Managing the mind chatter - 5 ways to switch off and feel alive again


Sometimes I just want the noise to stop. To switch off my thoughts, the words racing around my head of all the things I need to do, to sort out, to achieve.

How familiar does that sound? How often do you wish you just had a switch that could turn off the noise? You do, well it's good to know I'm not on my own!

Frustrating though isn't it?

You're just settling down to go to bed. You turn the lights off, close your eyes and then bam - the thoughts start entering your head and wake you up again. Or you go for a walk and realise as you get back home that you haven't really noticed where you've been because you've been all too consumed in your thoughts?

Well help is at hand. Below our five ways to mute the mind chatter and give you a sense of freedom to connect with your heart and 'just be'.

1. The rainbow walk challenge

As mentioned above even going for a walk can sometimes not shake off the mind gremlins so having something else to focus on can still free up the mind. Start by taking some deep breaths as you go outside and really let the air get into your lungs. Let your shoulders drop and connect with a sense of empowerment to just relax for a while and the thoughts you have float away.

Now focus on what's around you. The colours, the sounds, the smells. Perhaps you have forgotten what it's like to just appreciate the beauty around you. So whilst you walk see if you can spot something from every colour of the rainbow - you might even like to take a picture of them so that you can create a rainbow collage when you get home.

Notice how it feels to focus on this theme whilst you're out and about.

2. Listen to music

Grab your iPod and play that favourite track that you can sing your heart out too (OK if you're on public transport you may want to just listen! or just go for it?!) it's a great way to focus on something else and release the happiness endorphins. Remind yourself why do you love the song so much? What does it mean to you? What's the message? And how can it help you right now? Right here in this moment of time.

3. Slow down your breathing

Sometimes just taking a few moments to slow your breathing down can help you connect with the present moment. From here you can ask yourself the question 'what's the truth in that?' as your mind races around with the all the alleged facts and thoughts.

"Remember: thoughts are not facts"

So check in with what's really real here and help yourself alter your perspective so you can see the bigger picture. Sometimes it can be easier to look at the situation from a different point of view so as you take those deep breaths imagine you're flying high in the sky like an eagle or rising high in a hot air balloon and imagine looking down and how you might view the situation from here.

4. Do something creative

Grab a colouring book and pens - yes you read that correctly. Many are returning to one of our favourite childhood pastimes. As children we're encouraged to be creative. To think outside the box and just let our minds wander.

5, Practice gratitude

Practice gratitude and remind yourself what you're grateful for and also what you've already achieved in life that you may have forgotten. It will give you a chance to focus on something positive.

With over 60.000 thoughts a day the more we connect with a positive mindset the more we strengthen the pathways to our brains which deal with perspective. Research also suggests that having a more positive mindset supports both physical and mental wellbeing.

So which of the 5 ideas will you try today? Go on, what have you got to lose?