7 Tips For When You Need Mental Space
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Have you ever felt like your mind was overcrowded? Like you can't possibly fit one more bit of information in or your head will explode? Or do you have those moments when you're not able to form a complete, solid thought?
Sometimes it feels like there's a game of Quidditch going on inside my head, where all my thoughts are like characters from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, flying around on broom sticks, trying to catch the golden snitch. Meanwhile, my conscious mind is somewhere on the ground playing with a ladybug.
Other times, my head is in utter chaos, like when Spongebob cleared his mind of everything except "fine dining", including his name. And when he needed to know his name again, everything caught on fire and his brain self-destructed.
Yep. I am all too familiar with this - - which means I've had plenty of practice on getting out of this overwhelming state.
I want to point out that it's really important to pay attention to when you might be getting overwhelmed, and to address it the first chance you get.
Here's what I recommend:
Take a break. Whatever you're currently doing- STOP. Whether you're working on a project, watching the news, or talking to someone- stop and switch gears. Turn the computer and TV off. Put your phone on silent.
Physically remove yourself from your situation. Often times, part of our stress comes from, or is triggered by, our environment. A change of scenery really helps because it allows you to get away from those environmental frustrations, that are preventing you from sorting through your own thoughts.
Move your body. Go get some exercise or even just STRETCH!! I cannot emphasize this enough!! So many health benefits come along with exercise.
See nature. This is my favorite one. I like to take walks in my neighborhood, or go sit on the beach. If you can't leave your house or office, make sure you can see out a window. If it's raining, sit on your porch or in your car and just listen to the rain hit the roof.
Limit noise. Sometimes we need silence to rebalance our minds. GET COMFORTABLE in silence. You don't need headphones in your ears 24/7. Music has a time and place and is loved by everyone, but sometimes we need to let the noise in our heads stop before we throw in more. Instead, listen to the sounds of your environment. Take note of them. Do you hear wind? Or is there a fan blowing around you? Do you hear movement? Animals? People? Distant traffic? Be still and silent.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Everyone knows this tip, but if you haven't tried it, then you don't know how well it works. Once you've gotten into a quiet space, add this step and feel your chest rise and lower as you inhale and exhale. Listen to it. Feel your heart rate come down as you relax.
Sing and shout (another favorite of mine). After the chaos in your mind has been controlled, and you no longer feel that game of Quidditch going on, SING! There's something about singing that helps release frustration. It's almost like funneling all those nonsensical thoughts from your head and out of your mouth so they no longer take up room in your mind.
These are 7 of my best tips for getting some mental space.
There's no doubt that at times it will be hard to do these things. That's okay, but practice recognizing when there ARE opportunities to do them.
With that being said, I am going to go outside now and see some nature before the sun sets.
Let me know what you think, and leave a comment if you have any more tips.
Thanks for reading!