How to Quiet Your Busy Mind

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    Welcome to installment #17 of the A to Z for a Rocking Retirement. Q = QUIET YOUR MIND. When can you honestly say that your mind has been quiet? I recently had surgery where my “busy” mind went quiet, but of course that was imposed on me during anesthesia, and that is not the quiet I am talking about here.

    How to Quiet Your Busy Mind

    As we approach our retirement years, wouldn't it be great to live more quietly without the continuous influx of a go-go lifestyle? Don't we owe ourselves the opportunity of living more peacefully and not have to be geared up every day for whatever disaster comes our way?

    Our minds are currently on overdrive every minute of every day, and I doubt you are the exception. I know I'm not. It is a chronic state of being these days and we think that's OK, but in fact we have lost sight of what a quiet and peaceful state of mind actually feels like. And if we keep up that pace we are bound to run out of steam and succumb to some type of stress-related disorder which in turn could jeopardize that long sweet retirement life we all want to achieve.

    In my case when I finally left my traditional job, I needed to make a complete overhaul of how my day looked. I was so accustomed to fighting my natural sleep clock by getting up so early and then running ragged all day and into the evening that I generally crashed and burned and fell into bed exhausted. Sound familiar? But now I have control over my time and schedule and what I choose to do and who I choose to do it with which has allowed me to cultivate more moments of quiet plus more harmonious relationships.

    Let's explore what peace and quiet is all about and then you can better judge how you are doing. Webster says peace is a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts and harmony in personal relations. How does this register with your present state of being as a working person?

    Ask yourself:

    When have you felt truly tranquil and quiet?

    What were you doing, or not doing to allow that to happen?

    When have you felt free from disquieting or oppressive thoughts?

    What were you doing, or not doing to allow that to happen?

    When have you found harmony in personal relationships?

    What were you doing, or not doing to allow that to happen?

    Now based on your answers, what conclusions can you reach that can be useful in your quest to achieve more quiet and peace in your life? You can actually start making changes now before you retire so it won't be so much of a shock to your system once you finally leave your job for good. You will be ready to "ease into retirement" successfully.

    Here are some peace and quiet tips you can use right now, and you can always expand on them the more time you get in the future.

    Take time to quiet your mind in one minute blocks

    Whenever you feel the pressure rising, close your eyes, take a deep breath thru your nose and hold it, then exhale thru your mouth as slowly as you can, feel the pressure release from your body while sinking deeper into your chair, and notice how your mind empties out of all thought. Do this several times in one minute, several times a day.

    Become aware of when you have "stinking thinking"

    Release it and replace with a simple pleasant thought that relaxes you and puts a smile on your face. You can't hold two thoughts at once, so you might as well hold on to a positive thought. This is a great technique to stop that loud chatter of negativity and restore a sense of peace and tranquility to your mind.

    Take a slow focused walk in nature.

    This can be very meditative if you slow down, look at the tiniest things and just examine them carefully. You will be surprised how calming that is as well as revealing about how beautiful nature really is. And how much we miss when we don't pay attention. Your full brain will empty out as you ponder the wonders of nature.

    These are all just baby steps for quieting your mind, but they are medicinal and preventive and will serve you well when you fit them into the cracks of your day. And who knows - you might make a habit of doing them and your mind will love you for that! Please share your own tips for quieting your mind in a very unquiet world.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
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  3. by   Avid reader
    Love this article. I think it's a perspective however. Wish I could be this sort of personality that can appreciate what you seek. I, unfortunately need information for peace of mind. I need possibly it's a distraction, but reams of science, history and politics on my off days. That seems to calm me down, then discussion with my father for confirmation of my conclusions. Maybe it's the Dad aspect but that is what works for me. I am unable to watch television news or even television shows because I suspect that their agenda is advertising driven, so I have to subscribe to various reporters that I trust is impartial and objective for information. This takes lots of parsing and I think the process of my dad's interactions promotes the calming effect. It's also very reassuring to be instructed by someone who always has your best interest at heart. Maybe that's my contribution, find someone who you can truly trust that has the ability to actually understand your needs to talk to. Everyone has opinions but ñot necessarily the ability to dispense good pertinent advice.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    These are some good tips for quieting the mind. My own races most of the time, and my thoughts seem to believe they all need to be thought at the same time. In fact, I have trouble with mindfulness and meditation because I'm very easily distracted. Breathing exercises don't work for me, but I like the idea of taking a walk in nature, if only I didn't live in the city. Just about the only place I can quiet my mind is in church, where I pray silently before Mass and after Communion. Do you have any other suggestions for me?