Settling the mind is not the same as silencing the mind. When we settle our mind we put our mental chatter aside—give it a rest, if you will—so that we can be alert, calm, relaxed, and open to the moment at hand. Experiment with these three simple tips for settling the mind and see what you notice.
1) Come into your body
Research shows that there’s an inverse relationship between a busy mind and actually being present in your body. So just take a gentle scan of your body, all the way from your toes to hips to torso, arms, face, and head. Notice if there’s tension anywhere. If there is, just allow that to soften—gently stretch or adjust your body in any way that softens your body. Gentle body scan.
2) Surround yourself with green
If you’re in an office all day or in a concrete area of a big city, see if you can put more greenery around you (greenhouses count if you’re not near a park). Find ways to get out to areas that have more nature. And also, if there’s sunshine, 20 minutes of sunshine is good for a greater resiliency and a greater sense of well-being.
Yes, play is not only for kids. Play is a natural antidepressant; play creates resiliency; play helps us integrate learning more. So, find ways to play. It’s healthy for you, it will help make you more focussed, and more productive—whether it’s getting on the ground with kids, or doing things you don’t normally give yourself permission to do, or watching a humorous video. Whatever It is, find more ways to play.
For more on how to settle the mind, try this simple practice.
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is hosting an online course to help people fully integrate mindfulness into their lives in a deep way in order to realize more enduring change. The in-depth 6-month online course called A Course in Mindful Living runs in fall 2017—the waitlist is now open.