“Sometimes answers come to you in ways that only you can understand. That is why it is so important to have a clear mind to receive and understand the message.” – Sheila M Burke
Life, it seems, can easily turn busy and complicated in a blink of an eye. If you are anything like me, the lull of January can accelerate into a choc-full February and many months beyond of heavy arrangement making without you even noticing. This has been especially stark this year, perhaps, as it looks like we are now heading out of the restrictions of the pandemic, and so are reconnecting in earnest with friends and family.
All of this, and the many other small things that are demanded of the average adult, can really clog up the mind. This makes it harder to think straight, to make decisions, or to give your nearest and dearest quality time and attention. In order to think with more clarity, to shut out the babble in your mind, it often helps to find a way of creating some quiet in your head. A blank state of mind, creating a foundation for you to build clear thoughts upon. A mental moment for you to be able to calmly step back, take a look at what’s going on in that moment and say, “alright. Let’s see. What have we got here?”
So, here are a few ways to create that space and that silence in your head. They can all be used in isolated moments of mental company. But you would also benefit from making them a weekly, or even daily exercise.
1. A Good, Old Fashioned, Walk
Let’s start with what some might call ‘a cliché’, but what I shall call ‘a classic’. I had never really appreciated a ‘walk to clear the mind’ until the pandemic hit, and a walk was one of the few things I could actually do. Sitting at home, with not only the mental worries of the situation, but with all the distractions of technology often did, and still often does, muddle the mind.
I would go out without my phone and simply wander. I would stroll down unfamiliar streets, paying attention to all the sights I came across, and letting my mind gently untangle itself in the space of an hour or so. This time away from my home, the environmental heart of my life, allowed my mind to let go of peripheral concerns, to order and prioritise, and even to solve a few things, without much concern or tension.
Sometimes, if I’m struggling to focus on one thing, I get everything out onto a piece of paper. Do you often worry that there is so much going on in your head that you’ll forget some of it? Well, if you write it out, you don’t need to remember everything. In fact, all you need to remember is that all the stuff you need to remember is written out on a piece of paper. This really does help to create much more space in your head.
3. Stare At The Wall
Lewis Capaldi, the singer, has said that his most effective tool for creating a blank canvas is to literally stare at a wall. This helps him to build ideas from the ground up without noise or influence from any unhelpful noise. This makes total sense, as staring at a blank wall, and focusing on it, burdens you with very little unwanted head traffic.
4. Get Stuff Off Your Chest
It is healthy to unload. If you have a person in your life to which you can unload, then take advantage of that. In my case, it’s my wife, who will always be there to remind me how some of my concerns are unfounded, to give a different angle on what going on in my head, and to offer solutions I may not have thought of. After an unload, the likelihood is you will have put some of your concerns in the bin and have some decisive solutions for others.
5. Simple Meditation
Of course, mediation is ideal for creating mental silence. Indeed, this is one of its core functions. If you can find a few minutes to sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and concentrate on nothing but your breath, you will find your head in a much more serene state.
By Chris Thomson
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