Have you ever gone to do something and then when you got to the place you needed to be you were like “What did I come here for?”
We’ve all been there and done that.
It’s like driving home after a long day. Your body is on autopilot.
There is a stop sign I have to go through on my way home. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled into the driveway and then thought, “Did I stop at the stop sign.” I knew I did, but I was on autopilot so it didn’t register.
Obviously, my mind wasn’t clear as I was subconsciously dealing with the events of the day rather than focusing on driving (hence–the autopilot).
There are a few simple steps you can take that will help you turn off the autopilot and achieve mental clarity.
What Is Clarity of Mind?
Clarity of mind is when you can live the moment.
Imagine sitting on a boat in the middle of the lake. The air is cool in the morning breeze. Smells of water and earth surround you. Water splashes on the side of the boat as a fish jumps nearby. Nearby mountains welcome the morning sun as it rises in the distance.
Do you get a sense of peace? There are no cars, no people. Bird song fills the air. It is just you living in the moment being at peace with nature.
This feeling of peace is what I associate with mental clarity.
How Do You Obtain Mental Clarity?
There a few different methods to achieve mental clarity.
- Self Reflection
- The Morning Pages
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back. Choose the path that leads to wisdom.”Buddha
Reaching a meditative state is not hard. Maintaining that state for long periods, however, can be a challenge.
Steps To Meditation
Find a place with no distractions. Turn off your phone!
My place to meditate is in the center of my bed with soft zither music playing in the background or sitting outside in the sun while listening to bird song. These are the places I feel most centered.
Close your eyes and sit with a comfortable posture.
If you are uncomfortable sitting with your legs crossed (Indian-style) then sit in a chair. The idea is to find a comfortable position that will allow you to sit for a few minutes without muscle fatigue.
Focus on your breathing.
Take slow relaxed breaths. Focus on the sound of your breath.
Don’t let your mind wander. We have a tendency to think about all the different things cluttering our brains (I will tell you how to fix this later in this post).
When you start to stray and your focus wanes (which it will) catch it and detour your thoughts back to your breathing.
You don’t have to meditate for long periods of time. A few minutes each day is enough to yield positive results.
Reflecting on yourself on a consistent basis is a good practice.
You probably have a handful of goals that you are working on—many of us do. Take the time to reflect on all the positive things in your life.
I use my bullet journal as a means of tracking my goals and self-reflection.
To achieve a work-life balance, I needed a way to plan out my day/week/month without using multiple planners or apps.
If you are interested in starting a bullet journal of your own or finding out about the many benefits you can gain from using a bullet journal check out Journaling Through A New Year
If you don’t have time to make a bullet journal of your own, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Click here or the image below to get your free bullet journal spreads sent straight to your inbox.
Yep. FREE! I won’t charge you a penny for these invaluable worksheets that have changed my life for the better.
The Morning Pages
How can you achieve mental clarity if your mind is full of clutter?
The morning pages are the first thing (other than coffee) on my daily routine.
The morning pages take the weight off my shoulders. I pour all of my worries, fear, doubts, and prayers into three pages every morning. By the time I finish, I feel liberated.
Getting the clutter out of my mind doesn’t take away all of my problems but it does help to look at them through fresh eyes—to get new insights.
You can snag my morning pages template for FREE here
Keep Your Mind Clear and Focused Throughout The Day
The best way to keep yourself from falling back into the clutter is to live intentionally. Intentional living yields a highly productive life. You will have a clear focus on your goals and takes wide strides toward reaching them.
Cut Away The Negative Influences In Your Life
Don’t Watch The News
I stopped watching the news. Why? Because it is full of negativity. Sure there are a few good Samaritan stories in there (somewhere!), but for the most part, the reports are talking about all the bad things that have happened out in the world.
Yes, it is good to stay on top of what’s going on out there, but I don’t want to start my day off with all that negative energy.
Instead of watching the news, I downloaded the app for my local news station and check the important posts (usually when I’m on my lunch break at work).
By looking at these posts, I don’t get hit will all the negative at once, and I can pick and choose what I want to read.
Avoid Negative People
Intentionally avoid the naysayers and the negative people in your life. You know who I am talking about.
Some people aren’t happy unless they are complaining about something or talking smack about someone.
You don’t need this negativity in your life. Life has enough drama without having someone you know adding to it.
Let Go Of The Things You Can’t Control
Worrying over a situation that you have no control over will not change the situation. Accept the fact that you have no control and move on.
One of my favorite bible verses is Matthew 6:34
“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:34
This verse has helped me through many problems that I have had to face over the years. Being a full time mom, a wife, a manager, and a career woman, I juggle a lot of hats.
Think Positive Thoughts
Positivity is a lot harder to maintain if you are under a lot of stress. In order to keep your mind clear of clutter, you need to adopt a positive mentality.
