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5 ways to clear your mind

"How to Be Mindful of Your Thoughts

Learning how to be mindful and observe your thoughts non-judgementally can help combat rumination and may lead to better sleep, more effective downtime after work, greater focus, and increased creativity. The practice may even be good for your relationships. So investing some time in mind-clearing strategies is well worth it.

If your thoughts about a stressful situation become "stuck" and thinking about an event no longer leads to positive change, it’s time to take steps to change your thinking.

That said, letting go of negative emotions is easier said than done. There are a few techniques to quiet your thoughts that you can try.


Research shows that meditation can be helpful in facilitating forgiveness,7 letting go of rumination, and reducing negative emotions. Meditation provides many other benefits, as well.

To start a meditation practice, simply find a place where you can sit and relax. Then observe your thoughts without becoming attached to them. Once you’ve noticed them, let them go and bring your focus back to the present moment.

How to Practice Basic Meditation

Cultivate Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming fully immersed in an activity, rather than in your thoughts about other things.8 Mindfulness is a great option for busy people. While it involves slowing down and focusing on one thing, it doesn’t involve stopping all activity the way traditional meditation does.

Completing one activity with mindfulness can be a restorative way to observe your thoughts and get things done. Try cleaning a room, clearing out a closet, or cooking a healthy meal.

How to Practice Mindfulness in Your Life

Engage in Expressive Writing

If your mind is filled with stressful feelings, it may be helpful to give in to the thoughts and express them through writing. Journaling allows you to delve deeper into the topics that plague your thoughts.

Fully experiencing and examining your emotions can help you brainstorm solutions and give you different ways of looking at your problems (a technique known as cognitive restructuring).

When you first begin, set a time limit so you don’t get stuck in rumination. Multiple studies have found that 20 minutes is an effective amount of time for positive mental and emotional change without sliding into rumination.9

Journaling for Effective Stress Management

Distract Yourself

Sometimes, the best thing you can do to change your negative thoughts is to change your focus. Go outside and exercise. Get involved with a project or hobby. Lose yourself in a good book for a few minutes. Activities such as tai chi and karate can also be used to clear your mind.

The simple act of distraction is an excellent way to bring positive activities into your life and take a break from stress and worry.10

Connect With Friends

You may have noticed that when you're overly stressed and entrenched in rumination, you're not as much fun to be around. As a result, your relationships may suffer.

Focusing on positive relationships can minimize stress and the tendency to ruminate. By strengthening your relationships, you provide yourself with a healthy coping technique.

Research has found that those with strong social connections tend to use rumination less to cope with stress. These people also have lower rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress-linked inflammatory responses.11

Processing your problems with an empathetic friend can be a healthy distraction and a highly effective coping method. But even if you choose not to discuss your problems, the simple act of getting together can be useful to clear your mind. It's a fun and healthy way to deal with stress and anxiety.

Avoid Ruminating

One danger to watch for is the potential for co-rumination. Co-rumination involves continually revisiting and talking about problems with friends.12 This type of behavior can lead to negative feelings and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Talking to friends can be an important outlet, but it is important to remember that not all forms of support are necessarily helpful. Healthy emotional processing involves thinking about things realistically, often finding ways to solve problems or find the positives. Rumination typically involves repetitive thoughts that only focus on the negative.

If you find yourself dwelling only on the negative when talking to a friend, it's likely that you are engaging in non-helpful co-rumination. Look for ways to process your feelings and find support without slipping into rumination and negative thinking."

From Verywellmind, a Medically Reviewed Blog

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