Tomorrow’s grocery day, I need to pick up the dry cleaning, help a child finish a project, bathe the dog and cook dinner. And that grocery list and meal plan for the week, when am I going to get that done? And I need to clip coupons to save us some money. Speaking of money, I must finish writing out the monthly budget and pay bills.
Does this feel like the inner workings of your mind some days? Maybe most days? The pace of our lives can be hectic and overwhelming, and we may find it hard to find time for rest and relaxation. Did you know our minds need this as much as our bodies? If you want an optimally functioning mind, provide it with regular breaks.
How to Clear Your Mind in 60 Seconds
You don’t have to commit to hours of rest and relaxation to quiet your mind. Snagging a moment here and there to consciously focus on reducing stress and mental clutter can make a huge difference. Find a moment over the next week to try one or two of these strategies out:
- Gaze upward and count. Sound silly? There’s scientific evidence to back this one up. Stare up at the ceiling and count to 60. Looking upward stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and lowers your blood pressure and slows your breathing. And slow, easy counting helps clear your mind of worries, too.
- Use the power of the pen. Create a 60 second journal, and when your mind is racing and on overdrive, take a minute to jot down your thoughts. Dump your worries, your to-dos and your brilliant ideas onto the pages and know that you’ve gotten them out of your mind. You no longer have to carry them with you, because they are now in your journal for safekeeping, just waiting to be dealt with at an appropriate time.
- Just breathe. This is a popular mantra which is often stated, but not intentionally practiced. Set a time for 60 seconds and practice slow, controlled breathing — in for a count of four and out for a count of four. Focusing on your breath is a form of mindfulness. And the actual act of breathing calms your heart rate and fills your body with much needed oxygen.
- Try walking meditation. This one is ideally practiced for longer than 60 seconds, but if you’re at work or home and need a quick renewal, give it a try. Read my blog on walking meditations and take a quick walk around your office building or home to feel refreshed. If you only have 60 seconds, that’s OK. Breathe deeply, feel the sunshine, hear the birds and soak it in.
- Connect with each muscle. Start with your neck and shoulders and go all the way to your toes, tensing and releasing each muscle in your body. Shake everything out when you are done. Putting the focus into the body and out of the mind for a moment can be very clearing.
For more tips on stress management, meditation and overall well-being, contact me! As your health and wellness coach, I’ll work with you toward your individual goals and help you live a more fulfilling, joyful life.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.