Staying positive 100% of the time is not possible, but it is possible to smile through it.
If you are a frequent flyer of this blog, you know that I work for one of the largest food service corporations in the world.
To read my story click here or the image below.
Recently we have had a lot of staffing of issues. On one very tough day when I literally was working three jobs at once, the executive chef came up to me and asked: “Why are you smiling?”
He’d seen all the work was doing and the troubles I was having. In his eyes, I was happily working along. I didn’t complain about the extra workload because I knew the work needed to be done.
“Complaining doesn’t change the situation. It adds to the problem.”Cynthia Brandel
I looked Chef in the eyes and calmly replied: “I burn more calories by smiling than by frowning.”
He gave me a look (you know like “who is this crazy chick”) and then walked away.
Later that day (like after ten more hours of grueling work—yes I work long days) he came up to me and asked: “Why do you always smile? I can never tell if you are smiling sarcastically or if you are actually happy?”
At the time, I was taking a moment to catch my breath with a fellow worker. We were sitting in her office drinking a cup of water and cooling off (it gets hot in the kitchen).
My coworker could tell that I was struggling to answer the Chef. Thankfully she stepped in to rescue me. She replied: “Cynthia smiles through the day regardless of what happens. Even if she is screaming or crying on the inside, she smiles because she likes to raise others up through her positivity.”
The Chef cocked his brow at her, as he had done to me earlier in the day. By this point, I had collected my thoughts and had an answer to his question. I replied: “A smile is contagious.”
Focus on What’s Most Important
Planning your day ahead of time will help you to focus on the important in your life.
The first two hours of my day (note this is two hours before the rest of my family wakes up) are very productive and focused.
My Morning Routine
- The Morning Pages
- Bible Study
- Morning Stretches
- Bullet Journal Planning
Although this seems like a lot to fit into just two hours, once you develop a rhythm it becomes second nature.
If I don’t include all of these things in my morning routine, I feel unfocused for the rest of the day.
Starting the day with a to-do list helps me to feel accomplished and keeps my mind focused on reaching my goals.
Supplements Vs. Natural Foods
There are a lot of supplements out there that claim to help improve your focus and mental clarity.
I was talking with my mom and dad (both natural foods health nuts!) about mental clarity and possible topics I could discuss with you today.
My dad happened to mention a supplement that he had heard about on the radio called Prevagen.Prevagen (apoaequorin) Extra Strength (60 Capsules)
“Prevagen (Pronounced: prev-uh-gin) is a brain health supplement clinically shown to help with mild memory loss associated with aging. Use of Prevagen for 90 days is recommended to fully gauge Prevagen’s effectiveness.”http://www.Prevagen.com
After reading up on this supplement, I’ve decided to stick to the all natural way of improving my mental focus and clarity.
Prevagen includes apoaequorin, a protein derived from a jellyfish. It is believed that calcium regulation in the brain plays a crucial role in mental decline. You can learn more about this protein at WebMD.
For the most part, all the research I have done on Prevagen has led me to believe that it is better suited for the older adult. I am not quite in that category yet, so I think I will stick with what I know: natural remedies through food.
Foods For Focus and Improved Mental Clarity
There are a handful of foods out there that are proven to improve your focus and clarity of mind. Some of them I grow in my garden. Others I have to buy at the store.
Fish like salmon, trout, and sardines are a rich source of omega-3s. Omega-3s help to sharpen your memory and improve your mood. If you don’t like fish, you can buy a daily vitamin with Omega-3s in it.
The vitamin I personally us is Vitafusion’s Women’s Gummy VitaminVitafusion Women’s Gummy Vitamins, 150ct
I buy this from Amazon as it is cheaper to purchase through them than it is at the store.
Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine helps you stay alert throughout the day. It also boosts your “feel good” neurotransmitters in your brain resulting in an improved mood.
Blueberries have antioxidants and work as a natural anti-inflammatory. They have been proven to delay brain aging and to improve memory. Check out this article from CBS News
Of course, there are a lot of other foods that are said to be good for mental clarity: dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, avocado, and turmeric (just to name a few).
“A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy mind.”Cynthia Brandel
Clarity of mind comes from intentional living. You can achieve mental clarity through meditation and reflection. Decluttering your brain, surrounding yourself with positivity, and limiting the negative influences in your life will help you to keep a clear mind throughout the day.
If you have tried any of these methods in your own path to mental clarity, I would love to know.
Likewise, if you use a method I haven’t mentioned, I would love to hear all about it. Leave me a message in the comments below.
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Looking For More To Read?
- The Age of Gemini: A Time For Perspective Balance
- The Age of Cancer: A Time Of Hearth and Home
- The Age of Leo: A Time Of Rebirth and Personal Growth
- 5 Tips For Designing Your Life
- Bullet Journal Series: Journaling Through the Year (My Self Development Plan)