Is your mind constantly twisting and turning? Ideas, memories, worries churning all the time? You try to turn it off but can’t. You are not alone. Most of us “doers” can’t seem to allow ourselves to stop, relax and smell the roses. We need to train our minds to allow us to create a healthy balance. Being a doer is a great thing, but overdoing can become draining and lead to burnout. It also robs you of enjoying the fruits of your labors and life itself.
Coming to terms as to why you are unable to quiet the chatter in your mind is a start. Some people are afraid to let go because they feel they will lose control. Others are overcompensating to fill the void of things that are lacking in their lives. For many it has become a habit to constantly be in motion. Also, the pressures of society, especially for women, make many feel that they need to constantly keep doing and going or they will fall behind.
Not matter what the cause, here are some ways to manage the manic.
One way I’ve found to shut my brain down is to physically move myself out of my home or office and into nature. I go to the beach, sit in a chair and stare at the waves, watch the seagulls flying and listen to the sounds around me. It may be for only a ½ hour, buy it helps me to push my type “A” thoughts to the back and lets my senses enjoy the beauty of the view and my surroundings. Depending on where you live, your “nature” spot can be a park, a lake, the woods or the mountains. Going there will enable you to disconnect and give your brain a rest. When you do return to your normal mode, you’ll feel refreshed. It may take a few visits before you can keep your brain from wandering back to the list of things to do waiting for you, but you will get there.
Another thing that I find helps me slow myself down is a massage and/or facial. The pleasure of being pampered, the warm massage bed and the soft music playing enables me to shut down the “noise” in my brain and relax. If these services are not in your budget right now, consider a warm bath with scented oil you love, candlelight and a glass of wine. This can do the trick also.
For many of us Type “A” personalities, insomnia is a major problem. We all know that lack of proper sleep can be detrimental to our health. It is important to create a bedroom that is conducive for sleep. A dark, cool and quiet place. To prepare ourselves for sleep, take a warm shower or bath, turn off the tech at least an hour before bed and avoid eating right before bedtime. Putting a pad and pen by your bedside to write things down once a thought has popped into your brain helps relieve your mind of that thought without worrying about forgetting it. However sometimes those thoughts keep going and you keep writing. Training yourself to put the pad down after writing the idea will take time, but you can learn to make this a habit. Of course, there is always getting lost in a good book which also tires the eyes for sleep.
For some people, yoga and/or meditation is a way to calm their thoughts and tune out. I could never quite get my mind to stop racing, and it just became another thing to squeeze into my to-do list. If you can embrace these practices, they are an excellent way to relax and refresh yourself.
If we learn not to over-do and we divide our time in a realistic way, we will not only be more productive, but will feel happier, healthier and more relaxed. Your family and friends will benefit from the new, calmer you too.