We have thousands of thoughts every day, both conscious and subconscious. It can sometimes feel like we can’t shut these thoughts out, leading to feelings of stress and overwhelm. If you’re struggling to prevent rumination or your thoughts are triggering a stress response, it’s imperative to find methods to cope. Fortunately, there are several ways you can clear your mind and experience some surprising benefits.
Many of those thoughts swirling around in your head don’t need a solution, but they do need somewhere to go. Expressive writing, where you write down your thoughts and emotions, can be a way in which to give your brain a break from a state of overdrive.
If the prospect of blank pages daunts you, you can even purchase guided journals for wellness and productivity that offer a starting point. You can then let your thoughts flow freely on paper, giving your brain a chance to relax while also allowing for cognitive restructuring.
Cognitive restructuring involves changing your thinking through understanding your moods and feelings. It’s a multi-step process, but one that requires consistency and use throughout each part of your life to see the benefits of mental clarity.
The first step involves calming yourself through meditation and deep breathing. You can then identify the reason for your mood or feelings and write them down for clarity. Identify your automatic or natural thoughts when you experienced those feelings, then find evidence to support and contradict your emotions. Once you’ve viewed both sides of the story, you can view your emotions from an outside perspective. After going through these several steps, you may notice that your mind has improved, and your focus has shifted.
Meditation is the process of putting your focus on one thing, activity, or thought to train your awareness and achieve mental clarity. Many studies have shown the benefits of meditation, such as reducing negative emotions, avoiding rumination, and focusing on the present.
The beauty of meditation is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t cost anything and merely requires your commitment and consistency to achieve the benefits of clarity that you desire. There are also several apps and online resources for guided meditations if you’re unsure where to begin.
Many people find themselves carrying out a task without really focusing on it. Instead, their mind is filled with thoughts of the past and the future. Practicing mindfulness in everyday life allows you to focus on the present instead. The more you practice mindfulness and focus on your mental well being, the clearer your mind can be.
Try it with everyday tasks like chopping vegetables for dinner or washing the dishes. Instead of thinking about the past or future, focus on the chopping motion, the sound of the knife clashing against the vegetable and the slosh of the water over your plates. Use all your senses to remain in this moment while leaving your thoughts for another time.
Exercise can be helpful for our muscles, fitness, and overall health, but it can also have profound mental health benefits. Several studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are happier at work, less overwhelmed, and experience mind-clearing benefits like organization and decision-making skills. Another study even showed that exercise stimulates the growth of a protein that’s involved with cognitive enhancement.
Our everyday lives are full of stress triggers. However, it’s how we handle them that may make all the difference. Experience mental clarity by welcoming new mental wellbeing techniques into your everyday life.