NEW YORK – Ever have one of those days where you just can’t get your mind to shut off? Your thoughts are going in a million different directions, and each one is louder than the next. If your thoughts are becoming more boisterous than a heavy metal concert, try using one of the tools below. You’ll have a clear, calm mind in no time.
1. Write it out — then throw it out
Can’t sort out how you’re feeling? Putting pen to paper could help. A 2012 study found that physically writing out negative thoughts and throwing them away can help clear your mind.
2. Press play and run away
Next time you head out for your run, make sure to grab that iPod. Researchers at Ohio State University found that exercising with music activates the frontal lobe, the area of the brain associated with higher mental functions.
Next time your brain is clouded with thoughts and you’re feeling that mental fatigue, let your head hit the pillow. Taking a 10-minute nap can increase your alertness and productivity and recent research found that sleep also clears out the clutter in your brain at a cellular level.
If your head is buzzing with stressful thoughts, talking it out can help. According to one small study, being around your best friend during tough times can help alleviate stressful emotions.
Meditation allows you focus on one thing and, with practice, helps you to pull your thoughts back when they start to wander.