How do you find focus? How do you quiet your mind?
I like to draw. I enjoy filling in shapes with weird patterns. I got my hands on a Zentangle book at the library five years ago, and I love the style. I don’t have to be an amazing artist. What I love is doing small, intricate patterns inside of large shapes, such as flowers or balloons.
Here's a picture I drew of a balloon in the sky surrounded by the sun and clouds.
Every Saturday I go to the library where it’s quiet and where I can think. I write in my journal and I draw my version of a Zentangle drawing. This is my ME time. I look forward to this time I set aside every Saturday just for me. I have time to be quiet and be creative. Drawing helps me focus and helps me quiet my mind.
I believe it's important to take time for yourself so you have a chance to quiet your mind and focus amongst all of the noise. I also believe you need to find a way to quiet your mind to enhance focus in a way that works for you. My methods and your methods will not be the same in this area.
What other ways are there to quiet your mind? Here's my top ten list:
Going for a walk or run in nature.
Sitting in a park and people watching.
Doing arts and crafts
Taking a relaxing bubble bath.
Making a gratitude list.
Going for a drive.
Focusing and quieting the mind doesn't have to be lengthy or difficult. For instance, I make a gratitude list of three things I'm grateful for every night before I go to bed. I email my list to my gratitude buddy and they email me back with their gratitude list. This takes me 5-10 minutes every day.
Another example from the above list is going for a drive. Sometimes I find I need to get out of my house. I worked from home in a corporate job for 4 years. I found I often had a very hard time leaving the house because I worked from home. Sometimes I found myself afraid to got to my mailbox and get my mail. I know this sounds strange, but it was what happened to me. I found going for a drive every few days helped reduce my anxiety because I got out of my house and chose to drive around in nature or through a cute, quaint small town. I don't have to go very far-sometimes a 10 minute drive around the town I live in is enough.
Don't overthink this.
Pick one item and take 5 or 10 minutes for YOU and do the activity.
Big changes in life often occur when we take tiny, micro-steps everyday. Five minutes a day adds up to 35 minutes a week. For instance, my gratitude list takes me 10 minutes a day and that adds up to 70 minutes a week practicing gratitude. If I sat down for 70 minutes every week to make a gratitude list, I don't think I would last very long. I take small steps every day and now I have a catalogue I can look back on and remember what I was grateful for every day in whatever year of my life I want to look at.
However, the 5 minute approach may not work for every item on the list or every person. For instance, I tend to like to go all-in. I like taking a large chunk of time on an evening or weekend and do my weekly writing and drawing in my four hour chunk of time I set aside for me. Going back to my Saturday example: I go to my local library for four hours, in which I spend two hours writing in my journal and two hours drawing. I like to focus for long periods of time, so this method works for me.
Pick whatever it is that works for you. We live in distracted world. Quieting and focusing your mind in ways you find easy and fun will help you be more focused and present in work and home life. Imagine being present for your kids and not being distracted. Imagine being able to focus on a task at work without interruption. It sounds great! If you find your self struggling with distraction or you struggle with anxiety, try doing one of the activities on my list and implement it in small increments or large ones. Take steps toward your goal of quieting your mind doing fun stuff, and you will see a trickle-down effect in the rest of your life.
I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for focusing and quieting your mind. You can send me a message or email me at email@example.com to send me your tips and tricks.
Peace and love,
Sara Dalton Coaching