What Do You Do To Clear Your Mind?

One of the most common problems surrounding mental health is cluttered thinking. Do you have any strategies to clear your mind?

There are many reasons why your brain may not be acting a peak efficiency. As a result, if you cannot clear your mind of distracting thoughts, you likely will be unable to focus. This in turn may lead to not being able to accomplish much.

For example, there may be a physical problem with your brain that negatively impacts your mental health. There might be a hormone imbalance, or a physical malformation, or something else entirely. In addition, neurologists still don’t know exactly how the brain works — or why it malfunctions.

However, even if the brain is fine on a physiological level, there may still be distractions. Too little sleep may lead to a decrease in performance. You might be worried or anxious about something else, and unable to block out your other concerns.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


Even in the case of nothing being wrong at all, you still may have trouble concentrating. If you have a lengthy mental to-do list, you may be thinking about emails you need to answer, tasks that you need to do, or errands you need to run. These things might take away from your ability to focus on one primary task.

In that case, clearing your mind of mental clutter is necessary. However, doing so is easier said than done. Do you have any tips or tricks that you follow for this? When your mind is racing, how do you calm it? Do you try, say, meditation? Isolation? Noise cancelling headphones? Breathing exercises?

What do you do to clear your mind?

Related questions: What is necessary to change your mind? Could everyone benefit from therapy? Focus or squirrel?

What Is The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Giving — or getting — advice is a tricky thing. You have to be in the right frame of mind to hear advice and really learn a lesson from it.

And yet, given at the right time, by the right person, in the right way, advice can be life-changing. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that wise counsel can change the course of your future, and can influence some of the most momentous decisions from that point on.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you show thanks?’


It can come from many possible sources. Some are expected, like parents or a mentor. You might come across it in an inspirational book, perhaps a teacher or a religious figure. Or it might come from a less-expected source, like someone you don’t know particularly well, or perhaps a fortune cookie. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest sources, as long as you are open to it.

Have you gotten powerful, meaningful guidance that has stayed with you over the years? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Related questions: What advice would you give your past self? Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? Who inspires you? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned?

 

How Do You Grow?

In an ideal world, we would keep improving, getting better nearly every day. For that to happen, though, you need to know how to grow.

Most of us start our growth as toddlers, under the care of our parents. We learn to talk, then to read, and we start to learn about the world around us.

That growth continues in a more formal academic environment: school. We have classes and textbooks, homework and essays. Elementary school is followed by high school, and maybe college, and possibly even more advanced schooling, like law school or medical school.

Some people manage to grow best in this sort of environment. Learning this way might include multiple advanced degrees, extension school, or even just adult education classes. A structured learning environment, with lectures, exams, and homework suit some people very well.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you show thanks?’


After graduating, we might also learn on the job. For example, our co-workers or a mentor might help us grow, and some employers offer classes on appropriate subjects.

Additionally, there is self-guided learning. An individual might read extensively on their own, attend lectures, or even just have in-depth conversations with friends from all walks of life.

Growth, of course, is not limited to learning. You might also grow by overcoming past trauma, or recognizing your own biases. Knowing your own shortcomings, and determining how to minimize them or even turn them into strengths, can be most beneficial.

All these, and others, are ways to learn and and expand your horizons. Do you have a preferred way? How do you grow? And what would you recommend to a friend or family member?

Related questions: What experience helped you grow? How do you learn? What are you doing to improve yourself? What do you wish you had learned as a child?

How Can You Change Your Attitude?

There are times when, to overcome an obstacle of some sort, all you need to do is change your attitude. But how can this be done?

Some common emotions, like frustration or anger, don’t actually accomplish much. Typically, they don’t help you to arrive at a solution any sooner. They can even make thinking other thoughts difficult.

A change of attitude is called for. If, instead of anger, you approach a situation with curiosity, better results may occur. Or empathy, or determination, or even no thoughts at all.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you think others see you?’


But this is easier said than done. Negative emotions can be overwhelming. drowning out everything else. They can also be counterproductive, going so far as to sabotage positive, or helpful thoughts.

So what tricks or coping mechanisms have you found to help you change your approach? How can you change your attitude?

Related questions: How can we turn sadness into constructive action? Why do we hate? What is the right amount of emotion? How can we turn ideas into actions?

How Has High School Influenced Your Identity?

Our high school experiences can’t help but influence our life and identity, and that’s true of practically everyone.

The reason is that at the time that we are approaching or in high school, we are in the process of maturing, emotionally, physically, and mentally. We are discovering who we are, what we like and don’t like, what we can or can’t do, and so on.

That it happens to coincide with spending 7+ hours a day in a building together with the same group of peers and teachers means those people and experiences will take on a profound meaning.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


For some people, high school is full of growth and liberation, a time of discovery. For others, it might be a time of persecution. You can discover there are others like you, or that you are alone.

Are there traits or behaviors that you have today that you can trace to an experience you had in high school? How has high school influenced your identity?

Related questions: High school or college? Why do we like what we like? How have you changed? What was the best time in your life? How do you learn?

Thanks to Ingrid Moon for the question.