How To Stop Thinking And Enjoy Peace Of Mind

Whether we realise it or not most of us have become addicted to thinking. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to stop thinking for a few moments whenever we wanted a break?

We are addicted to thinking, we fundamentally believe it makes us who we are. And, just like any other addiction, it is hard to shake the habit. I hear it all the time, ‘I can’t to stop thinking’.

With regular addictions, we have the option of cold turkey. Stop thinking, get rid of it, kick it out of our lives for good and ‘grin and bare’ the consequences.

Thinking is different

We often talk about our five main senses smelling, touching, hearing, tasting and seeing. In fact, we have many other like our thinking and feeling.

Just like hearing sounds or seeing images, you are receiving thoughts. If you want to stop thinking, think about that for a moment. It’s normally quite a hard thing to grasp.

You are receiving thoughts.

We are conditioned to think that our thoughts are who we are. If you are your thoughts, try to stop thinking!

We’re not the sounds we hear. We’re not the visions we see and we’re not the seat that we can feel when we are sat on it.

So, why do we believe we are our thoughts?

It’s because they come from within. We find it hard to separate ourselves from the things that arise within us. This also goes with our feelings. We also talk about them as if they are us.

I am angry.
I am lonely.
I am excited.
I am depressed.

We don’t say ‘I am that sound’ when we hear a train go by. Although, the sound still arises within us!

The thoughts in your head are not you, they are just one part of how your body works.

So how do we achieve this peace of mind?

The best we can achieve is some control over the thinking. Taming the monkey mind. So, instead of our thoughts bouncing from one random thought to another we intercept them and decide whether we want to go with them or not.

Can Anybody Enjoy Peace of Mind?

Absolutely, anybody can enjoy peace of mind. It’s essential to understand, however, that enjoying peace of mind isn’t about reaching a permanent, unchanging state of serenity. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that involves effectively managing our thoughts and emotions.

Various practices like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or cognitive behavioural therapies can guide us to enjoy peace of mind. They help us observe our thoughts without judgment, allowing us to control our reactions to them effectively.

It’s also worth noting that enjoying peace of mind can be influenced by personal factors such as lifestyle, relationships, career, and overall health. Addressing issues in these areas can substantially contribute to the ability to enjoy peace of mind. Therefore, even those leading busy, stressful lives can learn to enjoy peace of mind with regular mindfulness and stress management practices.

What Does It Mean to Enjoy Peace of Mind?

To enjoy peace of mind means experiencing a state of calmness and tranquility, being free from overwhelming worries. It’s not about evading life’s challenges but learning how to manage them with composure.

Enjoying peace of mind involves acknowledging our thoughts without letting them dominate our emotions. It’s about staying present in the moment, preventing our minds from wandering into past or future worries. This approach offers a clearer perspective, enabling us to make better decisions and problem-solve more effectively.

Furthermore, to enjoy peace of mind also means living authentically in alignment with our values. When our decisions reflect our personal values, we experience contentment and fulfillment, which helps us enjoy peace of mind.

In summary, enjoying peace of mind significantly contributes to our emotional and psychological well-being. It fosters resilience, enhances stress coping abilities, and promotes overall happiness and life satisfaction. By understanding and practicing these concepts, anyone can learn to enjoy peace of mind.

How do we stop thinking?

Can you stop the noise of the train from entering your mind?

You can’t, there is no off switch. Realising this will stop a lot of frustration while searching for the elusive off switch. We can do some things to reduce what goes into our ears. Earplugs, move

All is not lost… We can do some things to reduce what goes into our ears. Earplugs, move somewhere quieter or simply turn off the radio.

Thinking is similar, although we don’t have a simple way of putting a block between the thoughts and hearing the thoughts. Also, we can live without sound we cannot function without some thinking.

Yeah, I know, some people appear to never think!!

How To Stop Thinking About Something That Gives You Anxiety?

  1. Mindful Breathing: Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, slowly, and deliberately. By focusing on your breath, you can shift your attention away from the source of your anxiety.
  2. Challenge Your Thoughts: When anxious thoughts start to take hold, challenge them. Ask yourself if there’s any basis for these worries, if they’re likely to happen, and if there’s anything you can do about them. This can help you see them in a more realistic light.
  3. Visualization: Picture a relaxing scene or image in your mind. Visualization can help divert your mind from anxious thoughts and onto more calming and serene images.
  4. Physical Activity: Engaging in physical activity, such as walking, running, or yoga, can be a great way to reduce anxiety. It helps release tension and produces feel-good endorphins that can shift your mindset.
  5. Mindfulness Meditation: Regular meditation practice can be very effective in managing anxiety. It can train your brain to stay present and not get caught up in anxious thoughts about the future.
  6. Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to get them out of your head and onto paper. This can help you gain perspective and reduce the intensity of your thoughts.
  7. Connect with Others: Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Often, just talking about what’s making you anxious can make it seem less daunting.
  8. Practice Self-Care: Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep, eating well, and taking time each day to relax and do things you enjoy.
  9. Seek Professional Help: If your anxiety is overwhelming and you’re finding it hard to cope, it might be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional.

