Resting the Mind

Slowing the mind gives you real rest. To rest efficiently and resolve internalized stress, you must cause the reactive cycles of thoughts and tension to unwind. This can be done by focusing on the breath or by placing your attention on how your body feels.

You can slow down your thoughts by observing the sensations of your body. When your mind gravitates to thoughts go back to observing your body. Observe the sensations of the body because they are the true indicator of how you feel. Thoughts create the sensations and the sensations are the physical truth of how you feel.

Thoughts give birth to how you feel. Thoughts can be like quicksand the more you think the more you struggle and the more you sink. To rest the mind and allow your body to relax you need to disengage from your thoughts. One way of doing this is to focus on the sensations of your body. By bringing your attention back to the sensations the thoughts will fade and so will the impulses to the body. This allows the body to relax. By focusing on the sensations your mind has less time for the thoughts which are creating and sustaining tension in your body. It allows you to break the cycle so relaxation can occur.

Our minds like thinking about ideas, worries, and the past, the future, remembered sights, and sounds. These thoughts are all making noise inside our heads. By not focusing on our thoughts and the noise gives our mind time to clean up and file away what we don’t need. This allows our body to relax.

Exercise to Let go of Thoughts

Lie down preferably on the floor. You can use a pillow and blankets if it is cold but do not make yourself too comfortable as you are likely to go to sleep.

When you are settled surrender control of your body.

Scan your body and if you find an area that is tight or holding tension breathe into the area. With each breath into the area feel the tightness and tension being released. When the tension and tightness have been released move to the next area and again breathe away the tension. Keep doing this until you are feeling very relaxed.

If thoughts start to intrude on this relaxed state start scanning your body for sensations. Sensations include aches and pains, heaviness, lightness, sounds, heat, cold, feelings, itches, and air moving in and out of your mouth or nose. Move around your body becoming aware of all the sensations. Always keep moving do not focus on one sensation.

Eventually, your mind will slow and become still. If thoughts start to intrude again on the stillness go back to observing the sensations in your body until you get back to the stillness.

Do this for 10 minutes or longer.

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