How to clear your mind – a daily practice

Photo credits: Corina Negriuc

When I make decisions, I don’t like questioning them on and on. When I go about daily life, I want to live in the moment as much as possible, without drifting away on a thought or getting caught up on emotions. This is why having a clear mind is one of the most important things for me. It is like a basic need.

What does it mean? Imagine you are driving on a road for the first time, you have some idea about the destination, distance and time it will take you to get there, but you have no navigation system and you need to pay attention to road signs and maybe ask for directions as well. Now compare doing this on a sunny spring day versus doing it in pouring rain.

I do think that emotions are and should be a part of our lives. However, there are good emotions and bad emotions (some even toxic), depending on the influence they have on us. How we feel should be a consequence of what we do, not the other way around.

For example, if you make a decision in anger, disappointment or in another negative state of mind, it is bound to be flawed, clouded. The same is true for acting under the influence of excitement, butterflies in the stomach or wearing pink spectacles.

People feel. People also enjoy daydreaming. It was proven and makes sense that some daydreaming is healthy and actually contributes to generating ideas.*

For the reasons above I have made a daily practice out of taking 15-30 minutes to do nothing, think about whatever comes up, explore what I feel. When I come across an idea, I write it down. When dark thoughts emerge, I acknowledge them and accept them. I’ll welcome any overly optimistic view, but treat with skepticism. Won’t these thoughts come up all the time? Yes, but then I set them aside for latter and “ignore” them temporarily.

After getting enough sleep, taking the time described above is the most powerful tool for keeping a clear mind. It works 95% of the time. If there are serious issues to be dealt with, involving other people, then by all means don’t dismiss them as “negative thinking”. Telling the difference between toxic thoughts and actual problems is a skill worth developing as well. But this deserves its own post…

*) here are the links to a couple of articles on the importance of daydreaming:

why daydreaming is good for us

the benefits of daydreaming

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The Power of Words

I like being straightforward and say what I think. I admire those who do the same. However this is not easy. I am constantly working to find the balance which assertiveness ensures.

One of my main beliefs is that you can tell what type of person one is and how successful they are from they way one communicates and expresses oneself.

Words have an immense power. They shape our image of the world, influence our mood, they can hurt and manipulate, but can also win hearts and open doors.

Say it out loud, don’t just think it. Measure your words so that they serve your plans, but don’t break any bonds.

How many times have you missed the opportunity to say some kind words ore give a compliment? Moreover, how many times did you say something in anger and then wish you could take it back?

All human beings wish to be happy. Whatever form happiness takes for them, they have this one thing in common. Once you acknowledge this, your thoughts are open for a deeper understanding of the world. Sounds like a bit too much? Maybe, but there are too many times when inferiority or superiority complexes stand in the way of an open and successful communication.

There are countless rules for communicating, but here are the ones which I have found most effective and use most often:

⁃ see yourself as the peer of the person you are talking to (not superior, not inferior either).

⁃ speak respectfully (to the other and to yourself as well) and show understanding.

⁃ if you start getting aggravated/emotional and you know this will affect your discourse, take a deep breath or take a break.

⁃ avoid generalizations (like “you never do this or that”) as they are most likely untrue.

To your fruitful conversations!

Note on the picture: it is of a drawing I made, called “Freestyle in Watercolor”