Calm your mind to unlock your true potential

Paul Myers MBA

Our relentlessly busy lives mean that we’re over-stressed and missing out on so much that life has to offer

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A calm mind is not an empty mind, rather a productive mind. A mind where ideas flourish and thoughts linger to become productive.

A calm mind is a place where creative thinking is nurtured.

A calm mind is a pleasant place, yet resilient when faced with life’s curve-balls and shocks.

So here are 7 practices for slowing down today, to change pace and achieve a more desirable state of being.

1. Pause and breathe

Stop, pause and check-in with you.

The rush of modern life means that we don’t take time to stop and gather our thoughts. To calm the mind.

In the middle of chaos lies opportunity. — Bruce Lee

So stop. Take a moment and ask yourself: How Do I feel right now?

  • Am I overthinking?
  • Am I overreacting?
  • Am I jumping to conclusions?
  • Am I predicting the worst?

These questions allow us to take a step back for a better perspective, which in turn helps to calm the mind.

Connect with your breath. Breathing is constant and helps us to increase our focus. So breathe and anchor to the present moment to regulate your emotions.

Action — Just stop for a moment. Breathe in for five counts 1–2–3–4–5 … breathe out for 10 counts. Repeat for 2–3 minutes twice or more each day.

2. Exercise

Exercise is vital for mental and physical health. It’s one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety. In fact, 5 minutes of aerobic exercise has anti-anxiety effects as it releases endorphins, which boosts our mood.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. — Bruce Lee

Also, it is one of the quickest ways to reduce stress, tension, and fatigue. Exercise improves our concentration and alertness and concentration, and the ability to sleep.

Action — Go for a walk every day, get out and move, and practice.

3. Get into nature

If you can exercise in nature, even better. There are proven benefits in doing this, such as:

  • Research has confirmed that nature has the power to rejuvenate.
  • People who spend at least 2 hours in contact with nature a week are more likely to have a greater sense of well-being compared to those who don’t.

It doesn’t matter how you invest your 120 minutes, one long event versus several shorter ones.

Action — Find a green space, a leafy park, a lake or a seaside walk. Being near water, animals, and trees takes you out of your head, calming the mind and bringing you back to the present.

Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. — Bruce Lee
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4. New things

It’s good to spend time doing what you enjoy, like swimming, reading, cooking, listening to music or writing

The power of the new though takes you out of your routine and stimulates new connections in your brain.

Action — Visit an unfamiliar place. Try a new activity. Vary where you walk, or what you eat, and so on. A sprinkle of newness keeps life fresh.

5. Eat and drink right

What we eat and drink plays a large part in how we feel. Our mind and body have a natural 24-hour rhythm, including the body’s nutritional expectation at regular intervals.

When you step outside your rhythm, your mind and body can become agitated.

The good news is that certain foods can boost mental calm and clarity.

Action — Eat oily fish, poultry, wholemeal bread, cereals, and red meat. Also add pears to your diet, seeds, celery, and bananas to improve brain function while enhancing calm.

Drink water. Dehydration causes confusion and fatigue.

6. Mindful awareness

Take time for mindfulness. A calm and tranquil state makes us more compassionate towards ourselves and those around us. We also make better decisions.

Action — Make five minutes for mindfulness as often as possible. Start with two or three times a week, before making it a daily habit.

Be more aware of your surroundings. What do you see, what do you can smell, hear, taste and touch.

7. Be realistic

Don’t do too much too quickly. You don’t want the activity you hope to calm you to become a source of stress.

Too much can add to the stress, so be realistic. If you were running a marathon in October, you would start training now. Approach your mental fitness in the same way as you would go from the couch to 5k in 30 days. Have a plan and follow it.

Action — Baby Steps, start simple.

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Final thoughts

To conclude, allow me to leave you with this quote from Bruce Lee:

It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory. — Bruce Lee

A calm mind is a gateway to your inner self.

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Innovative Entrepreneurial thinker & Dreamer. I write about Leadership, Startups, Business, & Personal Growth. Connect with me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-m-ecommerce/

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