Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 9, 2021

31 Simple Ways to Free Your Mind Immediately

31 Simple Ways to Free Your Mind Immediately

At times, you might have thoughts that you would rather not have, such as persistent worries, little niggles, or recurring concerns that don’t go away. Often, the more you try to free your mind from these thoughts, the more persistent they become. For example: try not to think about a big pink elephant. Chances are the more you concentrate on not thinking about the elephant, the more your mind will actually focus on that image. This is because the mind is not good with focusing on “not doing” something.

The best way to free your mind from unwelcome or unwanted thoughts is to engage it with other thoughts or to remove or resolve the cause of the thoughts you are having. Here are 31 ways that you can free your mind immediately:

1. Forgive

Forgiving another person (or yourself) can help you to move on from the past and release yourself from negative emotions and thoughts.

Here’re some tips to help you:

2. Meditate

Meditation has been used for thousands of years to clear and free the mind. Doing so doesn’t have to involve burning candles and sitting in the lotus position; it can simply be sitting comfortably, allowing thoughts to enter your mind and pass through without engaging in them. Doing this for as little as ten minutes can be enough to free your mind from persistent or annoying thoughts.

You can also check out this beginner’s guide: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

3. Exercise

Exercising focuses the body on its physical requirements and takes your attention off your mind. Exercise also releases endorphins and lowers cortisol, often bringing about a more positive and happier mood.

4. Let Go of the Past

Letting go of the past allows you to focus on the here and now, and also helps you choose more empowering thoughts.

Learn how to let go of what you can’t change: How to Learn to Let Go of What You Can’t Control

Advertising

5. Be Mindful

Being mindful is the practice of focusing the mind on everyday actions that you might normally do on autopilot. By practicing mindfulness, the mind concentrates on the task at hand rather than thoughts and feelings you might prefer not to have.

6. Practice EFT

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is something that can be learnt quickly (in a matter of minutes) and can help you to feel better immediately. EFT is often also called “tapping”. EFT involves verbalising the problem or issue in hand whilst using an affirmation phrase and tapping energy points on the body.

7. Stop Feeling Guilty

Guilt is an emotion that, when left unchecked, can escalate and leave you feeling trapped and powerless. Practice noticing when you feel guilty and find ways to let go of guilty feelings: How to Stop Feeling Guilty and Free Your Mind

8. Smile and Laugh

Research shows that you will feel better for smiling and laughing, even when you don’t feel like it! Your brain registers the movements of the muscles in your face when you smile and then releases hormones and chemicals that make you feel good. Your improved emotions will make it easier to change how you are thinking.

9. Watch a Funny Film

Watching a funny film is a great way to escape reality! Just taking time out to immerse yourself in another world via a film is often enough to break the cycle of over-thinking.

10. Stop People-Pleasing and Approval-Seeking Behaviors

Many people are people-pleasers or approval junkies, but engaging in these behaviours ultimately leaves you feeling trapped, as though you are living your life for others.

Notice when you are engaging in these behaviors and start practicing living life for you: How to Stop Caring What People Think and Focus on Your Needs

11. Just Do It!

Do one thing today that scares you or that you’ve been putting off. Your mind will be brought into sharp focus by the adrenaline your body produces.

12. Declutter Your Physical Possessions

A calming environment free from clutter can help you get into a more relaxed state of mind. Without the distraction of clutter around, you are freer to let your mind focus on more positive thoughts.

Advertising

Check out this guide on how to declutter: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

13. Visualize Yourself as the Person You Want to Be

Think of someone you admire and imagine how they would handle the thoughts you are having. Then visualize yourself acting in the same way.

14. Make the Decision to Let Go of Toxic Relationships and Nourish Positive Connections

Unhealthy relationships can lead to negative thoughts and stressful states. Nourishing positive relationships will enrich your life, filling your mind with more positive thoughts and memories.

15. Do One Thing Every Day to Work Towards a Dream

Everything starts with the first step. Identify your goal and the changes needed and take the decision to take that first leap: you’ll soon be on your way to achieving your dreams rather than just thinking about them.

16. Try Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a proven therapy that enables your subconscious thoughts to influence your unconscious and conscious thoughts and feelings. Hypnotherapy can improve and resolve issues in your life and free your mind of worries and concerns.

17. Notice the Hobbies or Activities You Enjoy so Much That You Lose a Sense of Time

Do these more often! Engaging in a pastime you enjoy helps to promote a more mindful and meditative state of mind. This state allows the mind to relax and mindfully focus on the pursuit being undertaken, replacing other thoughts that may be  occupying your mind.

18. Let Go of Regrets

To let go of regrets, you could write a letter to yourself or make a list and then burn or throw it into a stream as a ritual of letting the regrets go.

19. Practice Self-Love

Honor yourself and your choices and let go of self criticism and judgement: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

20. Dance!

Move your body and let go of what you think you look like! This is guaranteed to alter your mood and free your mind.

Advertising

21. Spend Time Alone

Get used to your own company and enjoy just “being” without the need for constant company, entertainment, or being busy for its own sake.

22. Try something new

Try something new; maybe a new hobby or even a new meal choice. Mix things up and get out of your usual way of doing things.

22. Daydream

Allow yourself time to daydream regularly. This is so good for the soul!

23. Let go of Labels

Notice when you are defining yourself by external labels and let them go.

24. Become Less Attached

What are you attached to? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying things in life, but when you become attached, you rely on something external to make you happy, which traps the mind.

25. Let Go of Guilt

Guilt is a strong emotion that can become overwhelming and all-consuming. Look at addressing what you feel guilty about, and see how you can either resolve the issues you feel guilty about, or how you can be more compassionate towards yourself.

26. Practice Gratitude

Being grateful allows you to live in the present and see the blessings in front of you right now. Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For.

27. Read Inspirational Stories

Reading about people and events that inspire you can help put your thoughts into a different context.

Advertising

28. Find Like-Minded and Positive People

When you spend time with positive and like-minded people, you spend more of your time in the moment instead of over-thinking or analyzing yourself.

Learn more about this here: The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

29. Make a Commitment to Keep Learning

Learning helps you to expand your mind, which can help you achieve a more enlightened and informed point of view.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

30. Use Positive Affirmations

You are affirming all the time by the way you think and talk. “Things never go my way” is a negative affirmation, for example. You could replace such a thought with a positive affirmation such as “things are working out perfectly”.

Using positive affirmations helps you to make better choices and see things from a different and more positive perspective.

Try these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

31. Practice Putting Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

Reading, listening, and discussing opinions different from your own can open your mind and help you to see life from different perspectives. This can be particularly freeing if you are stuck in thinking about certain things in a particular way.

Featured photo credit: Sage Friedman via unsplash.com

Advertising

More by this author

Jennifer Smith

Life Coach & Personal Growth Blogger

31 Simple Ways to Free Your Mind Immediately How to Wake up Immediately in the Morning How to Forget Someone You Really Hate 7 Benefits of Smiling and Laughing that You Didn’t Know about 30 Best Workout Songs to Keep You Pumped

Trending in Happiness

1 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 2 14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life 5 13 Simple Ways To Express Gratitude Daily

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

Advertising

Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

Advertising

Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

Advertising

Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

Advertising

This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

Advertising

Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next