Recently, while at an ariel yoga class I was lying comfortably in cocoon, which feels similar to lying in a hammock, when I realized that I had finally silenced the chatter in my brain.
Surprisingly, it was this very moment when I began to make a list of the simple activities that give me this same feeling. My list included a lot of things that were easily accessible, like drinking a cup of tea on my patio, going for a run, reading a magazine or book, driving my car on the open road, many of which brought to mind the AMC movie commercial "silence is golden." The next wave of thought was the many more grandiose things that I’ve wanted to do but haven’t taken the time to schedule for whatever reason (bucket list items). After those few minutes, I felt quite calm.
Turning off the chatter in our brains is easier said than done. I found that taking some quiet time seemed like a luxury but it paid off in a sense of relaxed calmness and clarity. Take a moment to quiet the chatter in your brain by using whatever technique or activity brings you calmness. If you're not sure, try simply breathing in and breathing out and repeating a mantra of "be" on the inhale and "calm" on the exhale.
Then, see what single thought or simple activity comes to mind that you can easily incorporate regularly into your day. Next, add 3 to 4 more wish list activities that bring on happiness and calmness, if one is grandiose and requires planning or a savings to complete just make a note of it. You should write these thoughts down on paper so you can let go of the thought once you re-enter your day.
In the coming weeks, try doing one of the first 5 items each day. If you average 4 out of 7 days, then you’re probably running about average—no one’s perfect. Then make sure to schedule one of the grandiose activities for sometime during the next month, these activities aren’t likely to occur nearly as often but it’s good to always have one planned, as it will be something to look forward to in the future.
Return to your top 5 list the next month and update it, so that you can continue to incorporate activities into your life that make you happy while helping to reduce the chatter in your brain. Remember, continue to work toward some of the more grandiose activities so these activities can be checked off as completed on your bucket list.