How to de-stress your brain

There may be many occasions when you feel you need to de-stress your mind, and almost all of them will occur when you are thinking negative thoughts. You might be worrying about an event that will never occur, or contemplating anxiety provoking thoughts such as, ‘will I ever be good enough?’ Or, ‘if I were only more attractive I would get a job, a girlfriend or boyfriend, and my life would improve.’ Most of the thoughts you have that result in stress are able to occur because you are not living in the present moment, or you identify your worth as a person with matter going on around you instead of seeing it for what it really is.

Living now

You can de-stress your mind and banish worrying thoughts by stopping living in the past or in the future. Most events that cause you anxiety stem from an experience that has already passed, or one that you imagine might happen, but probably won’t. In the here and now, there really is no need to worry unless a crisis is occurring, in which case you will automatically deal with it.

Lend some thought to the past for a moment in order to understand the concept of ‘now.’ Events that have happened are a memory. You already reacted with them when they occurred, and now the time to do so has gone. Going over events and thinking things such as, ‘if only I hadn’t said what I said,‘ or, ‘how could that person have done that to me,’ can’t change anything about what happened. All it can do is put you in a state of stress and misery. Accepting that what has occurred has passed, and that now you need to live in the present can help you release negative thought patterns that bind you to stress.

Equally unnecessary are thoughts that occur due to worrying about what might happen in the future. Plan for events you know are going to arise by all means, as this can give you confidence. However, using energy worrying about the future is pointless. Not only can you not know what will actually occur, but also you are not in control of what happens until the time arises. Even then, you can only control a small part of the experience rather than the whole event, as other variables will also play their part. Letting stressful thoughts about the future eat away at your sanity is a waste of time and energy, and what’s more, it’s painful.

How to live in the moment

Living in the moment might sound simple, but it isn’t that easy for everyone. People have to be willing to stop thoughts that attempt to drag them back into the past, or forwards into the future. Doing so takes practice, and this could even take years to achieve, as many yogi masters can testify. However, there is a simple exercise you can use to help you focus on the present, which will automatically turn down the volume of thoughts you have no need for that cause you stress.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation associated with Buddhism. Its use stretches back for centuries. The concept of mindfulness is simple, and yet, it requires concentration to begin with until it becomes second nature.

You might focus on a physical object that you can see, or on an action your carry out. Alternatively, you might visualize an object or scene in your mind. The idea is to focus intently so that your mind becomes quieter, and only forms complete thoughts about that on which you are concentrating. Use all of your senses to create a realistic experience. For example, if you are focusing on a flower, look closely at it and savor its detailed structure, from the center of the flower to its petals. You might also smell the flower, and imagine how it feels to touch it, or actually do so.

Alternatively, you can concentrate on the sound in-between all other sounds where nothing people recognize as being anything resides. It’s actually impossible to hear nothing at all. The sound you will hear is likely to be similar to white noise, and it will become louder and more audible the more you focus on listening to it.

You can de-stress your mind by learning how to live in the present by practicing mindful exercises. You might turn everything you do into a mindful activity if you have been feeling very stressed for some time, as this will serve as a relief and provide your mind with space to deal with problems when, and if, they arise.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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