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Last Updated on March 11, 2020

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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