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Be still, my busy mind

Have you ever got into bed feeling exhausted and ready for sleep, only to find an endless number of thoughts racing through your head, keeping that much-needed shut-eye frustratingly at bay? Or perhaps you’ve sat down at your computer in the morning with a head so full of your to-do’s that you are rendered completely unable to focus, let alone be productive. 

We think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced a ‘full’ or ‘racing’ mind and that this can hamper our efforts to work, recharge and sleep. With this in mind, team Kamwell got together to share their tactics for calming a busy mind and we’re happy to share these tried and tested techniques with you:   

To help you be productive:

  1. You are not your thoughts – thoughts can feel all-consuming but remind yourself that they are just that: thoughts.
  2. Breathe – racing thoughts are often linked to an activation of your sympathetic nervous system – your breath is one of the most effective ways to counteract this. Try the 4-7-8 technique: breathe in for the count of 4, hold the breath for the count of 7 and breath out for the count of 8.
  3. Use a mantra or affirmation – racing thoughts are often of a negative nature, try replacing them with a positive affirmations. Create a list of five affirmations that resonate with you, such as: “I’ve got this”, ‘I don’t sweat the small stuff”. More ideas here.
  4. Go for a walk – light, air and movement are three things that are extremely powerful when it comes to getting you ‘out of your head’. Leave tech at home and remember to look around and notice the world around you.
  5. Write a to do list – get it all out on paper. Ideally we find the night before is most useful but if this is not possible, spend time at the start of your day writing a list of the most important things you need to get done that day. Prioritise this ahead of checking emails.  

To help you wind down:   

  1. Meditate – meditation is one of the most effective ways to calm a busy mind. Follow a guided meditation on Calm or Headspace. Or try listening to a guided body scan such as this one.  
  2. Listen to some ambient soundscapes – find a soundscape that you like (be that rain, waves or forest sounds). This gives you something to focus on other than your thoughts.
  3. Try some ‘stream of consciousness’ writing – if you’ve tried and failed to fall asleep, get of bed but keep the lighting low and stimulus to a minimum. Grab a pen and notepad and spend 5 minutes writing down whatever comes into your head.
  4. Use aromatherapy – Scent can have a powerful effect on your state of mind. Check out this article for a simple guide to essential oils.