Image by: jarmoluk
By Robert Spencer
What we forget to focus on when we talk about health, is our mental health and clarity. In order to function properly you have to make sure that you’re thinking clearly. When you think clearly, you make healthier decisions and you make smarter decisions when it comes to your personal and professional life.
#1) De-Clutter Your Home
One way to achieve this mental clarity is to de-clutter our homes and our offices. Our minds have a tendency of mimicking our surroundings. So when our lives appear chaotic, our minds have a tendency of being more chaotic.
That is why, de-cluttering your home, office, and your desk should be your first step in this process. I would personally start with your office and your desk since most of us spend 75 percent of our lives in those places. When it comes to your home, I would first focus on your bedroom.
When your bedroom is clean and harmonious, you will find that it will be easier for you to fall asleep at night and you will get a better night’s rest as well.
Also remember these tips (from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits ) if these tasks seem a bit too overwhelming:
1. Start Small
2. Work in chunks
3. Follow a simple method
4. Put stuff in your trunk
5. Talk to anyone involved
6. Notice your resistance
7. Enjoy the process
Babauta even has a decluttering challenge for July that he is promoting. So check out the challenge at the link above if you need a little extra motivation.
Working out gives your mind more oxygen because you’re breathing in deeper and drinking more water (hopefully). In addition to that, consider some stress-relieving yoga or flexibility exercises.
In addition to the eye-candy at yoga classes and their snug pants, a 20-minute session of Hatha yoga has been proven to help you recall more information and help process information as well. This was according to a study that was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
#3) Meditation and Reflection
A lot of skeptics and “manly men” don’t believe in meditation and reflection. To them, these activities may appear to be a waste of time. However, studies have shown that people who meditate have 50% less doctor visits than people who don’t. Also, meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure levels, increase circulation and can help with insomniac episodes.
A study done with a group of inner-city residents who suffered from different disorders and diseases (like chronic pain, depression, diabetes, and anxiety) experiences a 50% reduction in psychiatric symptoms and a 70 reduction in their anxiety.
Meditation and reflection (some people say go hand in hand) can help you achieve mental clarity by helping to ease your worries, clear your head, reduce pain, and can help to bring you back to center and see things more clearly.
Sometimes our mind gets cluttered, foggy, and messy because there is too much going on around us. In these days of instant gratification and external stimuli, it can be easy to overstimulate yourself.
If you’re like me and you can’t afford to do a day of zero electronics (which is what I truly recommend), try to lessen the amount of time that you spend in front of electronics by a half an hour each day. Then, after a couple weeks, try 1 hour less of electronics a day (less than what you normally spend in front of your gadgets).
Also try reading before bed instead of watching TV. You should be electronics-free for at least a half an hour to an hour before you hit the sack at night.
#5) Task Lists are Your Friend
Trust me, I know what it’s like to be bombarded with way to many things to do. Between the honey-do list at home and the work tasks and deadlines, I’m sure that sometimes you feel like it’s too much. When you begin to be a bit too overwhelmed by your mounting tasks, start creating lists.
You can put them on your phone and set reminders. You can make a separate list on your work desktop (for your work task list) and your laptop at home (for your personal to-do list).
#6) Stay Hydrated
A dehydrated brain is a slow moving brain (think of a slug), while a well-hydrated brain is one that runs smoothly like a determined cheetah.
#7) Use Your Brain
If you sit around and veg out when you get home from work, you’re probably not using your brain enough. When it comes to mental agility and sharpness, it’s kind of a use it or lose it. Personal improvement is a great way to keep your brain sharp (and impress the ladies at the same time). So take some classes, learn a foreign language, or take up a new hobby.
If you don’t have the time to learn a new hobby or language, you can do just about anything that will challenge your brain a little: practice writing with the opposite hand, do a puzzle, Sudoku, crossword puzzle, etc.
Now it’s you turn. What do you do to keep your brain sharp? Have you considered meditation? How do you keep your mind clear? Do you have any tips that I have missed? Vitamins and minerals? Music? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would love to hear your input!