It’s frustrating, I know, because I’ve had my share of inner commotion. I’ve found that when I lack mental clarity, the following three steps help me get it back – all in less than two minutes.
Amazingly, I found that these steps do not take much practice. They work right away. Here are three steps to greater mental clarity. You will need a pad of paper and pen.
Paper and pen, please! Now, write down every thought that comes into your mind. You can write about a specific problem or just begin writing a jumble of thoughts. Do not edit. Just write. Let it flow. This step contributes to mental clarity by clearing the deck.
Sometimes it delivers clarity on its own. Either way, just write your thought stream until it begins to ease up – or at least slow down a bit.
Tune into some mundane, external sound. The sound of a fan, the refrigerator, your computer hum, distant traffic, blowing wind – any meaningless, consistent outside sound will do. The sound needs to be meaningless – not someone talking or the sound of music playing.
Just tune in 100%. All of your attention – or at least as much as you can muster – needs to be on the sound. Don’t try to do anything else.
Do this until you feel yourself “settle.” This typically takes 15-30 seconds. There is actually significant research that proves step two switches off the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN). I won’t cover that here, but I am sure you know how to look into it further. The DMN is responsible for wandering thoughts that feel like your brain is on autopilot.
Pad of paper and pen, please. Now, after you have allowed yourself to settle as a result of tuning into the sound, write down any thoughts that come to mind. Different, huh? Most people experience a slower, calmer, less jumbled state of mind – greater mental clarity – as a result of this process.
Making important decisions with this kind of mental clarity is helpful in all aspects of life. This process can also be used as a handy, effective meditation.
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Last reviewed: 22 Mar 2013