Photo by nathan williams, CC-BY

6 Tips for Gaining Peace of Mind During Tough Times

Photo by nathan williams, CC-BY
Photo by nathan williams, CC-BY

Tip #1: Let Go of What You Cannot Change

During tough times you already have too much to deal with to fret over things that you can’t control or change. When you are faced with an unchangeable situation take a deep breath, accept what is happening, and move forward. Challenges will pass. Storms blow over. Rude strangers don’t hang around for long. Just breathe deeply and let it go.

Tip #2: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being fully entrenched in the moment. No matter where you are focus all of your attention on that specific moment in time. Feel your feet in your shoes, smell the air around you, pay attention to the scene in front of you. Choose to focus on your own moment, your breathing, your heart beat. If you’re eating, pay full attention to the food in your mouth, the texture, the taste, the smell, the temperature, and just take time to be there, in that moment.

Piece of mind can come from simply focusing on the now instead of allowing our minds to run wild with the unknowns of the future.

Tip #2: Live One Day at A Time

Not one human on this earth has the power to live out a day before it arrives. All you can do is live today, right now, in this moment. Don’t try to solve all of tomorrow’s possible problems before the arrive because you don’t know what problems will or will not come, and you will only waste energy trying to live two days at once. It’s impossible. If you find yourself trying to live two days at once, distract yourself. Choose a healthier activity.

Tip #3: Be Good To You

Take time to be nice to yourself. No matter how hard the challenge, or the times of trouble you can gain great piece of mind by doing things that bring you happiness, peace, and joy. Take a spa day, go for a walk in the park, have a soda with a friend, read a good book, find something positive to do every single day.

Tip #4: Talk to Someone

Find a friend, a therapist, a religious leader, a neighbor, or someone who is not living inside the same challenge you are experiencing and talk. Get it all out. Let someone in and let yourself just get it all out. Your friend doesn’t need to fix it, they just need to listen. Say it all. You will find that just naming the things that are bringing you sorrow and pain can help you deal with them a little better.

Tip #5: Keep a Wonder Journal

Every day take a moment and focus on one small aspect of your day. Take time to really explore it. It can be grass growing in your yard, cars whizzing by on the street, buses full of strangers who for a moment are connected through the rocking motions of travel. You don’t have to be a great writer, just jot things down as you see them. Nobody needs to read it. This is a gift to yourself to remind you that even in the darkest hour, there are still wonders all around you.

Tip #6: Forgive

Forgiveness is freedom. Holding on to your own mistakes, and holding on to the mistakes of others can be as deadly as poison in your veins. Forgiveness is the antidote, but it is a process that is not easy.

Actively take time every day to focus on forgiving yourself, and forgiving others.


Six Tips for Avoiding Mind Clutter

rebootMind clutter is chaos to me. I stress out and almost freak. Here are six ways for avoiding mind clutter, which hopefully help me (and you, the reader, too.)

1. Tidy up your physical environment. A messy home or work environment can make it harder to concentrate, cause anxiety and create excessive stimuli for your brain.
Get in the habit of spending 10 or 15 minutes each day clearing the physical clutter from your home or work environment. You may find it helps you focus and feel less anxious.

2. Create routines for your week. Eliminate mind clutter by reducing the amount of decisions you have to make. For example, decide that every Tuesday, you’re going to have macaroni and cheese for dinner, every Saturday morning is laundry day, and every Monday you’re going to wear a certain type of sweater. The less you have to think about, the more you can focus your mind on more complex or important decisions.

3. Meditate. Meditation lets you clear your mind and focus only on your breath. Over time, a regular meditation practice, even for just five minutes a day, can help you learn to live in and enjoy the present moment. Meditation has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and provide additional health benefits.

Get in the habit of meditating for even five minutes a day. When distracting thoughts enter your mind, don’t worry about them or try to fight them. Just let them pass and keep focusing on your breath.

4. Keep a journal. Writing things down provides an outlet for overwhelming thoughts. Whether you are preoccupied by difficult or unsettling emotions, or you simply have too much to do, writing all of it down is a great way to clear your mind.

Writing can be a cathartic exercise that provides an outlet for your thoughts so that you can feel freer to focus on priority tasks.

Additionally, you may find that writing helps you get a clear picture of all that you have to do. That way, you can start creating a game plan of what issues you need to focus on first and what can be addressed another day.

When you write everything down, you may even find that everything seems less overwhelming than it did when you were preoccupied with mind clutter.

5. Play. When you have too much on your mind, sometimes the best thing is to get away for a while or do something frivolous. Go for a walk with a loved one, spend time with a child, have a picnic in the park, or hit the gym. Taking the time for recreational activities can be a great way to hit the reset button so you have more energy and excitement about the things you need to get done.

6. Set a timer for worrying. When you have too much on your mind, sometimes none of the above techniques will work. In those cases, give yourself permission to focus intensely on whatever is on your mind – but only for a short time.

Each day, set aside 10 or 15 minutes dedicated solely to worrying. During this time, think only about what’s bothering you. Think about every aspect of the issue, worst-case scenarios, optimal outcomes and ways to solve the problem. Then, when your time is up, put whatever is bothering you out of your mind.

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed at times other than your designated “worry time,” remind yourself that now is not the time to think about these issues: You’ll focus on them during the designated time. You could even set a timer on your phone so you know when your worry time is up.