From everyday stress to traumatic moments of life, we can all use the quiet button every so often. It's the key to feeling more grounded, relaxed and ultimately happier. When we focus on wellness and mental health, we need to bring it back to really focusing on ourselves.
1. Solitude is a Sanctuary. Any moment where you can let go of your defenses or all the tools you use to make it through the day is a gift to yourself. This doesn't mean you have to pick up your copy of Wild and head out on the trail alone for weeks but make even five minutes for yourself. Take a breath. Just focus on your breath. I used to get really stressed when concentrating on my breathing so I started to imagine, "Sniff and enjoy a rose. Blow the dandelion." It took the pressure off of the actual "Breathe! Do it! Now!" feeling.
2. Override the brain. Turn off CNN or wherever you get your news, things will still be happening later. Shut down Facebook, your hometown acquittances will still have your dream ring later. Shut down Instagram, no ones fillers will have popped (and they certainly won't post the photo) by the time you return. These engage your brain but not in a calming, positive way. Instead, reach for a book. Engaging in a story will help you forget about the current and escape into a world of possibilities while making your eyes and brain stay sharp. Want to really override your brain? Get nerdy with it! Pick up a book about a topic that interests you and self study.
3. Go outside. We were meant to be outside in the fresh air with the trees and the bugs and the wind. The only reason we don't is because our brains evolved (really well TBH) quicker than our bodies. So, our body is all like "Hey! Let me roam free and roll in the grass and put my feet in that stream." And your brain is like "Well, that stream has been toxic since they built that power plant and I didn't save up for this Reformation dress to make it actually look lived in, you silly fool." But we have a connection to nature and the earth and it's time to disconnect the conscious brain to remember how great sunshine feels radiating on your skin.
4. Just move. Honestly, it doesn't really matter what your thing is...boxing, yoga, Cross Fit, running, Zumba, dance parties. Just do it. When you have the medium of movement to release your stress and energy, the brain sort of quiets itself. It really doesn't mattered what you choose but there is a ton of science that says exercise is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety (aka your chatter brain) and live a happier life.
5. Do something about your stress. You are pissed at a friend, find a constructive way to talk it out. You don't like the president, find a constructive way to support the causes you care about. Your job is overloading you with work, create a clear schedule for yourself and meet your deadlines. You hate your job, suck it up while you find your passion. Sometimes, being productive and not passive is the only way to calm the constant noise up there in your think tank.