Mind

Clear Your Mind and Refocus

With hectic lives and busy schedules, it can be easy for the mind to become cluttered, making it difficult to concentrate and be productive. If you want to be able to quickly and easily clear your mind so that you can refocus, here are a few tricks that you can try.

Mindfulness
One of the most effective ways to clear your mind and really refocus your energy is by practicing mindfulness, and this does not need to be anything more than a breathing exercise or two. This is something that you can do anywhere and at any time, making it a great method to master. One breathing exercise that you can try is sitting or standing up straight and closing your eyes, before taking a deep breath in through your nose. Allow your diaphragm to fully expand, and hold the breath for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth. Counting your breath will also help with this, as it will give your mind something to focus on to prevent you from being sidetracked.

Woman in cafe thinking of what to write

Write it Down
Writing down all of your thoughts and worries is a great way to release any pent-up emotions, and will help you to take a look at the entire situation from a different perspective. Keep a journal that you can turn to whenever your mind is feeling full, and continue writing in it until you feel at peace with whatever has been on your mind. Alternatively, if your mind has been filled with all of the different things you need to do, start keeping lists, as this will free up some space in your head, and you can then turn to your list when you have more time and are feeling calmer.

Physical Activity
In addition to helping to control weight and prevent illness, exercise is a fantastic way to clear your mind and improve your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, which will really help to take your mind to a better place. This does not mean that you need to spend hours at the gym, as simple short bursts of exercise will also have this same effect. Try to find an activity that you enjoy doing, but make sure that it raises your heart rate.

Woman painting on canvas at home

Get Creative
Exploring your imagination can really refocus your mind, as it will make use of different parts of your brain. Creativity is the perfect way to engage your imagination, and this can take shape in many forms. From painting and drawing to singing and dancing to cooking or doing a puzzle, there are so many ways in which you can be creative, so give this a go the next time you are feeling stressed and worn out.

The human brain is not built to be able to split its attention into too many different areas, which is why it is often easy to feel overwhelmed when there are a number of things on your mind. Rather than allowing this to bring you down, try out some of the above-mentioned tips, as they will help you to clear your mind and get back to what you really need to be doing.

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Find More Time To Read

Reading is one of those habits that most of us at least say we’d like to find more time to enjoy. It is, after all, about expanding one’s mind and exposing oneself to different ideas. Finding that time often feels harder than it should be though. We run around doing all we can every day until we end up overloaded and unable to find space for anything we truly want to do. That’s not helpful when trying to pick a habit back up. This is even when we really know we should thank the various benefits of reading. These are all things we’ll want to keep in mind when trying to find and set aside the time. We’re going to take a quick look at how you can potentially set aside a little more time to get back to reading and things to consider when it comes to finding motivation and reasons to read more often. With a little bit of luck, this should be all you need to get back to enjoying books again.

Find the Time
It is easier than you might think to find a bit of time to read. Admittedly, you may need to redefine your idea of reading a little in some cases. A good time to get a little bit of reading in is during any daily commute or errands that you might have on a given day. Any time spent traveling, as long as you’re not driving, can be used to read a book on your phone or a tablet. Drivers have options too these days thanks to the ready availability of audiobooks. These lets you “read” while beings entirely hands-free and you can even use them while exercising or doing household tasks. When we look at things this way, there is actually plenty of time for reading in a given day. Additionally, you might want to consider blocking off an hour or two before bed each night for reading as it will give you a calm activity to do as well as potentially improving your overall sleep quality.

Woman reading on bed with cup of coffee

For The Benefit of The Mind
Reading is a mentally stimulating activity and we all need those in our lives. We need some source of activity that helps to keep your mind active and looking around the world regularly. Reading helps you to see the world in a different light at the same time that it helps you to relax. Books are how people translate their experiences into something that everyone can enjoy. That’s why so many of us like to read books about other parts of the world. Admittedly, you shouldn’t just read to expand your mind. The simple fact is that enjoying yourself with anything helps to reduce stress. That’s a good reason why you’ll want to consider embracing a love of any genre fiction you might enjoy. No matter what people think it is still possible for fantasy, science fiction, and similar genres all discuss ideas and concepts important to the human condition while doing it from a different perspective. The key to reading is finding what you love and embracing it.

