The human mind is rarely quiet. Questions, ideas, plans seem to pass through our consciousness without much order or purpose sometimes. Knowing how to clear your mind can help with anxiety, depression, and even sleep difficulties.
Recognize when your mind becomes overloaded. You just can’t stop thinking about something. Usually, it’s something that has negative implications, like being late for work or missing an appointment. When you feel overloaded, try calming your mind.
Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself. You should be able to sit or lay down comfortably. The room should have low lighting or darkness.
Close your eyes and access the content of your mind. What’s going on in there? The first time you do this, you likely will be surprised by all the stuff you are thinking about. Some of it won’t be connected to other thoughts. This is the buzz of consciousness.
Try preventing the thoughts from happening. If you are thinking about your doctor’s appointment tomorrow, stop thinking about it. The easiest way to do this is to think about something else. The problem is you might be just replacing one annoying thought with another.
Recognize when you are thinking about not thinking about anything. Once you have inhibited the random thoughts of the day from driving you crazy, you likely will be stuck with something else: Thinking about not thinking. Don’t worry. This is progress! You have to get to this point before you completely calm your mind.
Think of something neutral. Most people find it very difficult to think about nothing. This kind of mind control takes Buddhist monks years to master, so don’t feel bad if you can’t do it. Think about mundane easy activities instead, like walking to school, walking around a shopping centre, or sitting in a car.
Zoning out is also a good way of clearing you mind. Zoning out means doing something with very little concentration.
- One of the best ways to zone out is in front of the TV. Sit in a comfortable chair and drift in and out of attention.
- Sit in a comfortable chair in your backyard and just be in the backyard. Be aware of the birds chirping but don’t really listen.
- Read a book or magazine article. Reading often pushes the rest of the stuff you are thinking about out of your consciousness. As long as your thoughts about the book or magazine article don’t excite you too much, this can be a good way to calm your mind.
- Learn to calm your mind before stressful activities. These calming-your-mind techniques can improve your performance in job interviews, public speaking, and difficult interactions with other people.
- Learn to calm your mind before going to bed. Many people find it difficult to fall asleep when their mind is running amuck. These calming-your-mind techniques can also help you sleep better.
- Relaxing the muscles/body can enhance the clearing of the mind and help promote sleep!
- Don’t worry about the time it takes to clear your mind. Being too conscious of time can undermine the process.
- Over thinking can cause migraines. It’s like a lightbulb hooked up to a nuclear power plant. Clear your mind.
- Don’t play on a games console, or look at a media player such as an iPod before bed. Although it won’t stop you from sleeping, it won’t help you to sleep.
- Go for a run. Running will relax your body and mind. Listen to music while running.