Do you often find yourself feeling worried or stressed? You’re not alone – an unbelievable 77% of people in the US regularly experience the physical symptoms caused by stress.
The good news is that there are lots of effective methods that you can use to clear your mind and say goodbye to stress. These aren’t quirky or kooky techniques either: these are science-backed strategies that you can use to dramatically improve your quality of life today.
Let’s take a deep breath together and dive into some of the wonderful ways that you can achieve mental clarity. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”
1. Practice Mindfulness
There is no contesting that for many people, the world we live in is packed with distractions and sources of stress that steal attention away from the here and now.
You might listen to your favorite podcast on the way to work while dodging through an endless stream of strangers doing the same. Once you’re home, you might tuck into some food while watching a show on Netflix and checking the news on your phone.
It can all get a bit much.
If you don’t give yourself time to think about what you’re doing in the here and now, you might find that life passes you by in a flash. It’s a terribly stressful way to live, so you should do your best to practice mindfulness.
There are lots of mindfulness strategies that you can use to focus on the present moment and relish what you’re doing.
A wide range of scientific literature points toward the various benefits of mindfulness: people who practice mindfulness enjoy healthy aging, weight management, improved athletic performance, and more.
2. Know When to Use Suppression
Life is filled with challenging moments that cause lots of pain and worry. At one point or another, everybody will struggle to get these thoughts off their minds – it can feel like those thoughts begin to consume your entire existence and you lose all clarity of mind.
It’s important that you don’t run from the problems in your life, but you have to know when to say “enough is enough.”
Some problems can’t be solved by thinking about them constantly and in trying to do so, you’ll only cause more anxiety and stress for yourself. You should know when it’s time to temporarily put those thoughts to one side for future examination.
Imagine a storage box within your mind where you can place those thoughts. You’re not pushing them down to manifest in unhealthy ways – you’re simply putting them on ice temporarily to look after your own mental health.
There are countless types of meditation out there. A range of studies have identified the benefits of meditation, which range all the way from lower levels of stress to improved longevity and life expectancy.
Despite the fact that meditation is accepted as an effective way to manage stress and improve happiness, some people still associate meditation with esoteric practices.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. There are lots of ways to meditate and you will be able to find a method that fits with your priorities and lifestyle. This will help you to extinguish the stress in your life and clear your mind.
If you’re new to meditation, check out these resources:
- Our top meditation tools
- Our top meditation books
- Best meditation apps
- 9 Ways to Meditate for People That Don’t Meditate
- How to Create a Relaxing Meditation Room At Home
4. Replace Your Negative Thoughts
Rumination is a big cause of stress. Ruminating thoughts are those frustrating thoughts that come back again and again. We all know them – we think that we’re free of them and the next moment we’re stuck in the same loop walking a well-worn path.
It can be very stressful to get stuck in this loop. You might feel like you can’t break free, but there are techniques that you can use to put a stop to the frustrating cycle.
One of the main ways to tackle rumination is to distract yourself and break the thought cycle. If you realize that you’re going around, again and again, make an effort to do something else and stop the cycle.
You could decide to watch a movie, for instance, or go for a walk. Chores are another way to distract yourself, or you could decide to call a friend.
This isn’t running away from your problems; it’s breaking an unhealthy thought cycle that causes you stress and clouds your mind.
5. Enjoy a Nice Workout
There are very strong links between your body and your mind. If you find that your thoughts are causing you stress and making it impossible to clear your mind, you could make a physical change to improve your situation.
Many people find that some physical activity can help them to achieve mental clarity. Science shows that this is because exercise can create new neurons, increase blood flow, and regulate your hormones.
Those factors mean that exercise can have a definite positive impact on your mental state and help you to really clear your mind.
6. Get Outside
If you want to clear your mind quickly, there’s nothing quite as effective as getting outside and experiencing a change of scenery. We all know what it feels like to be in the midst of thick brain fog, and staying in the same environment doesn’t help.
If you decide to move outside, you might find that the change of scenery helps you to switch your mindset and your thought pattern. There are lots of studies that demonstrate how spending time in nature can help to clear a person’s mind to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
Getting up and out doesn’t just improve your mental health, either. It helps you to incorporate a form of workout into your day – you should try to use these opportunities outside to walk and explore.
7. Focus on Your Diet
If you are going to clear your mind successfully, you’ve got to give yourself every chance of success – this means looking at every area of your life to make positive changes. An important area to consider is your diet.
If you have a poor diet, you might find that your body is unable to cope with the physiological symptoms of stress. If you have a high blood sugar level, you will find that you are more prone to feelings of panic and distraction.
You should try as hard as possible to eat a healthy and balanced diet that keeps your body sturdy and strong. This will help you to reduce distractions and achieve the mental clarity that you’re looking for.
There are lots of factors that affect the quality of your diet, but here are some highlights to help you get on the right track:
- Eat a range of fruit and vegetable each day
- Get appropriate amounts of protein to reduce the amount of sugar released into the bloodstream
- Avoid highly-refined foods with hidden sugars – and excess alcohol
- Try to develop a regular eating routine to boost your energy levels and mood.
And if you’re looking for some more resources, check these articles out:
- Can Switching to a Vegan Diet Relieve Stress?
- How Changing Your Diet Can Transform Your Entire Life
- 10 Best Foods to Fight Anxiety
- 10 Stress Relieving Foods to Add Into Your Diet Right Now
- 8 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating And Get Real Results
8. Relish the Process of Breathing
Breathing exercises can help you to clear your mind and put your worries behind you. These short and simple breathing exercises have been proven to increase the amount of oxygen moving to your organs – including your brain.
Your brain uses almost 20% of the oxygen that you take into your body, despite the fact that it only accounts for 2% of your total body weight. Your brain needs all of this oxygen and without it, its performance can quickly become affected.
If you feel stressed and confused, you should take the time to focus on your breathing to provide your brain with the oxygen that it needs. There is a range of simple breathing exercises just waiting to be tried and the easiest may be diaphragmatic breathing.
To do this, follow these simple steps:
- Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose and push that air to your stomach but make sure that your chest doesn’t move.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth and let your stomach sink inwards.
This exercise helps you to take in more oxygen and you can try it while meditating. Focusing on your breath can help you to achieve mental focus and eliminate the clutter in your mind.
Here are 10 more quick and easy breathing exercises to try out too!
9. Give Yourself Small Breaks
Remember: this is your life and you should enjoy it. If you feel like you have too much on your mind at any one moment, feel free to give yourself a small break – there’s no pressure and you are free to control your own time.
When it’s all getting a bit much, give yourself a few minutes to try a breathing exercise – or any of the tips above.
We hope that these effective methods help you to clear your mind and feel better than ever before!