Clear mind

7 Simple Ways to Clear Your Mind



Do you ever feel like your brain is tied in knots?  Do
your thoughts resemble a massive ball of string,
wound messily and tightly together?  Are you unsure
of what to do next?

This feeling is all too common in a world of sensory
overload and multiple responsibilities.  The
ultrabusy person sometimes feels like thoughts
don’t even get a chance to fully form.
At times of high stress, where we are trying to
satisfy multiple demands at once, it feels like
our minds are being constricted with warring priorities.

Let’s talk about some ways to untangle, unwind, and
refocus.  Here are seven simple tips to clear
your mind and get your mental house in order.
You can try any one of them, several or even all
of them. They are listed here in no particular
order:

1. Write madly to get some mental breathing room.

Writing is a proven way to help organize your
thoughts.  Morning pages, as popularized by *Julia
Cameron* in The Artist’s Way, are a way to adopt
the habit of clearing your mind on paper.
Three handwritten pages, done daily, can clear out
your conscious thoughts and bring unconscious
clutter to the surface.  Some people write memoirs
as a more in-depth way to clear their consciences,
but we’re not trying to do that here.  We’re just
trying to open up some space for your thoughts
to breathe.

If you don’t have the time to devote to writing
regular morning pages, consider a speedier
approach.  Try writing as quickly as possible
with whatever time you have.  Don’t
worry about what you are writing and don’t
worry if you can read it afterward. Use
the speed writing to loosen
mental knots as the activity itself becomes
a source of release.

2. Take deep breaths to calm yourself

Deep breathing as a relaxation technique is another well
documented way to regain some mental clarity. Deep
breathing increases the oxygen levels in your
body; the brain benefits from more oxygen.  Increased
oxygen flow is a known benefit of aerobic exercise;
this is a way to get some of those benefits quickly
and easily.

3. Go for a walk to get some temporary distance from
your thoughts

Walking might be the perfect and ideal aerobic exercise It
provides many of the same benefits of deep breathing along
with the benefits of exercising your muscles.  Sometimes we
need movement to burn off some of the excess energy that
anxiety squeezes into our minds.  As our rampaging thoughts
lose steam, we regain some much needed clarity.

4. Draw a picture to show what thoughts are on your mind

People have different learning styles and preferred means
of communication that vary between each person.  For
those of us who like a bit of physical and visual styles,
drawing may be a way to combine both of these styles in a
way to clear your thoughts.  You don’t need to ask for
permission, just go ahead and draw.

You can draw simple pictures that show what’s on your mind.
You can make charts, graphs, or other images.  You can
just write words or phrases down about the things on your
mind and draw connections between them to understand what’s
going on, a kind of simple mind map.  Draw stick figures
and give them word balloons to display what’s bother you.
Give it a try!

5.Describe your desired end state and then work backward

There’s a technique called backward planning that could
come in handy for mental blockage.  If you’ve got
a big job coming up and you don’t have a lot
of time to do it, you start with your target date
for delivery and move backward.  Figure out what things
have to happen to finish the job.  Then find the
next set of things that need to happen before that,
and so on, until you get to the beginning.

Sometimes, in order to untangle a string, we need to
find the end and then work our way back to the
beginning.  Maybe you can do the same thing with
your thoughts?

6. Talk it out with another person

Then there are people who prefer talking
(or some who find it hard to do) instead of writing
or drawing.  That’s perfectly fine!  Maybe you just
need someone who’s willing to listen.  Explain your
problems or concerns to them.

The point here is not to force them to solve
your problems for you.  The objective is to
express your hopes, fears, and questions.  If you can
describe your concerns you can understand them better
and determine what’s important and what isn’t.

7. Ask for help from an expert

There are times when you need to go to the next
level to resolve the problems.  If your thoughts
are resulting in serious anxiety and you can’t
function normally, you may need to talk to a medical
professional to help you deal with your problems.
Or perhaps you have business problems that
require the help of a consultant or specialist.  

At some point, you have to make the determination
whether you can handle the situation yourself or
whether or not you need help.  That’s perfectly OK:
we all encounter problems where it makes more sense
to get help than to try to do it by ourselves.

I hope these seven tips will help you untangle
your thoughts and get back to a more productive
state of mind!


Mark Dykeman is an IT professional with several
years of blogging experience.  He writes the award-winning
blog Broadcasting Brain and recently started
Thoughtwrestling with some friends to help you wrestle
ideas to the ground, overpower problems, and become the champion of your great ideas.
  • http://mintresumes.wordpress.com Marsha Keeffer

    Nice, Mark. I’ve never done the ‘working backwards’ exercise – I’ll give it a go!

    • Mark Dykeman

      Thanks Marsha. It’s a technique that I’ve seen used more on my day job related to IT projects, but I think it can be used elsewhere. Good luck!

