Is anyone else’s brain full? Just me then! My mind seems to be full to bursting with so many thoughts, worries, and ideas. So much so, that I can’t think straight, I can’t sleep and more importantly all these thoughts rumbling around makes it difficult to actually get them out on paper as my mind races from one thought to another. If only my brain had an empty recycle bin or clear browsing data option!
In a world where we are bombarded 24 hours a day, each and every day, how do we switch off? How we find time to collect and analyse our thoughts into useful ones and thoughts to throw into the trash?
The good news is that it is possible to clear your mind. Here are 5 methods you can try, plus a bonus tip:
We live in an age where distraction is socially acceptable and often useful for coping with intense emotions. People with PTSD often have strong, uncomfortable emotions and find it difficult to cope with them without using unhealthy coping mechanisms, so distraction techniques are a great option for them.
Using distractions for clearing the mind can be highly rewarding.
Distractions can help you focus on the task at hand and reduce the chance of restlessness or worry. However, using distractions to focus requires us to create an intention for our attention. To start, we can write down what we need to focus on and what we want to achieve. We should also list potential distractions and obstacles that can prevent us from accomplishing our goals.
But, it’s important to be aware of these distractions and choose to react without reacting to them.
While it may be tempting to resist the urge to engage in a distraction, it is vital to remember that distractions are natural and can be controlled by mindfulness. Practice observing distractions and returning to your breath is an effective way to learn how to clear the mind. However, the key to learning how to manage distractions is to practice mindfulness, so they are not to be suppressed or forced out of your mind.
One method that can help you focus on your work is to engage in creative activities. By focusing on a creative endeavour, you can use your creativity to express yourself in a new way. For instance, writing can help you release feelings that are overwhelming or even debilitating. In fact, some people with ADHD use expressive writing to help them cope with strong emotions. When we focus, we feel calmer. However, this approach is not suitable for everyone.
Any form of physical activity is an effective means of reducing stress and clearing the mind. So if you’re not a regular exerciser, consider sneaking some physical activity into your daily routine. A simple walk around the block, mowing the lawn or even housework can help you get your daily activity in. If you have children, finding childcare can be a big hurdle but don’t let that stop you from getting moving! Why not find something you can all do together?
Everyone remembers that famous line from Legally Blonde …
… and it’s true! While the benefits of exercise are widely recognized to keep your body healthy, physical activity is also a great way to clear the mind and improve your mood and quality of sleep, as it releases chemicals, specifically endorphins, the ‘happy’ hormone that helps boost concentration and mental sharpness. Exercise can even foster new social connections.
Physical activity can improve cognitive abilities, especially executive-level brain activity as it increases blood flow and neural activity in the frontal cortex, which is involved in executive-type thinking. This helps enhance problem-solving skills, and improve memory recollection, so it’s a win-win situation. Exercise also helps prevent to onset of old-age decline.
In addition to its many mental benefits; reduce stress and depression symptoms, exercise can also improve your energy level, which can make you happier overall.
So, get exercising!
A common misconception about meditation is that it makes you think you must be a yogi or religious practitioner to benefit from its benefits.
However, meditation can help you clear your mind in several ways. For instance, when you sit for meditation, you may be able to observe your thoughts and label them as either happiness or anticipation, and depending on your meditation practice and your current state of mind, you might experience this phenomenon more often than others.
Studies have shown that meditating increases alpha-theta activity in the area of the brain associated with attention and emotional regulation.
The most common benefit of meditation is the ability to observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Through regular practice, you can learn to quiet the mind, settle habitual movement, and view life more clearly. However, like any skill, this method requires practice. You have to allow your mind to wander and start over again a number of times. However, it is worth it in the long run because you can achieve great success through regular practice. People who meditate are also more capable of catching their wandering mind and snapping it back into focus.
Many people find meditation beneficial, however it’s important to remember that it is not a cure-all and there is no proof that meditation can cure any condition. While it is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety, it can also worsen certain mental illnesses. In other words, meditation can be an excellent complement to other treatment methods, but it is not a substitute for conventional medical care.
Talking to a friend
If you want to clear your mind, talking to a friend over a cup of tea (or coffee) is always good idea. Talking can help you work through your frustration and clear your mind. It’s even better if there’s cake involved!
Do you have a sympathetic ear in your support network? Someone you trust implicitly who will listen while you talk about the things that are bothering you. Sometimes that’s all most people need, a good friend who is there for you, who will not judge you or try to fix you, but will just listen.
However, it’s important to remember that most people aren’t trained to give advice on what to do, so it may help to talk to a professional who can help you break through your mental fog.
A professional should be able to help you create an action plan to cope with the issues you are facing, so you can move forward with confidence. By talking to a professional you’ll be better able to keep track of your progress and identify what you need to do next.
Technology can be an excellent servant but a dangerous master. It can disrupt sleep, create stress and suffocate your mental health. In today’s connected world however, it’s hard to disconnect completely from technology.
But a mental reset can be very beneficial and give you the time and space you need to restore balance. In fact, the more time you spend away from technology, the more focused and calm you’ll become.
The physical benefits of unplugging are numerous. It can increase creativity, clear the mind and help you feel less stressed. It can also improve relationships and strengthen self-confidence.
You can improve your health and focus more on your hobbies and interests. Being more mindful can lead to a happier and more satisfying life. By avoiding excessive technology usage, you’ll have more free time to recharge yourself, reconnect with others and will feel more alive.
The best way to begin? Just pick a time to unplug for 60 seconds, and then increase the time every week. Don’t be afraid to make the time.
Bonus Tip – Daily Affirmations
Affirmations work by reprogramming our brains to believe statements we repeat and can help us focus and overcome negative thought patterns. They can also promote self-confidence by redirecting our focus to our strengths.
While affirmations are not a magic pill that will give us instant success, they can help change your mindset to achieve your goals. The science behind this method is known as neuroplasticity. But, the benefits of using affirmations are enormous.
So what should your affirmations be? They should:
- Be positive and dynamic
- Personal to you
- Be repeated at least 3x a day, with energy
Affirmations are also helpful in helping you appreciate the little things in life. Certain affirmations include expressing gratitude for little things that you find pleasing. As long as you practice saying these sentences every day, you’ll soon see a difference in your mood and overall happiness. It’s amazing how powerful these statements are. Just think of all the things you’ve got in your life that you’ve never thought of before. You’ll be surprised at how much change you’ve been able to achieve in such a short period of time.
As you can see, there are many ways to clear your mind and relax, and I hope you’ve found this article helpful!
Always remember to forgive yourself if you make a wrong decision, dwelling on mistakes doesn’t help. And while you need to feel your emotions, you don’t need to hold onto them.
Until next time