“Only the inner silence is yours. No-one gave it to you. You were born with it and you will die with it. Thoughts have been given to you. You have been conditioned to them.” Osho
Long before modern technology introduced new distractions into our lives, human beings have sought inner peace and tranquility. Quieting your mind can help you achieve more than inner peace. It can help you create a life you love, a life you wake up to every day and say “I’m ready to take on the world.” If that is what you seek, here are the 12 tried and true (ancient) tips to achieve your goals of inner peace, harmony and tranquility.
1.Practice Meditation – Practice breathing meditation. Breathing meditation is a simple and effective method for calming your mind. Start by finding a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit and observe your breath. With practice, you’ll be able to meditate longer periods or place your mind on your breath in any surroundings.
2. Develop single-pointed concentration. Train your mind to rest upon your object of meditation whether it’s a candle or a spoken mantra. Note any distracting thoughts but decline to pursue them. Bring your mind back to your chosen object.
3. Learn to visualize. Select images that promote happiness and serenity. Perhaps you may want to picture snow-capped mountains or sheep grazing in a meadow.
4. Focus on positive thoughts. If your meditation is part of a spiritual practice, you can follow the prayers taught in your tradition. Alternatively, you can soothe your mind by repeating any thought or quote that is meaningful for you.
“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.”
― Drew Barrymore
5. Use the Soothing Qualities of Water – Take a bath. Cultures all over the world have long appreciated the calming effects of water. A simple warm bath can soothe your nerves. Rest your head on a bath pillow and add some comforting scents like sandalwood or lavender. Turn the lights down low and play soft music.
6. Surround yourself with the sound of water. Eat your lunch by a park fountain or install a solar device in your own backyard. If you live by the beach, go. You can find recordings of waterfalls online or get a CD with aquatic effects that you can play anywhere you go.
7. Get Back to Nature – Go for a walk. In some eras, it was common for people to go on long retreats into the wilderness. Even a short break can do wonders to restore your peace of mind. Visit your local state park or take a quiet walk around your neighborhood. If you work indoors all week, use the weekend to explore scenic trails for biking and hiking.
8. Cultivate a garden. Gardening is a great way to slow down and appreciate nature. Devote a section of your backyard to growing flowers and vegetables. If you live in an apartment setting, select plants that will flourish indoors or on a balcony, like some species of palm trees and herbs.Spend time with animals.
9. Spending time with animals is so therapeutic it’s even been proven to help people recover from surgery faster. Take your dog for a walk. Watch your cat at play. Sign up for horseback riding lessons.
10. Live in the Present Moment – Put the past behind you. Dwelling on the past can make it difficult to feel composed. If you’re thinking about past misfortunes, decide if you’d rather devote your energy to more constructive activities.
11. Adopt a positive view towards the future. The future always carries some uncertainty. Focus on creating causes for a better future and patiently accepting whatever outcomes arise.
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”
– Caroline Myss
12. Enjoy the present moment. Give your full attention to what is happening now. Take advantage of the opportunities before you and delight in the good things that surround you. Steer your mind towards wholesome thoughts and actions. Engage fully with the people who share your life.
“Happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with ‘what is,’ rather than wishing for and worrying about ‘what is not.’ ‘
Regardless of external circumstances, many ancient techniques work equally well today for achieving the peace and tranquility you seek of quieting the mind. Learn about the healing powers of meditation. Read books that help you quiet your mind. Take a yoga class. Take a walk. Sit in the quiet. Enjoy greater peace.
“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross