how-to-reduce-stress

3 Simple Strategies for Clearing Your Mind

After coming home from a long day at work, your mind tends to be overloaded. Tasks at work, chores at home, and goals you’ve been neglecting are fighting for your attention. Clearing them out would give you the resources you need to refocus your goals and accomplish the tasks that are most important.

But how?

I have had success with a few tactics that help me clear my mind when things get a little crazy.

1) Low Level Tasks

Low level tasks like washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, or tidying the house can you give you a break from the higher level thought demands of daily life.

Take time to do those chores you don’t enjoy, but let your mind drift while doing them.  Envision yourself fulfilling your goals or performing the steps you’ll take towards your goals once you finish your chores.

I hated washing dishes when I was younger. I recently started washing dishes by hand and I’ve found that it is a much needed break from the more complicated aspects of life.

The lack of pressure helps you think clearer. You create a low pressure environment to sort your thoughts and emotions and prioritize the rest of your obligations/desires/needs.

2) Exercise

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and to clear your mind for a time. I like to focus on performing exercises that require little thought.

For me, I have been weightlifting for years, so it tends to be my stress-relieving, mind-clearing workout of choice. If you lack experience in the gym or with exercise, there is an easy way to get started.

The simplest step you can take towards improving your fitness is to begin daily walking. Start by walking for a set time. This time can be different for everyone. If you are really out of shape, maybe start with 30 minutes at a slow pace. As your walks become easier, then begin to increase the length, the pace, or both.

This is progressive overload. As your body adapts, you need to challenge it by increasing the demand. This concept can be used successfully in all aspects of personal development and growth. View this as an opportunity to improve your fitness, provide a time to clear your mind, and practice your skills for growth.

3) Learn Something New

Clearing your mind can involve loading it with new information and experiences. Some of the best examples for mind-clearing, learning activities are reading a book on a topic you’ve been interested in, cooking a new recipe, learning a new exercise, finding a new way home, etc.

Private study is a very free experience. You’re able to do it however you like. You can focus on the key points that interest you the most, and you can ignore topics you think are a waste.

The difference between guided study and private study was overwhelming to me when I started. Learning the things that I cared about most, while saving time on the topics I viewed as unimportant was a much more fulfilling experience. I find  it tends to intensify my hunger for knowledge versus the stifling nature of structured teaching.

What you study is only limited by your imagination and desire. Learning something new will require focus on the new information/technique, and allow all other attention-demanding thoughts to move to the back of your mind.

Not only will you be picking up a new skill, but you will be freeing your mind of the stresses of the day. That’s known as a win/win situation.

Evaluate and Prioritize

The idea behind clearing your mind is not to abandon obligations. Clearing your mind will require you to evaluate if any demanding thoughts actually are important and need your attention.

If that’s the case, then don’t go and skip them or attempt to clear them from your mind. Address them, conquer them, and then go about freeing yourself from the weights of the day/month/year.

What Do You Do?

Do you have any strategist that you’ve personally had success with? Do you think any of my strategies above are bogus? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to discuss it with you.

Derek is extremely passionate about personal development and helping others achieve success.  Subscribe for more on uncovering your personal passion, living a life worth living, physical and mental conditioning and more at his Personal Development blog.

  • http://www.screwthesystemnow.com/ ScrewtheSystemJoe

    I like this Derek, I’m not the only one who gains clarity when washing the dishes!
    It’s funny how you tend to have your best ideas when not directly engaged in what you’re doing. The power of letting go!

    • Derek McCullough

      Exactly! I think our brains have a way of naturally sorting things out if we just get out of the way. It can be very hard to just let go for a bit, but often as soon as you do,BAM! Solutions present themselves.

  • Lorna Kring

    Some interesting points Derek, thanks for writing. Getting my ideas down on paper helps me to clear out the mental debris… just a quick note lets your brain know that it doesn’t have to maintain vigilance and frees up energy and attention.

    • Derek McCullough

      Great Idea Lorna!
      I carry a little Mead memo book around with me everywhere I go. It definitely provides relief knowing I don’t have to try extra hard to just hold onto all the ideas spilling out of my brain.

    • Ankit yadav

      I totally agree with you… :)
      Writing down stuff, just unloads the mind from making sure to remember the ideas… And as you said, the result if more energy, focus and clarity….

  • http://www.shellydrymon.com/ Shelly Drymon

    For me it’s folding laundry that provides that meditative quality I need to unclutter my brain! Exercise, such an important but neglected way to relieve stress and clear your mind. Great tips!!!

    • Derek McCullough

      Shelly,
      Thanks for your input.
      I think sharing what works for us can open peoples eye’s to possibilities they’ve never thought about before.

  • josephine

    I agree

  • josephine

    I was always on the fast pace lifestyle and became overwhelmed. I was rushing with everything , doingdishes with machine, drying with machine, and recently I also started washing by hand and I
    it gave me a stop to just be able to reflect on myself

    • Derek McCullough

      Josephine,
      I agree. I was always rushing in life. Sometimes I fall back into those old habits of reliance and lose my moments for clarity, but I usually manage to push myself back towards the light so to speak ha.

  • Mary

    I like these ideas. I always tell my family that doing the dishes is my mental health time. Now it makes sense.

    • Derek McCullough

      I’m glad I was able to clear that up. I hope they have their own mental health times as well, ha.

  • Ankit yadav

    I use a simple technique to stop my mental chatter.. Every time I wish to clear out my mind, I simply start BREATHING CONSCIOUSLY… It takes practice as we are use do it subconsciously… But every time your mind wanders off, you need to gently bring it back and focus on your breathing…. Focus on the air being inhaled and then exhaled…. Since the mind is designed to do only one thing consciously at a time, your mind shall become clear and you’ll start feeling light….

  • dee

    I sing

  • George Buckland

    I find that listening to a talk radio programme with headphones clears my mind. I guess this has the same effect as study as explained by Derek in point 3.

  • bunyonb

    Idiot. Learning something new is what got my mind foggy in the first place. Ever tried programming?