“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” – Russian Proverb
The mind has a tendency to wander and to seek out interesting destinations within ourselves. When the wandering never ceases, restlessness ensues, inhibiting our ability to formulate decisions or accomplish small tasks.
Have you ever been unsure of what you would like to do for an afternoon and subsequently done nothing because you cannot decide?
Restlessness is creativity within just waiting to be expressed. Choosing how to express your inner light in a society that enables endless opportunity is a daunting task, and truly mastering a skill is almost unheard of in today’s time. Here are a few tips to quiet the noise and promote mindful decision making.
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Start Your Day with Yoga
Wake up early and avoid hitting the snooze button. Start your day with a glass of water and invigorating yoga to facilitate motivation throughout the rest of your day. Concentrate on waking every muscle of your body and connect your mind with the flow of your poses. Take at least 10 minutes to meditate or to set your intentions for the day. Eat a healthy and energizing breakfast to promote concentration and ward off scattered thinking. A nutrient-starved body harbors restless thoughts and feelings. Eat to balance your dosha.
Learn to Breathe Correctly
The breath is one of the most potent calming forces, and one of the most neglected. Have you ever become anxious and felt you weren’t getting enough air? Learn to breathe deeply through your nose and into your stomach, hold for a moment, and release slowly through your nose. Think of only your breath when you are feeling restless and put all of your attention to breathing correctly. The key to redirecting our thoughts is to find something that absorbs us entirely, and the breath does just that.
Cultivate Compassion and Help Others
Finding your inner purpose is the best defense against restlessness, and regardless of your individual purpose, compassion is paramount. Helping others is good for both body and soul, and can help you find what you are looking to achieve in life. Compassion and kindness promote a sense of wholeness and restores intention to our lives.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — The 14th Dalai Lama
Accept What You Don’t Know
Surrender to the universe. To surrender is not to give up, but rather to admit that you cannot control every single thing that happens to you. Do not over-think every choice you are required to make. Acknowledge the unknown and trust that each action you take will open a door to new experiences and new opportunities. Control is rooted in fear. Let go of fear and focus on living, not controlling.
Incorporate Restful Sleep
I don’t have to tell you that sleep is important, but the mental overload we endure each day can make it hard, if not impossible, to get a good night’s sleep. With bright electronics so prevalent in our everyday lives, our brains no longer function as intended and slow down when the sun says good night.
Keeping your bedroom dark at night and keeping television time away from the bedroom can make a big difference. Try reading something with little mental stimulation before bed to slow you down gradually and set you up for a refreshing night of rest, and a motivating morning.
Focus your attention on something easy so as not to keep your mind too alert, yet stimulating enough so that your thoughts do not wander before sleeping. The restless mind reaches all aspects of our consciousness and inhibits our ability to live fully and with intention. Expressing ourselves creatively and learning to develop concentration through mindfulness in our daily lives can help facilitate decisiveness and reinstate our purpose.