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?

4 thoughts on “What Do You Do To Clear Your Mind?”

  1. Two surefire ways to clear my mind are through listening to music and exercise. Sometimes they accompany one another.

    Listening to music may be putting on my headphones and shuffling up my 756 favorite songs — that’s how long my current in order choice list is. Or, I love to get on YouTube and watch live performances of new music highlighted on, amongst other streaming alternative channels, ‘The Current, KXEP, or NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts.” Live U2 concert clips serve me well too.

    For exercise, I used to love running to clear my mind, but, unfortunately, my body’s misalignment has made me more injury prone with age. Brisk walking at a steep incline on my treadmill works pretty well. I also love piecing together the following favorite yoga poses specifically accessed to clear my mind: Half Moon with Hands to Feet, Crow, Camel, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, and Rabbit poses.

  2. Somewhere I picked up a visualization technique that I use whenever my brain is buzzing with unwelcome thoughts.

    I think of my mind as the surface of a pond. Any thought I have — my nose itches, the light sure is bright, how did that thing get put there? — creates ripples on the pond. My goal is to keep the pond’s surface completely still for as long as I can.

    I suppose it is a form of meditation, although when I started using it I didn’t think of it in those terms.

    1. Another technique I sometimes try with racing thoughts is to lean into it. If My mind is jumping all over the place, I’ll try to consciously think of as many things as I can in as short a time span as possible.

      I’ll purposefully try to make each successive item as different as possible from the previous one. I find this tires my brain out, and after a minute or two of doing it, my mental state will “crash” from exhaustion. And *poof!* no more racing thoughts.

  3. Dog head. Literally. I place my hand on my dog’s head and just let it rest there for a few moments. All the clutter falls away and my mind focuses on that singular act.

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