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  • http://www.officearrow.com Lauren – OfficeArrow

    These are all excellent suggestions. My personal favorite, however, is not mentioned and that is to sleep on it. If you are afforded a night’s sleep before you need to act on whatever you’re trying to focus on, I’d suggest it. Clearing your mind can actually be very simple. The key is doing something mindless so you have time to regroup like listening to music or taking a walk. Great post!

    • Mark Dykeman

      Sleeping on it is another great idea! Assuming that you have the time to do so…

  • http://www.OptimisticJourney.com Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    In addition to writing out thoughts, one can consider keeping a journal and using that as an outlet. Writing in a journal has been a great sense of healing for me in years past before I became a blogger.

    Although, I now right for the benefit of an audience, many of the topics are beneficial to me as well. I thoroughly agree with your tips.

    Great article and thanks for sharing!!

    • Mark Dykeman

      Journaling is another great practice!

  • http://abundance-blog.marelisa-online.com/2009/04/16/65-happiness-quotes/ Marelisa

    Hi Mark: I think that writing morning pages or journaling each day–or when you can–is a great way to get stuff off your mind so that you can concentrate on what’s really important to you. I also clear my head by going for a run outside (which I can do all year long since I live in the Tropics :-) ).

    • Mark Dykeman

      Marelisa, I think many of us envy your choice of home. :)

      • Nonya

        Smd Ahole

  • http://aftrlife.com Dale

    Good ideas! I’ve had good luck with a quick list of “bothers” each morning on the bottom of my todo list. It helps to just state what is bothering you and not keep it circling your brain all day.

    • Mark Dykeman

      Bothers, interesting idea… do you find yourself checking the list of “bothers” very often?

      • http://aftrlife.com Dale

        Hi Mark, writing the bothers down makes them less bothersome so I don’t check them often. They do tend to repeat over several days until I eliminate them or they eliminate themselves.
        Dale

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  • http://www.2knowmyself.com Farouk

    very nice post , sometimes i feel like i want to clear my mind after a long work day, certainly these advice can help. thanks Mark:)

  • http://www.knowledgereform.com/ Jason

    Some good advice here, but I feel the reason why we clutter our mind to begin with is that we like to complicate or lives instead of aiming to live with simplicity, as described by my following post:

    http://www.knowledgereform.com/2009/11/03/the-simple-way-of-living-towards-peace-of-mind/

    We also seem to think that if we accumalate knowledge (mostly superfluous) we can acheive our goals. Knowledge can help with doing a particular job, but can also fill a mind and obscure clarity in dealing with problem with the self. Hence, I feel that self-knowledge (which encourages discarding useless knowledge) is the key to self-improvement, as I have written in the following post:

    http://www.knowledgereform.com/2009/09/14/self-knowledge-is-power-knowledge-of-self-towards-successful-living/

  • http://enlightr.com Craig Thomas

    Nice post, bit of an odd formatting, but interesting. I’m visual, drawing out plans helps me clear my mind quite a bit.

    • Mark Dykeman

      Yes, sorry about the formatting.

  • http://www.online-motivator.com Ricardo Patrocínio

    Interesting post. Very good advice.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  • http://www.drjenniferhoward.com Jennifer Howard

    As a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher and someoone who has helped people work with their mind clutter, for more than 25 year, this list is great!

    These are some of the exact things I ask my clients to do and I use the results of these as grist for the mill. The information loosens the grip of the old habitual stronghold of their history.

    Thank you Mark for this meaningful blog post!

    Dr. Jennifer Howard

    • Mark Dykeman

      Thank you for your comment, Dr. Howard!

  • http://www.asktallgirl.com/ lisa

    I like go for a walk advice, definitely clears my mind.

  • http://www.richardshelmerdine.com/blog/ Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com

    Another thing about the writing madly part is that when you start writing you get random thoughts and problems out of running around your mind for hours onto paper where they can actually be dealt with with a plan of some kind.

  • Edward

    5.Describe your desired end state and then work backward

    thank you for this one! this is very helpful!

  • http://www.graphical.co.cc/ Decal Sticker

    Good advice and thank you for sharing. Helpful

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  • http://www.btr8dwn.com/ Boldy

    Greatings, ЎGracias por el artнculo. Cada vez que quieres leer.
    Gracias

    Boldy

  • http://www.mypromdresses.co.uk/ prom gowns

    i need to clear my mind,thx!

  • Steven Mcormick

    I think we are forgetting something here, SEX.

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  • http://twitter.com/DakotaDidYou DakotaDidYou

    this is bull shit or maybe im just looking for answer to a different question 

  • Richard A.

    Thanks Mark. I know this is old but I wanted you to know it helped me get over a hump today. I’ll be referring to it again.

