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

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.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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