— Last updated on January 20, 2022 —
How often do you find yourself thinking about something unrelated to the task at hand? This was happening to me all the time.
I love to eat and have interesting conversations, so often, I was always thinking about my next meal or what I wanted to do with my friends instead of focusing on what matters at that moment.
Basically, there was no mental clarity.
I was not able to focus on anything for long periods of time, and this was affecting my productivity.
So, I decided to find methods that actually work to clear my mind. And I’ve found them.
We live in a busy world where multitasking is the norm. The problem is that our brains don’t differentiate between tasks.
When we try to focus on two or more things at once, they start interfering with each other. In order to get rid of distractions, you need to empty your mind.
Here are 5 easy ways to actually achieve mental clarity and empty your mind:
- Befriend yourself
- Walk, run, swim, lift
- Get a lot more sleep
- Talk to people
Before I breakdown these steps into their individual parts, let’s explain what “emptying your mind” is and why it is important.
What emptying your mind means in why it is important?
Empty your mind means to be free from any kind of thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to become an emotionless robot. You still have feelings. But when you’re focused on one thing, your brain will stop processing information from other sources.
This way, you can concentrate on whatever you’re doing without being distracted by irrelevant thoughts.
Why is it important to empty your mind?
You might think that having too many thoughts is normal, but it isn’t. Having too much noise in your head makes it hard for you to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you keep thinking about everything around you, then you won’t be able to focus on your work.
It also affects your ability to learn new skills because if you’re constantly thinking about what you did last week, what you’ll do tomorrow, etc., then you’re not really focusing on learning new stuff.
How to empty your mind
Now that you know what it means to empty your mind and why it is important, here are five different ways to empty your mind. Let’s go through them one-by-one.
You may be familiar with the concept of self-reflection. It’s when you think about yourself and how you’re doing.
This can help you identify areas that need improvement. But it can also become an endless cycle of negative thoughts.
If you really want to improve your mental clarity, take some time out from your day to reflect on yourself.
It doesn’t have to be for a full hour. You could spend 10 minutes every morning or evening just thinking about yourself and your day.
Don’t worry if you feel like you’re wasting your time. Just remind yourself that it will make you happier and healthier.
Chronic stress comes from being overwhelmed by too many things. So, take some time to focus on yourself.
Understand yourself better so you will not be easily distracted, confused and overwhelmed.
The best way to understand and befriend yourself is by taking action in life. Self-reflection is great, but we need self-expression to understand our core selves; otherwise, they will be hidden from us.
When you become best friends with yourself, everything is a lot easier to understand and you have a clearer mind.
Know your dark side
Your inner critic is always there. No matter how good you’ve been at something, your inner critic will find a way to criticize you.
It’s like a voice inside your head telling you that you suck.
But this voice doesn’t represent who you truly are. Instead, it represents all the things that you don’t like about yourself.
So, instead of listening to your inner critic, try to listen to your true self. This way, you can get rid of the negativity and start living a more positive life.
For example, let’s say you’re working on improving your business. Then, your inner critic would tell you that you’re not smart enough to run a successful business.
However, is that really true? Maybe you’re just scared of failing. Or maybe you’re afraid of losing money.
Either way, you shouldn’t listen to your inner critic. Instead, you should ask yourself: What does my inner critic mean?
Then, use those answers to figure out whether they’re true or not.
When you know your inner critic is empty, your mind becomes easier. You no longer need to listen to its lies. Instead, you can simply ignore it.
Walk, Run, Swim, Lift
Your body is capable of so much more than sitting down. There are many benefits to physical activity.
But did you know that exercise has been proven to increase concentration? Exercise helps us release stress hormones, which makes us less likely to experience anxiety.
Plus, it improves blood flow throughout the brain, which increases oxygenation. Your dopamine and serotonin levels, which create feelings of happiness and calmness, are increased by exercise.
There are many different types of physical activities, but I have intentionally mentioned walking, running, swimming, and lifting weights as the best options.
Walking is one of the easiest exercises to incorporate into your daily routine to empty your mind.
Walking is amazing because it’s natural and it’s good for your health. When you walk, you’ll notice that you’re getting distracted less. It helps you stay in the present moment while also burning extra calories.
When you’re walking, don’t use headphones. Just put them away and focus on what’s around you.
The point is to not consume any “content” or information. You probably want to listen to podcasts or music, but the point is to empty the mind, not add to it.
Running is another great way to reduce stress and achieve mental clarity. Running requires you to focus on your breathing and your surroundings.
When you are running, your brain releases endorphins, which creates a feeling of euphoria.
It heightens your senses and reduces your perception of pain. Plus, it burns fat.
Swimming is a fantastic option if you’re looking to relax and clear your mind. Swimming is a low-impact sport, so it won’t cause any damage to your joints.
Thousands of people enjoy swimming as a form of therapy. Swimming is a great workout and it’s also relaxing.
Just imagine how you feel after a long day at work. Now picture yourself floating in a pool with the sun shining above you.
At that moment, do you think you’d be able to concentrate better?
Lifting weights is an excellent way to build muscle mass and burn fat, but it also helps you connect with your body.
By connecting with your muscles, you’re able to gain greater control over them. This allows you to perform better during workouts and everyday tasks.
When you are more connected to your body, you become more aware of what you’re doing. This leads to an empty mind and complete mental clarity.
