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Neuroscientists Say These Are The 5 Best Ways to Clear A Troubled Mind

Neuroscientists Say These Are The 5 Best Ways to Clear A Troubled Mind

We’re all trying to achieve great things. With a troubled mind, this can be significantly more difficult. Imagine if you could ‒ at will ‒ calm your mind. You’ll be able to think clearly, not let your emotions get involved, and finally get ahead in life by doing things that are more rewarding. Here are the top 5 ways neuroscientists say you can clear a troubled mind.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is basically thinking about thinking. This is done by getting your thoughts and feelings out in the open, rather than letting them stew inside your mind. This is something I like to do personally as well. When my first girlfriend broke up with me, I practiced mindfulness and found myself being at peace. I imagined myself standing in the corner of the room looking at the “real me” standing in the middle of the room feeling sorry for myself.

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What happened next was amazing: I could gently feel the negative feelings of losing the love of my life (at the time) ebbing away. I could climb out of the hole I had dug for myself and move on. Psychology Today has a great article about this for you to read into more detail.

2. Meditation

Meditation is another approach you can use to calm a troubled mind. While there are several approaches to meditation, it’s all about consciously observing your thoughts and letting them drift by. Meditation isn’t so much about clearing your mind, more so standing by the side of the river of your thoughts and watching them make them way downstream.

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You don’t have to cross your legs and hum, all you need to do is being comfortable, sit still, and focus on your breathing.

3. Suppression

This is what a lot of people do naturally. When your mind is full of thoughts, bad ones start bubbling their way up. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Through sheer willpower, you cram them back into a box where they can’t annoy you. In line with Substitution, which I’ll talk about in a moment, suppression is a way of consciously ignoring something so that the thought doesn’t cause you any more problems.

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Note that this doesn’t always work. Just like a glass, it can overfill and cause more harm than good. Each person is different and this strategy may work better for you if you have greater control of your emotions.

4. Substitution

Daydreamers, this technique is for you. Substitution is about replacing unwanted thoughts with nicer ones. Substitution allows you to replace bad feelings with good by creating a brand new memory. This memory may exist for a short time, or it could be an elaborate fabrication that you choose to believe. Whatever the case, the idea behind substitution is that it will make you happier.

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This can be taken to the extreme. Some people construct entire lives in their minds and get so detached with reality that they forget what’s real and what’s not. This technique is only good if you have a strong imagination.

5. Distraction

This is the last technique. Like substitution, distraction is a way that people can forget about the thoughts that are causing them grief. Distraction relies on outside stimuli to draw their attention away from what’s happening inside their mind. The great thing about this is that you can outsource this to something or someone you trust.

You might have a friend who you can talk to, who reminds you that the world is still OK. You might play in a sports club that draws your attention away from yourself and instead forces you to put selfish thoughts aside so you can contribute to a greater cause. Whatever the case, distractions are another great way to clear a troubled mind.

So, what method do you prefer the most?

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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