calm a noisy mind

Have you noticed how quickly your mind takes up your attention as soon as you wake up in the morning? We almost seem to live or go through the entire day via our thoughts. Most of the times our mind is generating noise and gibberish – thoughts. So, how do you calm a noisy mind? Read more to know.

What is a noisy mind? 

In layman’s language, it is the constant chatter of mind that never stops.  

Zen Buddhists refer to the constant chatter of the mind as a “monkey mind”.

Buddha described the human mind as being filled with not one, but dozens of drunken monkey chattering away. He meant that our minds are in constant motion. 

It can be as simple as your mind reading off a list of to-do items, recalling hurtful things that may have happened in the past, creating “what if” scenarios, fearful thoughts for your future and the list can go on. 

As a result, it is impossible to slow down and enjoy the present. Besides, these things affect our mood negatively, it hampers our ability to focus, interferes with our present day. Isn’t this crazy? Well, the good news is that you can calm your noisy mind. 

Let’s see what we really need to do. 

6 ways to calm a noisy mind 

1. Be aware of your thoughts

The fact is that our mind is filled with swirling thoughts. Thoughts resemble waves and hence, always in motion. The natural tendency of the mind is to be restless and it keeps jumping from one thought to another, failing it to be still. 

Be aware of your thoughts as they are more powerful than you think. Awareness allows you to slow it down and observe it. Let your thoughts come and go without any judgment or grasping into them. Awareness allows you to stop mindlessly indulging it.    

As said by  Shunryu Suzuki,  “..Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”

2. Do not fight your thoughts

Your thoughts are your inner dialogues/ monologues. You do not have to control your thoughts. It is not a competition as who rules who. Instead, have you ever thought of befriending your thoughts? Let us try to listen to what your mind is saying. Is it upset? overwhelmed? If so, why? Sometimes all it needs is to be heard. 

Next time you feel your mind acting chaotic, do the following:  

  • Reassure your mind that everything is going to be fine 

Make a contingency plan for the worst-case scenario. Write it down. This will act as reassurance for your mind. Moreover, accept that lot of things are beyond our control. 

No matter how much you try to solve them, the outcome will not always be the way you want it. AND, IT IS COMPLETELY OK. Awareness, patience and resilience are key ingredients to calm a noisy mind. 

  • Brain dump or thought download

Heard about it? “Brain dump” or “Thought download” as explained by Brooke Castillo works wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Thought Download helps you get all your thoughts out of your head and ON TO PAPER. 

I have developed this habit of writing it down in the morning all those thoughts that cross my mind including my to-do lists! No edits, no judgment – pure thoughts. 

I give my mind 20 minutes to go on a riot. Once the time is up, I let my noisy mind know that it had its say for the day and I will not entertain it for the rest of the day. This technique has worked wonders for me. 

  • Make note of peaceful words to yourself throughout the day

It’s all about keeping the right peaceful thoughts at the top of your mind, so they are easily available when you need them the most. 

3. Engage your mind

Have you experienced moments when your mind is still? For example, when you are deeply involved in reading a book or watching a movie, the mind is silent. Why? This is because your mind is completely engaged in an activity that draws your focus and attention to that particular activity. As a result, the mind stops giving us a running commentary of unwanted things at that very moment.

The next time your mind running around chaotically, take a pause and engage yourself in an activity that draws you in completely.    

4. Meditate Regularly 

This is the most effective method to calm your mind. Meditation trains your mind to regain power. It promotes inner calm and helps connect the mind and body. 

Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm mind. Start with one minute a day – it need not be for hours! 

By practising it regularly, you will be skilled to silence your noisy mind. 

5. Power of Breathing 

Studies show that different breathing patterns activate our brain networks to mood and body awareness. 

When your breath is calm and deep, it helps the mind and body to relax. Slow down and pay attention to your breath.

Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and learn to do slow and conscious breathing, which will create a calm and focused state of mind. 

6. Power of belief 

Believe that you want your mind to be calm and relaxed and it can be done. Whatever you believe and feel to be true long enough will become your reality. 

The restless noisy mind is a thief. It steals your good night sleep and your energy. This is when the power of “belief” comes into play.

Our mind is truly magical when we start believing in its power to create the maps that guide us towards our goal. As Sadhguru says, “The mind is not a problem. You don’t know how to handle it, that’s the problem. 

Take Away

These are a few of the methods to calm a noisy mind. Learning to calm your mind is one of the best things you can do to transform your unconstructive or restless thoughts.

Most importantly, do not get overwhelmed by these suggestions. That is to say, calming your mind will take practice but to start with – imprint in your mind that IT IS POSSIBLE to do so and you are good to go! 

Next Read: Subconscious Mind – 8 facts you need to know!