“When the mind is silent and peaceful, it becomes very powerful. It can become a receptor of bliss and wisdom, enabling life to become a spontaneous flow and expression of joy and harmony. However . . . this inner silence cannot arise while there is a continual stream of disturbing thoughts and emotions. All this inner noise has to be removed before one can truly experience the soundless sound of inner silence.”
-Swami Satyananda Saraswati
In today’s day and age, we are constantly bombarded with stimulants. From computers and the internet, news and phone calls to traffic and stressful work and home situations, stressors are a constant presence. It is no wonder that so many people suffer from anxiety and other stress-related ailments. It is infinitely important to take time to calm your mind, unplug, and reset to enjoy a quiet mind once in a while. Our minds are very impressionable. My mom always used to tell me not to watch or read bad things, because everything you read or see stays in your brain and can resurface when you don’t want or expect it to.
How on earth can one do this? Well, sometimes certain things are unavoidable, but other times that are certain measures we can take to gain some inner silence, you just need to make it a priority.
- Switch off the TV. News is horrible. Sure, it is important to know the big things that are going on and those that affect us, but do we really need to hear each day that people and animals are being tortured, killed, run over, lost, etc? Or watch tv shows about people who have no respect for themselves, and definitely not for anyone around them? All this stuff pollutes our minds and makes it hard to turn off when we need to.
- Leave work at the office. Of course certain situations may arise where you need to take an important phone call or answer an email outside of your work hours. However, as a general rule, try to contain work to your office. Thinking about deadlines and work to-do’s can stress your relationships, disrupt your sleep, and make unwelcome appearances where you least expect it, say during a backyard pool party. Learn how to let work be.
- Keep the cell at home. Go out for the day without taking calls or checking Facebook. Concentrate on what you are doing in the moment, and not comparing your life to other people’s status updates. You can let everyone know how great your day was when you get home, because it will be that much better.
- Meditate. Learn to acknowledge your thoughts and let them pass, almost like they belong to someone else. Start with just five minutes a day, and work your way up.
- Spend time in nature. Listen to the sounds of the trees and the birds, and acknowledge that you are a part of it.