Remember, it’s completely normal to have anxious thoughts. The key is not to let them dominate your thinking and to remember that you have the power to manage and control them.

Creating gaps between thoughts

You can create gaps between thoughts. As well as recognise when you’re thinking and decide to change your current thought.

Try thinking of your favourite ice cream; you’re sat eating and enjoying every mouthful. Now think of a situation you don’t like, an experience that makes you feel quite miserable. Now try thinking of both at the same time.

You can’t.

Instead, you flip from one to the other.

Congratulations, you now know you can control your thoughts.

The next step is realising there is always a gap between thoughts. Now slow your reading down until you’re reading one word every couple seconds. After you have done this for the next couple sentences, you will realise between the words there is no thinking.

Congratulations, now you know there are brief periods where you can have no thinking and there are tricks you can do to create the ‘no thinking’.

In steps meditation.

Let’s demolish few myths right now.

  1. Forget the image of a Monk meditating for hours.
  2. Meditation is not removing our thoughts.
  3. Forget the thought ‘you cannot meditate’ everyone thinks that before learning to meditate very well.

Primarily, you need to decide whether you want to take control of your thoughts or continue to allow them to control you.

So how do you create longer gaps between thinking?

You do it by taking time out, becoming present, being aware of what is going on in the present moment.

Sounds simple, right?

That part is the simple part. The difficulty is remembering and not following your thoughts.

Sit for 30 seconds and concentrate on your breathing. Try it now.

I’m betting, within 10 seconds your mind wandered onto some thought. Probably regarding time, and how do you time 30 seconds or something similar. You probably missed a few breaths and then came back to it.

It is that returning to the present, to the breath that creates a neuro network in your mind they give you the tools to find peace of mind in any situation.

Right now, if you slow down enough, you will realise this moment is okay as it is. It is your thinking that makes this moment something different.

Try this 2 minutes guided meditation. You’ll realise that peace of mind is always available. It’s this awareness you need to cultivate into your daily life. And, that’s what meditation teaches us to do.

Like I said, the hardest part is remembering when the whole world is going crazy, demanding your attention and you don’t know where to turn. That’s the time when we are least present.

To cultivate mindfulness into those times, you need to establish a meditation or mindfulness practice.

It is too much to put in a single article.

Some Guided Meditations That May Help

3 Minutes Peaceful Pause: When you need calmness first!

The Observer at the River’s Edge: Inner Peace for Busy Minds

Bonus Content

How to Stop Thinking About Someone?

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: The first step is acceptance. Accept that you have thoughts about this person. It’s okay to feel the way you do. Suppression or denial of thoughts only makes them stronger.
  2. Mindful Observation: When a thought about this person comes up, observe it without judgment. Think of your mind as a sky and your thoughts as clouds passing by. You’re not trying to push the clouds away, just watching them drift by. This detaches you from the thought and reduces its impact.
  3. Thought Stopping Techniques: When thoughts about this person occur, say ‘stop’ either out loud or in your mind. This is a psychological technique that can disrupt the thought process and provide a temporary break.
  4. Distraction: Engage in an activity that demands your full attention. This could be a physical activity, like yoga or a sport, or a mental one, like a puzzle or reading an engrossing book.
  5. Focused Meditation: Meditate with a specific focus, such as your breath, a mantra, or a specific object. This can help you practice redirecting your attention away from intrusive thoughts.
  6. Replacement Technique: When a thought of this person comes up, consciously replace it with a different thought. This could be a positive affirmation, a happy memory, or plans for the future.
  7. Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings about this person. This provides a safe space to express your feelings and often, the act of writing can help clear your mind.
  8. Seek Professional Help: If you find that these thoughts are causing significant distress and you’re unable to manage them on your own, it may be helpful to consult a mental health professional. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in addressing unwanted thoughts.

Remember, it takes time and patience to change thought patterns. Be gentle with yourself during this process and celebrate small victories along the way.

Don’t fret; I’ve got you covered. If you’re on my newsletter list or you downloaded my book (If not click here to get it) above I will teach you exactly how to establish a practice that suits your life that will give you peace of mind when you need it most.

If this helped you, it will help somebody else!

You've just read an article by Steven Webb —  Guiding you through the most difficult times. Here is a link to my podcast Stillness in the Storms and Inner Peace Meditations.

I write to arm you with resilience and inner wisdom, helping you find calm in life’s chaos. Follow me Medium or on substack.

Steven Webb host of Stillness in the Storms portrait picture

Steven Webb

Steven Webb is a renowned meditation teacher with over a decade of experience. Known for his unique approach to quieting the busy mind, Steven navigated through a life of adversity to find his own inner peace. Now, he shares his wisdom to help others build resilience and find tranquility even in life's most turbulent times. Through his writing, courses, and podcast "Stillness in the Storms," Steven empowers people to discover their own sanctuary of inner peace when they need it the most.
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