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5 Ways To Clear The Mind: Overcoming Stress In Life

Person relaxing by a lake with feet up.

Even for the most chilled-out amongst us, life can – and does – get stressful. Whether it’s a demanding schedule, a personal challenge or just plain ol’ life, most of us need ways to clear our mind. We need help to focus on the now instead of stressing about the hard stuff or worrying about things we have to do later.

Distraction

One of the best ways to clear your mind of negative thoughts or worries is to find distraction. Whether that means reading a good book, watching a movie or making a lunch date with a friend, distracting yourself makes your mind focus on the activity rather than the thoughts that keep swirling around your head. Socializing, in general (yes – even if you’re an introvert) helps you to feel happier and forget your stresses. You’ll come back feeling lighter with a clearer mind and be better able to decide your next course of action.

Substitution

People talking in a group.

Socializing.

If you’re the type of person who reads a suggestion like “distract yourself” and laughs because no matter what you do, you cannot forget what’s on your mind, you may be better off trying out substitution. It might sound impossible, but since your conscious mind can only concentrate fully on one specific thought, focus on changing that negative thought into a positive one.

Whether that means seeing the positive in the situation, or changing the thought entirely, this technique can help keep you calmer and in control of your happiness. Think of it as your own form of the spell “Riddikulus!” – you’re not forgetting that the Boggart exists; you’re turning it into something that makes you smile. (Harry Potter is the answer to all life’s problems, in general.)

Write It Down

Person writing in a notebook.

Writing.

It’s amazing how much calmer you can feel by writing things down. If you have 127 things flying around your head that you can’t afford to forget, write them down – this way, they don’t have to take up space in your mind, and you will feel calmer because you’re not worrying about forgetting something.

You can also divide your list into sections such as ‘Urgent for today’, ‘Can do tomorrow’, ‘Can do this week’ and ‘Would like to do, but not a must’, or other such headers, so you’re better able to prioritize and manage your time. If you enjoy writing, starting a blog is a really good way to de-clutter your mind through words. It also connects with others who read your blog and can offer help and support.

Meditation

Woman meditating on grass to clear her mind.

Meditation

If you’ve never tried meditation, you might be surprised at how effective it can be at calming you down and contributing to your inner peace. It isn’t just physically relaxing; it’s mentally relaxing, too. Meditation makes you aware of your senses and feelings. It actually affects how stressed your brain tells your body it should be. Meditating while diffusing essential oils can be even more effective.

If you’re going through a particularly stressful period in your life, set aside at least 15 minutes a day to completely relax and clear your mind through meditation. You’ll become more in touch with yourself and your feelings and be able to focus better.

Let Your Attitude Be Gratitude

Taking a few minutes each day to write down five things you’re grateful for can seriously affect the way you feel. While the first day might not bring much of a difference; with time, you’ll start to notice that you’re actually looking for things to be grateful for. The good things in life will become more obvious than the struggles or stresses. You’ll find yourself becoming more relaxed, happier, and better able to focus on the blessings in your life.

Conclusion

While a little bit of anxiety is good for us, as it can often give us a surge of adrenaline to get things done, too much anxiety can really get in the way of living a normal life. Not to mention, anxiety can often cause the problem that we’re stressing about in the first place. For example, if you’re super-nervous for that job interview to the point that you don’t sleep the night before and therefore can’t think straight, you’re not likely to make the best impression. Your anxiety for a poor performance can actually be the cause of your poor performance.

Therefore, it’s important to find ways to clear your mind, so you can live a happier, more focused and more productive life. It might take a bit of practice, but in the long-run, you’ll thank me for it! Pick a suggestion that resonates with you, and start incorporating it into your life. You’ll be surprised at the huge difference it can make!

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