Woman picking book to read in library

Supporting the Habit
There is a certain elitism that goes along with still purchasing physical books. They look and smell nice. e-Reader technology hasn’t really caught up in any meaningful way to emulating that particular experience, but they have gotten to a point where they are easily transportable and can bypass glare issues. That’s worth remembering when you’re trying to figure out how you want to feed your habit. Those of us more aesthetically minded might want to collect series or particular titles to keep on a bookshelf as a quite way of referencing them and enjoying the weight of them. By contrast, some of us more inclined to simply read as much as we can find great use in an e-Reader as they can carry around whole libraries worth of books and accompanying notes. In the end, mixing and matching between the two can give you the best of both options and let you collect and display the books that resonate with you while letting you freely indulge in random novels on a whim through an e-Reader store or service.

Books are a gateway to many things. Television and other means of entertainment have simply done their part to reduce our overall attentiveness to this fact. We’re all too eager to ask why we should read the book when there is a movie. The truth is the book has the soul of the work and often has more nuance to it. Embracing that nuance and reading however you can help you to have more meaningful conversations with others and with yourself over time. That makes it worth a little bit of effort.

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Everybody Needs A Therapist

Therapy is one of those things that has a strange amount of stigma surrounding it. Most of us have heard comments before implying anyone who seeks it is weak or is simply giving up. Other people claim there are no benefits and it is simply a way to fleece the gullible of their money. These common misconceptions do a lot of harm in the world as it drives people away from seeking therapy when they need it. We’ve all felt overtaxed sometimes or realized that we’re depressed or anxious. Living in a constant state of flux where the changes can simply add up over time until the stress begins to settle in and make things feel overwhelming. It isn’t just you. Everyone needs to see a therapist at some point in their lives and there are benefits to having regular therapy sessions even if you’re not at one of those points. Taking a closer look at what therapy can offer all of us is the only solution for getting rid of the common misconceptions and moving on to a healthier world.

Being Open
An often underestimated benefit of therapy is the fact that it allows for a level of openness that is hard to achieve outside of a therapist’s office. Yes, you could talk to a friend or your partner, but a lot of the time we tend to hold some things back. Consider that we are, in many ways, different people depending on who we’re around. Some things we just end up naturally keeping to ourselves. A further consideration is that some things feel too private to talk to anyone close to us about. Issues of identity and sexuality can be particularly difficult to bring up when they might disrupt the lives we’ve built. It is important to remember that not everyone realizes such things about themselves immediately and can sometimes be suppressed by upbringing or expectations placed on us. Having a place where you can go to discuss these and other deep-seated issues it might be hard to talk about otherwise helps to improve one’s overall mental state.

Stress Management
A comparatively everyday use for therapy is simply as a form of stress management. We all have to deal with a certain level of stress regularly. Leaving it unchecked can end up hurting our health in major ways. That’s why most of us develop various coping mechanisms to help us avoid some of the major stress. Getting regular therapy offers another way as you can talk your way through problems while getting an outside opinion. This tends to do wonders when it comes to solving “unsolvable” dilemmas that feel like they keep getting worse. It certainly doesn’t hurt that a therapist can also offer you different methods of stress management for you to use outside of appointments too. Therapists help you build and develop skills for coping with the difficult parts of life as much as they offer someone to talk to without judgment. Developing skills in this way allows us all to live happier and healthier lives.

Woman being comforted by her therapist

An Outside Assessment
We often overlook the benefit of having someone who has a good idea of our general mental state and can track any major shifts in it. The worst part about many mental illnesses is that they often feel like they turn up without warning even if they’ve been building up over time. This can be a particularly pronounced problem for anyone with chronic depression or anxiety. Our lives are about management of the symptoms we can recognize. What happens if ones we don’t recognize start appearing? A therapist offers a professional eye that can keep track of these things for you and provide you with a nudge in the right direction when illness begins to take control of your life. This works for mundane things like chronic stress too. Having someone who can give you this benefit means that it is easier to take action before a problem fully sets in and minimize the chances of it doing too much damage to our well-being.

Therapy is one of those things that is ultimately good for everyone. Yes, there are parts of our lives where we won’t necessarily need a therapist, but it can be good to keep in contact with one just in case. You might even want to simply schedule more irregular appointments when you’re otherwise healthy. Keeping this in mind and remembering therapy is a wellness tool rather than a shame will help us all lead healthier lives.

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