Stress comes for all of us, and even the most relaxed person can end up feeling overwhelmed at times. When you have so much going on in your brain that there’s no downtime – this can lead to negative thoughts, increased anxiety and a lack of ideas and creativity.
Unfortunately, unlike with your home, there’s no way to spring clean your mind to get rid of the clutter. Right? Well, actually there are some things that you can do to declutter your mind and gain mental clarity over your thoughts.
Mindfulness teaches us to live in the present moment, and focusing intently on one thing can help to empty your mind of other thoughts completely. It tells us to be aware of what is happening right now only, and to clear the mind of all other thoughts.
If negative thoughts are getting you down, or you’re finding your to do list a little overwhelming, practicing mindfulness can help. Paying attention to your breathing, accepting yourself and being in the moment is for many, the path to a clear mind.
Mindfulness and meditation are intertwined with one another, and some people refer to mindfulness as a form of meditation. Though, meditation has a greater emphasis of focus and requires you to be mindful to truly reach a state of meditation.
Some people try guided meditation once or twice, don’t see the benefits and move on with their life. However, meditation can help to reduce stress, eliminate anxiety and bring a greater sense of awareness about our life.
Both Taoism and Buddhism have meditation as a core concept. Laozi (Lao Tzu) said to “Empty yourself of everything, let your mind become still.”, and Buddha teaching that a clear mind was essential for acquiring nirvana.
Finding a quiet place to meditate can help you to gain more clarity over your mind, and it can become a great tool to help you clear your mind of negative energy.
Deep breathing is a large part of meditation, and when you breathe deeply focusing on your inhale and exhale, you can achieve an empty mind.
Writing and/or Drawing
Putting pen to paper can help you express your emotions. As new thoughts enter your mind, write them down on paper to get them out – even if they’re nonsense. In the beginning you may feel a little silly, but it’s proven that writing by hand is good for brains.
If you struggle with writing, you can use drawing or another form of creativity to help express yourself. Even doodling on paper can help improve your memory, eliminate stress and contribute towards a clear mind.
Another method of writing you can try is journalling. Writing a 5 minute journal at the end of every day can help you to get unwanted thoughts and concerns out of your brain and onto paper.
When people think of an empty mind, they typically think of complete silence and meditation. Whilst this works, physical movement and exercise can also be a major contributor to mental clarity.
Making exercise part of your regular week is a great idea, as it works to increase blood flow and keep brains active. Good examples are running or jogging, yoga and pilates.
If you can, try and do some exercise outside in nature. The gym is great for your body, but getting some fresh air outside whilst exercising can be great for your mind too.
Listening to Music
Music has the ability to evoke raw emotion, but it can also be used to clear your mind too. You can use music to help you increase focus, but the right type of music can give you a feeling of relaxation and serenity.
Most people find that listening to soothing music can bring them a feeling of peace, and it’s proven to work as a form of relaxation.
This is why they play such a big role in many meditation and yoga practice techniques. You can find plenty of relaxing playlists on Spotify or YouTube to tune in to.
A good way to attain mental clarity, reading is an essential if you want to keep your brain as sharp as it can be. Not only can reading help your brain function better, it can also improve your memory and focus, as well as offering you an escape from your life – even if it’s only temporary.
This doesn’t have to take up a great deal of your time. Reading for 20 minutes at night before bed can be a great distraction, and can help you to stay calm and stop worrying about the smaller things in life.
Improve Eating Habits
Eating better foods at a slower pace can help digestion and eliminate brain fog, which can cloud your brain and stop it from thinking clearly. Switching to a minimalist diet could make a difference when it comes to your mind.
Many of us eat in-between shifts at work, or whilst driving in the car. Taking a break and deep breaths whilst you’re eating is a form of mindfulness that can help you to both enjoy and appreciate your food more, whilst also helping to clear your mind – if you eat the right things.
There are various different foods that can be eaten to keep your brain healthy, like green tea, avocado, olive oils and greens like broccoli and spinach. Cleaning up your diet and eating slowly is a sure fire way to reduce brain fog and become more mindful over what you eat.
You may also want to track how much water you’re drinking on a daily basis. Drinking enough water is crucial to your brain functioning properly, so make sure that you get enough H2O on a regular basis if you want a clear mind.
Alone, these small habits may not sound like much. But when you combine them together, they become a highly effective way to clear your mind. And an empty mind can allow you to concentrate more and be distracted by your thoughts less.
As a result, these improvements will affect the rest of your life – you’ll begin to sleep better and feel more relaxed, which can make a big difference when it comes to a cluttered mind and reducing your mental strain.