Some days just don’t start right. You get out of bed with the wrong foot. You have to hurry to get to work just in time and the actual workload that is awaiting you in the office is overwhelming. After a really hectic morning, you have a quick lunch break during which you manage to shovel in some food. And although it wasn’t the healthiest choice and it didn’t provide you with the daily nutrients your body requires, at least you aren’t hungry anymore.
Now you are back to work answering emails, talking to clients on the phone, preparing a presentation, etc. – you name it. At 6:30 PM you finally call it a day and drive back home totally exhausted. You are looking forward to a nice meal, and then you are going to relax on the coach reading your new favorite book with a glass of red wine.
But after 5 minutes of reading half-heartedly, you notice that you are still stuck on the same page, even on the same sentence reading it over and over again. It seems that somehow you just can’t concentrate on your book. But why not? What keeps you so distracted?
It’s your thoughts that are buzzing around in your head uncontrollably. You are thinking about the coming day and all the work that’s awaiting you tomorrow. At the same time you regret that you didn’t take the time to have a proper meal during lunch break – although that wasn’t your fault – and you are annoyed that you couldn’t come up with the energy to stick to your exercise plan. What you need to do right now, is to disentangle your thoughts and calm your mind.
Power napping is my #1 technique that I practice whenever I need to structure my thoughts. The basic idea behind it is to have a short nap, that usually shouldn’t exceed 10-20 minutes, in which your brain has the time to process all the impressions and experiences of the day. To me it feels like my thoughts that are entangled and sort-of glued together get separated from one another and stored in the right compartment in my brain.
If you fear that when you lie down and close your eyes for 20 minutes you might fall into a deep sleep, here is a cool trick for you to try: Take a key ring into one hand and put your arm in a position that, if you open the hand, the key ring will fall to the floor and make some noise to wake you up.
Meditation is a great way to help us understanding our own thoughts. It helps us to replace the negative with the positive and change our mood from unhappy to happy. If you want to learn more about how to meditate, you can find plenty of information on meditation techniques and more on lifehack.org, such as in this article here.
This might sound too simple, but sometimes confusion in your head is caused by dehydration. If you had a busy day, chances are that you forgot to drink enough water. So drink a full glass now and another one in 20 minutes. Or you can replace the second glass with tea!
You always want to make sure that the color and smell of your urine is not too intense.
Get Fresh Air
Getting some fresh air is also something I’ve noticed that really helps me to clear my head and to re-energize. By the way, the more nature that’s surrounding you when going for a stroll, the better.
At first it might seem like the last thing you want to do, but exercising and focusing on your body and your breathing clears your head in no time. And there also is the benefit that it’s good for your health. On top of that, we all know how great it feels to have completed a proper workout!
Write Down Your Thoughts
Writing down what makes you restless isn’t something that helps everyone. You have to have an affinity for it, at least a little bit. We are all different and something that works for one group of people doesn’t necessarily work for another. Also, this article is not about applying every single technique out there anyway. Just choose what fits you and your personality best, and if that means that you are going to write down your thoughts into a diary, then you should go for it.
Pulkit Zalani from turnedtwenty.com has created one of my favorite articles on the benefits of keeping a diary and why it is good for you.
Spend Quality Time With Beloved Ones
Your family and your friends are the people that you can trust. You feel safe and comfortable around them. They most likely know what’s good for you and know how to keep your mind distracted from bothering thoughts. Spending quality time with them is what makes you happy, so more of that!
Do you have your own special techniques that help you to calm down and that we could add to our list?