How to have a calm mind is a question that millions of people around the globe are asking themselves. There are countless factors that can cause one to become overwhelmed with stress, whether it is caused by a major exam, the death of a loved one, or even a relationship breakup. No matter what the cause is, there are steps that can be taken in order to relax and de-stress. Relaxation techniques can range from meditation and yoga to breathing and relaxation exercises.

The first step to take is to identify your problem. Many times it is not what we think that causes us stress, it is the way that we perceive the problem. Most often when we are stressed out our thoughts and emotions travel to our body. This sends a signal to our mind that something is not quite right, whether it is our financial situation or health. Once our mind has created this picture, it is very difficult to change it.

When we begin to relax and begin to notice that we are starting to feel better, our body language may change. Our bodies may sit differently, we may sweat a little less, breathe a little differently or even laugh a little more. As we begin to notice these subtle changes, it gives us the opportunity to shift our thinking away from our body and onto something else. As we continue to do this, our ability to how to have a calm mind increases.

The next step is to create a ritual. As you sit or lie down, focus your attention on your hands or arms, keeping them close to your body. Begin by taking a few deep breaths, slowly filling your lungs with air. Focus on each breath, savoring the moment as you fill your lungs with new energy. As you continue to focus your attention, you will notice that you are able to more clearly focus your thoughts, allowing you to shift your mental focus from your body to the sound of ocean waves.

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Once you are in a relaxed state of body, you can then begin to practice the relaxation techniques that are designed to bring your mind and body into a more restful state. One great technique for this is known as “going to a silent place”. This technique involves finding a peaceful location that you wish to go to, and choosing a time when you are not at all distracted by external noises, phone calls, or other people. Start walking towards that location, focusing every sensation on your feet and the movements of your body. As you get closer to the peaceful location, you will start to feel your body loosen, as if it has fallen into a comfortable sea.

As your body relaxes, think about nothing but your body and how it feels. Feel the tension leave your body, as you continue to walk towards the location where you wish to go. If you are unable to find that peaceful location, you may instead try focusing on the feeling of your breathing. Take deep slow breaths as you continue to focus on your breaths, and how they make you feel.

The third step on the road to learning how to have a calm mind is to learn to observe your thoughts. As you watch your thoughts, pay close attention to the words you choose when you experience a strong thought. Pay attention to everything from the thought itself, to the feeling associated with it, to the time it takes for the thought to pass. You want to notice how these thoughts affect you physically. This can give you insight into how to have a calm mind by helping you gain control over your thoughts.

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Finally, after you have practiced the relaxation techniques needed in the first two steps above, it is time to move your attention inward. Begin to slow your breathing, and focus only on the breath. Think about nothing but the feeling of being entirely surrounded by the body, nothing more and nothing less. As you continue to focus, your body will begin to relax and you will be able to begin knowing how to have a calm mind.