  • Professor Q

    There are many ways to clear the mind. This is a great approach. I have also you companies like http://www.meditunes.org , that offers a great innovative approach as well. Great stuff though! 

  • Eliebaz911

    im afraid when my head’s tied in knots i cannot sleep im up all night thinking, and cannot do any of the above because well it’s night 

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  • Test

    I always do the writing but sometimes I’m too down n stressed to even do it much anymore…its not always easy to me one of the best thing to do is talk it out in praying

  • johnson

    thnx ill  run baackward and improve my steps for future. then after finishing backward steps i would look into the future.this article really helped me alot

    • Flapjack154

      I’m pretty sure my problem has nothing to do with stress or anything like that, because I’m just a 14 year old kid. I just have so many thoughts going in my head that I can literally think about 3 things at once… Any ideas on how to clear my mind?

      • Will

        Just let it ride, things aren’t as negative as they seem

      • Jot Nar

        Your a kid..so go outside an Be one..have Fun..dont Think.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/45KLKL2OZMCLKKLQ57AC47IRSQ Kevin

    thx

  • Ty Holsclaw

    this wasnt what i was looking for i was looking forgay porn

  • Angelnimer

    my mind is clear but its to clear , it hurts when i try to think i can”t even get mental pictures in my head any more  ,,,    its like a biblical thing for me once when i got it back i didn”t see the world the way most people do its like my brain is a virgin,,,, and when it saw the world it saw it as a constantly moving never ending cycle of clueless people and satans leading them all to him i see so differently i see horriffic  bible  scriptures coming to life right before my eyes an evry body is a ball of energy living of the world and very few living for god and they dont even know it its like satan is =the leader and right here on earth and leading ppl to him and  hes doing that by controlling their mind threw electronics and materialistic  values and the GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE WALKING WITH GOD are not using these things because they  can see what its doing to those who use it so they cant go with out their electronic devices and thats how satan is controlling them because they cant see that they cant go with out it not even for a day most  not even for an hour!! 

    • Cassandra

      Just saying, but if you’re using an electronic device to write this comment, doesn’t that mean YOU’RE being controlled by Satan..?

      Very clear thinking, indeed.

      • Jot Nar

        Well..no he’s Not..he’s simply Using an electronic device to get a valuable message out since almost Everyone lives on the internet now that pays a cell phone bill..he makes the electronic device work for Him instead of conForming to the device like everyday people that pay a bill to keep their phone on month after month..probly like You Cassandra..i dont have cell phone service..i use Wifi though..an wenever i leave my house..i usually leave my cell behind..because i Tell a friend that im gona meet them at a certain place at a certain time before leaving..this is what people today fail to do..unless i remember where theres a spot with Wifi..Then i’ll take my cell with me..an Wifi spots are like my Checkpoints..thats probly what Angelnimer does..so yes..that is Very clear thinking..not Relying on technology to keep tabs on where that person is.

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    • mushrooms4you

      its all right In front of our eyes too and people have gotten so stupid so brainwashed they cant see all these subliminal messages right in front of them. from music to your kids cartoon shows. it all makes u think and act how THEY (demon worshipers) want you to act unknowingly. girls now have gotten x20 more sluttier miley virus making you think looking like a whore is cooler than having a brain. and as people we should be better than all this!! anyway watch illuminati vids it’ll all make sence

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  • Matt7n7

    I am 15 and all I want to be when I am older is a footballer. I don’t care about anything else and I hate all other sports (golf, cricket etc..). I would try so hard and not care about school and I know that I would make it. The only thing in my way is my dad…i am afraid he won’t treat me the same if he knows that I don’t care about education right now and I know that if I fail at trying to achieve what I want that I will be ok but I don’t know what to do. I am so scared because I love him and I don’t want to lose him as a father but then again I want to do what I want. Its my life..not his. Please someone help me.

    • skipit

      hi matt dont worry . bring up situations where he can undersands football is important to u :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/abanob.fajour Abanob Fajourx

      Can’t u play football and do ur homework at same time all teenage do that in same time

    • Sara Ayawa

      don’t ignore your education, you must do both, study along with doing what is your passioned about which is football, then you would be an educated footballer the best you could ever be

  • Tired

    I can’t grasp my thoughts. It feels like I’m an animal, operating on instinct. Devoid of autonomy, and rendered a passenger — a rift has opened in my mind, a schism between me and some dominant piece with in-congruent desires and motivations. I frequently procrastinate, and I’m left with the impression that I can’t control it. This moment will be utterly lost to me soon.

  • Alpha25

    These look effective…..if I wanted to go for a walk or write.

  • Saymon

    I did all of them for 5 years but it’s don’t work

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    This worked great for me

  • jessica

    my head hurt like a ballon going to pop

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  • Fefe

    Thanks for this tips. I recommend this book “How to Clear Your Mind” to anyone looking for inner peace and doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.
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