If you’ve had problems with focus, you’re probably struggling to find a way to clear your mind. “Anything that goes on in the mind is ripe to be ‘clutter’ if you haven’t learned how to focus and organize internally,” says director of behavioral sciences, Craig Travis, PhD.
For some people, taking medication that helps them focus is the right course of action. But, if you’re looking for a natural remedy to clear your mind and help you focus on your day-to-day tasks, science has your back. Here are some of the ways that scientists have found that people can naturally clear their minds and have better focus.
Here Are 5 Ways to Clear Your Mind Naturally for Better Focus
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
Meditation isn’t just for new-age hippies anymore. Everyone from psychologists to scientists have spoken about the benefits that meditation can have on your mind. The purpose of meditation is to have designated time to yourself in order to gather your thoughts. This time should be alone and quiet.
Scientists who have studied the brain during meditation have found that it improves the neural pathways in our brains. “We’re coming to recognize that meditation changes people’s brains… And we’re just beginning to gain understanding of what those changes mean and how they might benefit the meditator,” says assistant professor of neurology Rebecca Erwin Wells, M.D.
Meditation helps us stay focused, and to clear our minds of all of the busy static in our lives. All you need to do is find a quiet place to close your eyes and focus your mind and energy.
Mindfulness is a technique that is used in therapy for all kinds of mental health issues, from anxiety to depression to emotional disorders. Science, and psychology, have long recognized that mindfulness is a technique that does so much good for our brains. For people who need a natural way to clear their minds, science has proven that mindfulness is the way to go.
“People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power. They can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit,” says psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Hoge.
Mindfulness is a technique where you actively focus on switching your attention from one thing to another. For those using it to focus, it’s actively recognizing your thought process, and making a concentrated effort to clear your mind and switch your attention to a task at hand.
If your mind is full of distracting thoughts, science has found that writing is one of the best ways to clear it. Writing down all of your distracting thoughts is a physical way of taking them out of your head.
“This can help get them out of your mind and alleviate the brain’s need to dwell or mentally try to work on things,” says psychologist Jennifer Gentile, PsyD.
If you’re struggling with a cluttered mind and really need to focus, taking a pen to paper can help you sort out your thought process so that you can move forward. Science has even found that taking the physical thoughts written on paper and destroying them – such as throwing them away or burning them – can help you clear your mind and keep it clear. The symbolic act of destroying negative or intrusive thoughts can do wonders for our mental health.
4. Move your body
Sometimes, all we need in order to help us focus and clear our minds is the physical act of moving. Exercise may help some people clear their minds. For others, just getting up and walking around, stretching, or doing a quick jog around the living room will work just as good.
According to a research by a group of scientists, “Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans.”
Taking our mind and using it to focus on doing movement and exercise is a tried and true way to clear our minds. When you find that you’re having a hard time focusing, try getting up and moving around.Take a walk, go for a jog, or do your favorite exercise routine.
5. Take initiative
Clearing your mind should be a step towards focusing your attention on a task at hand. You don’t want to linger on the actual step of clearing your mind. If you’re going to meditate, make sure you don’t accidentally take a nap at your desk! If you’re going to write your feelings, make sure you don’t get stuck writing too much out. If you’re going to use mindfulness, make sure you use it as a step towards focusing. And, if you’re going to physically move your body, don’t tire yourself out so you can’t focus! Taking initiative is probably one of the most important steps to clearing your mind: knowing when your mind is clear, and when it’s time to focus.
Medication can work for some people when it comes to a focused mind, but for other people, natural remedies work better. Clearing your mind takes a little bit of practice, but once you find a technique that works for you, you’ll be able to command focus easily.