Easy Ways to Clear Your Mind
A cluttered mind can feel like a messy and confusing place, where it’s hard to think clearly or make a decision. Your thoughts can end up floating around everywhere; like clothes strewn about in a closet ~ they're in there, however they haven’t been tended to yet. We’ve all experienced this feeling, some more often than others. It’s nearly impossible to remain focused while your thoughts are scattered about. When our mind is in this scattered place, it causes us unnecessary stress and anxiety. Unnecessary, because we have the ability to clean up this mess in our mind. Believe it or not, it is possible to unclutter your cluttered mind.
Here's a few simple, proven ways to help you do so:
Concentrating on your breath for just a few minutes is one of the most effective ways to help bring mental clarity. It's also one of the easiest because your breath is always with you. Breathing can be done anytime, anywhere. When we breathe deep from our belly, we tend to remain more aware of our breathing. It is this deep breathing that helps bring in the most oxygen, helping to contribute to feelings of calm and clarity. To help you focus on breathing deep from your belly, try gently placing your hand on or near your belly button, noticing the rise and fall with each breath. For maximum benefits, allow yourself a few minutes each hour to breathe deeply. Even if you don’t practice deep breathing regularly, you can still use it during those times when you are having difficulty concentrating or making a decision.
MAKE A LIST
If you find your mind is racing with to-do’s or all those things you don’t want to forget, take out a pen and paper, sit down and make a list. Making a list is a great way to not only clear your mind of all those thoughts, it'll help you to prioritize all those to-do’s, while ensuring that you don’t forget all those things you want to remember.
This is what I know about journaling; it helps to rid the mind of chatter and get to the heart of the matter. When your brain feels cluttered with consuming thoughts, it can be helpful to write them down. This helps you make sense of everything and gives you a fresh perspective. It also gives all those thoughts swirling around in your mind, another place to live. And you don’t have to keep your writing, the power of journaling is in the act of journaling, not in keeping the journal. So feel free to tear up, shred, or burn your passages, if it helps you feel more confident in keeping your innermost private thoughts, private.
You might not believe me, but this one really does work! Whenever I need to clear my mind, one of my favorite ways to do so, is to dance. Dancing helps to release feel-good hormones, in particular dopamine. The release of dopamine benefits us in many ways, one of which is to boost our focus and concentration. Plus, as an added bonus you’ll also receive all the physical benefits that dance has for the body while it helps you reduce stress and tension. So go ahead, put on some music and bust a move! Your mind (and body) will thank you for it.
WALK IN NATURE
We all know the physical benefits of walking. Do you also know the mental benefits? When we enjoy at least 20 - 30 min walking in nature, we help to improve our mood and clear our mind. It can also improve creative thinking and effectively reduce stress and depression. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and beautiful place to walk. Nature surrounds us. Even if you live in a large city, you can find a nearby park, trail, or maybe even a waterfront. When you’re feeling like a scatter-brain, put on your walking shoes and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer!
There’s a reason why adult coloring books have become so popular and can now be found everywhere ~ it’s because they work! They give us over-worked, stressed-out, way-to-busy adults, an outlet to be creative and let our imaginations soar. Studies show that creative activities such as coloring (or doodling or drawing), help to relax the brain, while providing an opportunity to focus only on what we're creating. So take out those pencil crayons, coloring books or sketch pads, and become immersed in your creativity! You'll feel more relaxed and your mind will feel like it can make sense of everything again.
TURN OFF DEVICES
Turn off devices? Yes! Commit to an amount of time each and every day to be free from your technology. That means no phone, no tablet, no computer, and no iPad. Can you do it? I know this is a challenge in our technology obsessed and addicted culture. You might not realize it, but all that beeping, pinging, vibrating and ringing that we hear all day long distracts us and contributes to our over-loaded brains. Make a commitment to giving yourself a time-out from all your devices for a few minutes each day. It'll help to clear your mind and guess what? All those messages and emails won’t go anywhere. I promise they will sit there waiting patiently for your return. Oh yeah, and this also means turn off your T.V. as well!
DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE
Whether you're conscious of it or not, the stuff that surrounds you affects the way you feel. When we're in a cluttered space, it’s easy for our mind to feel cluttered as well. When you clean up and clear out the space you're in, you help to clean up and clear out all those thoughts hanging around in your mind. You help to bring clarity and focus. For tips on decluttering the space around you, check out the blog, Declutter Your Space.
You have more power over your thoughts than you may realize. The next time your mind feels cluttered; like there's a tornado of thoughts swirling around up there, stop and allow yourself a few minutes to put one of these techniques into practice. Those few minutes will pay off in a big way when your mind feels calm, focused, and at ease.
What's your favorite way to clear your mind? Let me know in the comments below.
If you love this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.