Well I don't know about you, but after a busy day, news stories, songs (though usually only the same line over and over again), conversations, pictures from any number of different places are usually running through my head even if it's been hours since I've heard or seen them. When I go to bed in an evening, and it's all quiet and the rest of the house is asleep, dark and still, my mind can still be running along at top speed, going through and trying to work out all the happenings of the day. This means that instead of comfortably settling down and dropping off, I become restless, fidgety and more and more awake and less able to stop the mental chatter. It feels like my mind has been completely cluttered up with 'stuff' and no matter what I do, everywhere I turn, there is more 'stuff' to think about. Also, sometimes, I choose activities that I think will relax me, only to find that they add to the busyness of my mind. Watching TV, watching a film, reading a book, or talking to family and friends, just adds to the information that I'm already holding. So in order to really relax and clear my mind of muddles, we need to step away from anything that stimulates me mentally. Yoga, meditation, a good long walk to give me time to think about my body, gives me a chance to slow my mental activity so that when I go to bed, my mind has already begun to settle down.
The best activity by far for me is deep breathing in order to slow my mind and it is a really simple way of doing just that. Most of us know by instinct what helps our mind to relax and declutter; it could be just gazing out of the window at the starry sky or the moon, sitting in the garden and listening to nature, or carrying out a simple meditation. Whatever it is, these exercises really help us feel that we have washed our brain clean and are giving our minds time to feel clear and settled.
Giving ourselves time to clear our mind just once a day can easily move from 'training' to it being natural over a relatively short space of time. The more we practice the easier it is to settle our mind, in turn giving us a much more restful night's sleep and a chance to start a new day with a clear vision and less mental clutter to have to deal with.
Until next time, take care.