Usually, when people think about weight lifting, they think about building muscle mass. But as you can see, there’s a deeper connection between lifting weights and emptying your mind.
Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It clears your head by focusing on one thing at a time.
The goal of meditation is to quiet your mind, observe your thoughts and allow your mind to relax. In order to meditate effectively, you should sit comfortably in a place free of distraction.
When you lift weights, you use your muscles. When you meditate, you use your mind. The same principle applies here.
Emptying your mind allows you to concentrate on only one thing at a time without being distracted, and meditation does exactly that.
Traditional meditation techniques include focused breathing, mantra recitation, and visualization. You really don’t need that.
But to be real, as long as you keep your mind focused on one thing, you’ll see results in mental clarity.
Yoga is not essential to emptying your mind. Yoga is a wonderful exercise that will help you to strengthen your core and improve flexibility.
I have even been teaching yoga, so I can tell you from personal experience that you don’t need it.
Watching our thoughts is what we are after, not stretching our muscles (even though that’s beneficial too).
It is helpful, that’s for sure, but it is not essential for achieving mental clarity.
No meditation classes
Meditation classes can help, but it all comes down to practice and consistency.
You don’t need to devote yourself to some spiritual discipline; it all comes down to eliminating mental noise.
Simple meditation exercises can help you get started. You just need to find something that works for you.
Anxiety during meditation is normal at the beginning because a lot of thoughts will start to bubble up all of a sudden, but you will notice how anxiety levels decrease over time.
Your mental stress will gradually disappear after a few weeks of consistent meditation.
And all it takes is just 10 to 20 minutes of sitting by yourself, and that is the core concept of meditation.
Just keep in mind that music, mantras, or some special sounds are not necessary. All you need to do is focus on one thing at a given point of time.
Approach meditation like any other workout routine. Starting slow, without any special equipment, and then slowly increasing intensity and duration.
Meditation & sleep are related because they both require you to be calm and relaxed. So, if you find yourself having trouble sleeping, just focus on your breath and allow the thoughts to pass through you.
Get A Lot More Sleep
People are a sleep deprived and they don’t even know it. Sleep deprivation affects your mood, memory, attention span, and ability to learn new things.
Sleep is essential for your health and well-being. If you want to improve your mental state, then getting enough sleep is key.
There are many reasons why people lack sleep, but if they knew what was happening to them, they would change their behavior immediately.
When you don’t get enough sleep, some of the following problems might occur:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Lack of motivation
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy
- Poor decision making
- Increased appetite
- Decreased libido
All these symptoms are caused by not getting enough sleep. I have changed my sleep schedule several times over the years.
It took me a while to figure out what works best for me. I’ve found that going to bed earlier and actually sleeping for 8 hours was a life changer to achieve mental clarity and having the ability to empty the mind.
To have the actual 8 hours of sleep I need to have an extra one hour before bedtime. This gives me enough time to fall asleep and wake up naturally.
If you can’t get to bed early, try taking a 20-minute nap after lunch instead. 20-minute naps are great because they give you a little break during the day and help you recharge.
Also, avoid caffeine or alcohol about 10 hours before bedtime. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and keeps you awake longer, while alcohol causes dehydration, which leads to low blood pressure and decreased production of melatonin.
For me, getting more sleep is the most effective way to clear my mind and achieve mental clarity.
Talk to People
Talking to other people makes you feel better. Having conversations with others will make you feel happier. You’ll also be able to share ideas and thoughts with others.
Talking to another person lets you express yourself and helps you think clearly.
This is especially helpful when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Talking to someone else will help reduce your stress levels and keep you calm.
Try to talk to people whenever possible. Try talking to your family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc.
You can also talk to strangers online. There’s no harm in doing this as long as you don’t cross any boundaries.
Be assertive about it. It’s okay to tell people how you feel and what you think.
When you speak your truth, you become more confident and you can think more clearly.
It is also great to listen to other people’s stories. Hearing other people’s experiences makes us realize our own struggles and challenges.
Listening to other people’s stories will help you gain empathy and compassion.
The problem these days is that people are passively consuming information online and think that’s replacing conversation with other people. Don’t let this happen to you.
Talking to other people will empty your mind, but consuming information will clutter it.
How to talk to people online without getting even more overwhelmed?
Let’s say you are talking to someone on Facebook and you get all these notifications bombarding you, but you want to be clear headed. Here’s how to do it… Ignore notifications. They won’t affect you anyway. All these things can wait.
Turn off push notifications. When you turn them off, you’ll still receive messages from your friends, but you won’t see them right away.
It is important to understand that if you constantly check your phone, you might not be able to focus on anything else. Checking your phone every few minutes will stop you from focusing on anything else and definitely will not help you achieve mental clarity.
It is all about prioritizing what is important and who is important at this moment.
All in all, emptying your mind is something that takes practice. But once you start practicing, you’ll see results.
As soon as you start emptying your mind, you’ll notice that you’ll be calmer, less irritable, and more patient.
But you need to put in the work and follow through on the five ways you’ve read in this article.
The difference is like night and day once you get into the habit of emptying your mind.
You become more focused and productive at work and home.
You have more empathy towards others.
You become more creative.
You become more optimistic.
And you become healthier overall.
So if you want to empty your mind, then do it today!