When life is pulling you in a thousand directions and you’ve got an endless to-do list scrolling through your mind, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It feels like there’s no time for a break, and many of us just try to keep powering through all the things we think our bosses or families are expecting.
But sometimes, you just need a little time out to rest and recharge. Next time you’re overwhelmed, try one of these simple and effective tactics for clearing your mind.
The benefits of meditation have been widely documented by everyone from medical researchers to Buddhist monks, and it’s one of the best ways to clear your mind. Simply find a comfortable place to sit, set a timer for five minutes (or any length of time, really), and close your eyes.
As you sit, try to pay attention to your breathing and how your body feels. Don’t attempt to stop or repress your thoughts; instead, let them naturally come and go. Meditation can be difficult at first, but with a little practice, it’ll help you clear your mind more easily.
Go for a walk.
Moving your body is also a great way to clear your mind, and even better if you can do it outside. It doesn’t need to be a big sweaty workout, either. Even taking a quick walk around the block can help you feel refreshed and relaxed. Just stay away from your phone during your walk, and instead try to enjoy the sensation of moving your body and breathing in the fresh air.
Color in an adult coloring book.
The advent of adult coloring books has made it easier than ever for adults to practice creativity and mindfulness, and most people find that it’s just as fun now as when they were children. Like with other mindfulness-focused activities, make sure your full attention is on what you’re doing, so turn off the TV and put your phone away while you’re coloring.
Write in a journal.
For many people, writing out whatever they’re thinking or feeling is hugely helpful in processing those thoughts and emotions. Once they’ve been written down on paper, you no longer need to hold onto about them. When you journal, don’t worry about grammar or handwriting, and don’t judge or self-edit anything you write. Try to let it be a free flow of consciousness, and you’ll feel a greater sense of relief at the end.
Read a book.
Reading a book is another way to temporarily lose yourself in another world, leaving your own problems and worries behind. Choose a book that holds your interest but isn’t too suspenseful or upsetting; something in the “beach read” category is ideal for relaxing and clearing your mind.
Today’s society leaves many of us feeling overstimulated, drained, and desperate to clear our minds. Next time you feel that way, try one of these tactics to push your “reset” button, even if it’s just for a few minutes.