Least Two Hours Before Bedtime
I don’t mean I sit in front of the TV. Watching an episode of The Walking Dead could hardly qualify as “shutting off.” This is where I usually do my second meditation of the day. Other times, I sit with a candle and some relaxing music in the background.
The mind is awesome, but it can also be destructive when not tended to. A quiet mind equals complete awesomeness. Try it.
Quiet your mind and see what happens. It will amaze you how quickly your life will change.