Mindfulness Is Not the Only Way to Mental Clarity
Mental clarity is the ability to see things objectively and rationally rather than from a perspective of fear or anxiety.
It’s not just about remaining calm and unaffected in stressful situations; it’s also the ability to focus on what’s most important, ignore outside distractions, and see things for what they really are.
When you have mental clarity, you have an objective view of your own thoughts and actions. You are fully aware of the world around you, and you make conscious decisions as opposed to reacting to events.
“Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves,” says Blaise Pascal.
Mental clarity is a highly sought-after skill for a good reason. It allows us to perform at our best and makes us more productive. A clear head is essential for learning, creativity, problem-solving, personal growth, decision-making, focused work and achieving goals.
Unfortunately, most people live in constant inner chaos, clouded by stressors such as fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, or other negative emotions. Instead of allowing these emotions to control us, finding ways to give our mental clarity is important.
Dr Prem Jagyasi was right when he said, “To live a harmonious life, all you need is clarity of mind.”
This skill is becoming increasingly rare in today’s fast-paced world as we are constantly bombarded with distractions. These distractions can be anything that pulls your attention away from what you are focusing on.
It could be something as simple as a stray thought, an irrelevant memory, an unexpected sight, someone calling out to you, or a random smell. The more you experience these disruptions of concentration, the harder it is to find mental clarity.
Mindfulness, meditation and the art of being in the moment are a few things that come to mind when thinking about ways to free our minds and quiet our thoughts. These methods have been used for centuries to find peace, clarity and happiness. Many people master mindfulness techniques to lead a stress-free life.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves being present at the moment and focusing on your inner thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness-based techniques have taken the world by storm in the past few years. We are now seeing mindfulness coaches, yoga studios with a mindfulness focus, and group meditation meet-ups popping up everywhere.
In many ways, mindfulness is similar to meditation: both practices involve quieting your busy mind and allowing yourself to be present at the moment.
There are three main types of mindfulness: awareness, observation, and immersion. Awareness is simply being awake, alert, and aware of your surroundings. Observation is paying more attention than usual to what’s going on around you.
And immersion happens when your complete focus is on one thing — like the sound of raindrops or waves crashing against the shore — and you’re completely focused on it. These types of mindfulness are sometimes referred to as “focused attention.”
In addition to helping you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, mindfulness can also help you reduce stress and improve concentration.
While meditation has been proven to help people achieve mental clarity, you don’t need to be a yogi or a monk to develop your own sense of inner calm. You might not have time to sit cross-legged every day — other equally healthy habits can improve your mental clarity.
Other healthy habits to clear your head
“When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles.” ― Horace Walpole
Mindfulness is not the only way to achieve mental clarity; it is an often-effective tool that can help if used in conjunction with other methods to achieve clarity of mind. Adopt other healthy habits that allow you to be more intentional and conscious.
There’s so much more to mental clarity than just being mindful. In fact, there are many different ways to achieve mental clarity — it just takes a bit of exploring to find them all.
Mental clarity isn’t solely about achieving peace of mind; it’s also about activating your mind in healthy ways to think better, achieve emotional clarity, and minimize stress.
An effective way to achieve mental clarity is establishing healthy boundaries with others. You can avoid getting distracted by establishing healthy boundaries with others. You can also avoid becoming overwhelmed by them by setting limits on how much time you spend with them.
Another alternative to mental clarity is to cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself and others. By learning to be more compassionate, you will be able to relate better to yourself and others.
You will also be able to become more accepting of your own feelings and thoughts. As you become more accepting, you will be more likely to feel mentally clear.
It’s not uncommon to get distracted when trying to get things done. However, certain activities can help you stay on task or improve your focus. For example, try taking a walk or getting up and stretching every 20 minutes.
Excessive focus exhausts the brain. “It can drain your energy and make you lose self-control. This energy drain can also make you more impulsive and less helpful,” says Srini Pillay of Harvard Business Review.
It pays to take regular breaks during the day to improve mental clarity. If you find yourself distracted whilst working, try taking a 15-minute break every hour to clear your mind. When you’re clear-headed, staying focused on what matters will be easier.
Stop multitasking. Everyone multitasks. We all do it all the time. The bad news is it drains us of both mental and emotional energy. Your performance drops significantly when you attempt to perform more than one task at a time.
Switching between tasks, tabs, and apps can hurt your productivity rather than help it. Multitasking is actually a sign of poor concentration. The truth is that constantly switching between tasks lowers our efficiency instead of increasing it. To improve your mental clarity, learn to focus on one thing at a time.
However, there are a few instances when multitasking is useful and essential for completing our work efficiently. For example, if you’re listening to the right music while working or driving alone, you are more likely to stay alert.
Schedule plenty of time for relaxing activities and experiences that make you lose yourself or come alive. Any activity outside work (reading, cycling, hiking, nature walking, time with family, meet-ups, etc.) that takes your mind away from the past or future and helps you stay in the moment.
Improving your sleep habits can significantly impact your mental clarity and overall well-being. It can help relieve stress and keep your mind sharp throughout the day.
A daily/weekly workout should be on your list if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your mental clarity! If a hectic work life leaves you with little time for exercise, you should know that even small bouts of exercise can significantly benefit your brain and body.
Working out regularly has been shown to improve mental clarity, increase concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and even help prevent depression. By fitting in an occasional workout into your schedule, you can also boost your confidence and self-esteem while reducing the risk of diseases.
Any activity or experience that allows you to simply pay attention to your surroundings, take note of your thoughts and feelings, and stay engaged in the present moment can help you clear your mind.
Be more deliberate about how you spend your downtime — your mental clarity depends on it. While mindfulness certainly has its benefits, it’s important not to make it your only focus on improving your mental clarity.
Mental clarity is not only necessary when you feel like you are losing control of your mind but also as a way to live a healthy life and prevent stress from getting out of hand.
This article originally appeared in Medium.