Do you want to be happy? Do you want to feel at peace with yourself and the world? Of course, you do. Finding fulfillment is the ultimate human goal – the thing that all our actions try to move us toward, whether we know it or not. For this post, We’ve compiled a top-five list of mental tricks. Learning how to clear your mind decreases stress, improves your concentration, and is vital to your mental health.
As you’re learning how to clear your mind, a mind-clearing practice may look like sitting down and going through a nourishing meditation or breath practice. Breathing is, honestly, the easiest and best way to clear your mind. Even taking a few deep breaths in and out and feeling and noticing the breath will bring you right back to the present moment.
In yoga, we call this breath Same Vrti, meaning a 1:1 breath ratio. It can also be translated as “box breathing.” The idea is to make the length of your inhales and exhales the same, as this allows you to take in more oxygen and slow down the chatter of the monkey mind. It also kicks on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and digestion, offering many health benefits in the long run.
This will allow your heart rate to slow down so that you can reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. It also aids in digestion, as the metabolism is back on track, and helps you physically process food and drink properly.
Exercise- Take a Walk
Going for a walk is a time-tested technique for a clear mind. But if you want to be consistently relaxed and content, you need to make lasting changes to your brain. Aerobic exercise is the way to do it. Studies suggest that exercise is associated with control over your thoughts – the prefrontal cortex, which controls thinking, is larger in people who exercise. Exercise can also help you sleep, so it’s an essential step if you’re wondering how to clear your mind to help with insomnia.
Let Go Of Negativity
It’s you and you alone who are in charge of what goes through your mind — but somehow many of us allow ourselves to become bogged down with negative thoughts. If you go around thinking negatively all the time, then you’re never going to be in a particularly good mood, so it’s best to let go of negative thoughts whenever possible, as it will relieve your mind of excessive stress. After all, if something has made you mad, what good is there in stewing over it all day?
Write Your Thoughts
Alternatively, another powerful practice for when you’re learning how to clear your mind is sitting down and writing out all of the thoughts in your head. We call this a “brain dump,” and it is an effective method for simply releasing your thoughts so that you can mentally breathe and process things better.
Grab a piece of paper and write out all of the thoughts that are pressing for your attention. The idea is not to analyze the thoughts or fix them, but to give those thoughts an exit so that you can move on with your day without fixating on them aggressively. This can look like a laundry list of thoughts, or a diary entry.
Afterward, feel free to close your journal or rip up the paper as part of your stress management. You don’t need to hold on to what you wrote, but it does help to see the expression of what you’re holding on to mentally. Likewise, this practice is very potent to do at night before bedtime. So many of us struggle to sleep soundly with many thoughts bouncing back and forth, and this exercise before bed can allow us to enter a deeper level of rest.
Although the strategies of using suppression and substitution were found to be equally effective at voluntarily forgetting unwanted memories, the researchers at Cambridge found that they activated very distinct neural circuits.
If suppression doesn’t work, you might want to put on your “rose-tinted glasses” and try a substitution, by using your imagination to pretend you’re in a different place or experiencing something else.
The Cambridge researchers found that memory substitution was supported by the caudal prefrontal cortex and midventrolateral prefrontal cortex. These are two regions typically involved in bringing specific memories into awareness in the presence of distracting memories.
The next time you need to clear your mind, remember that you can forget unwanted memories by either suppressing them or substituting them with more desirable ones and that each of these tactics engages distinct neural pathways.