“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…” – Robert Greene
I have talked a lot this month about finding quiet time. A regular time, every week, or even every day, to clear your head of any unnecessary clutter.
However, as much as it is fantastic to strive for such a habit when life gets busy quiet time goes out of the window… sometimes you don’t even notice that it is gone! Sometimes, what one needs is an emergency moment for creating brain space. This could happen anywhere, anytime. So, here are a few thoughts on where you might be able to find such a moment when everything is feeling a little much.
1. You Can Take a Walk Anywhere
Walks aren’t just for the countryside; you can pretty much walk anywhere. If a situation is making you feel overwhelmed or anxious, removing yourself from that situation and taking yourself outside, where you can focus on different surroundings and let your mind untangle, is always helpful. Going for a walk is a classic because it works.
2. No Phone Zone at Home
We often reiterate this because try as we might, phones are always a distraction. Of course they are! They are designed to engage. As wonderful as it is to have the world in the palm of your hand, it does mean that the time our brains used to have to themselves before phones were this mesmerising, is all but gone. The natural quiet time we used to enjoy is no more. Unless, of course, you have a no-phone zone in the house. This might mean a no phones in the bedroom rule. Or maybe just no phones after a certain time in the evening. Whatever your sanction, make sure it works for you.
3. Focus on A Task
Focusing on a single task is a great way to eradicate extra noise. For me, cooking is a very good way of getting mental clarity. If I need full mental quiet, I might cook something that I know how to cook inside out… and so requires little complex thought. Focus on the details of the task… the senses that it engages. Engross yourself to come out of it feeling much more balanced. Other great activities include reading, cleaning or tidying, painting and gardening.
4. Don’t Search for A TV Show
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your TV apps, looking for something to distract you for the evening? If you have nothing to watch, why not give your brain a break and do something more relaxing. Watching TV engages a lot of our brains, keeping us mentally wired throughout. Something calming, like taking a bath or talking to your partner will give you much more mental calm than just watching some nonsense TV show just to fill the time.
5. No Music in Those Headphones
If you commute, as I do, try this for a moment to yourself. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to music, but I often do listen to it to cover the bustle and noise of the morning commute. However, I have found that simply plugging in my headphones and listening to nothing allows me to sit in my own little world and find a bit of peace.
6. Pop Into A Public Building
There are so many serene and calming buildings out there that you can just walk into. If you are out and about, having a rough day, and need a moment to get your head together, why not pop into a public building or a shop to gather yourself. My favourite clam locations include, if you are in London, the National Gallery, the National Theatre and ST. Clement Danes Church. However, if I am not in London, the most calming place I can think of to be in, and most places have one, is a book shop.
By Chris Thomson
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