Feeling like your brain is too full of random stuff and you lack mental clarity? Too much clutter keeping you from thinking straight? Maybe you can’t gather your thoughts because they’re buried under mountains of trivia or worries.
It’s getting more and more common for people to find themselves in a mental fog when they need their brains the most.
The thing is, everything has ever started with one thought. And finding and nurturing your brain clarity can be the first step towards unlocking your most genius idea.
What Is Mental Clarity?
Mental clarity is a state of mind where you feel fully present, engaged, and active. You are clear of thoughts and mental fog while you tap into your creativity, critical thinking, and even your intuition.
Learning how to increase your mental clarity and kill those automatic negative thoughts (what Jim refers to as the ANTs in your mind) is a cognitive skill that will enhance all areas of your life.
Common Reasons Why You Lose Your Clarity of Thought
“Why can’t I think clearly anymore?” you might have asked yourself.
An unclear mind can stem from various factors that influenced your lifestyle. Sometimes, it’s the small and simple things you may have neglected that can make an impact on how you think and feel.
- Sleep. Dealing with a sleeping disorder or simply not having quality rest will have a tremendous impact on your mental health. Studies suggest that lack of sleep can play a fundamental role in the development and intensity of physical and psychological health symptoms.
- Nutrition. Jim Kwik, brain performance expert and trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest, talks about the best brain foods to consume in order to improve your brain clarity and performance. Poor nutrition can even lead to depression and a serious lack of mental clarity, according to this 2008 study.
- Chronic stress. It’s no news that putting your body in a constant state of stress will release high levels of cortisol in your blood. This process results in poor circulation, meaning that your heart is sending less blood and oxygen to your brain (a physiological cause of mental fog).
Your mental health is influenced by a plethora of different factors, such as lifestyle, genetics, traumas, or unprocessed emotions. To pinpoint the core reason for the lack of mental clarity, it is best to seek out professional help.
The Importance of Thinking Clearly
Our most precious gift is our brain. It is what allows us to learn, love, think, create, and even to experience joy.— Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest
Clarity of mind can set you up for success. It’s like having a blank canvas where you can paint with whatever colors you will choose. Some of the greatest benefits of thinking clearly are:
- Better organization skills
- The overall quality of life and well-being
- Being more connected to your intuition and inner wisdom
- Feeling creative
- Expanding your capacity to learn new skills
- Improved short-term and long-term memory
- Higher levels of energy both on a physical and mental level
- Feeling more productive and achieving your goals faster
As Jim highlights in his Quest on Mindvalley, the power of your brain is a superpower that we all have access to. It’s essential to learn what helps with your mental clarity and how to take proper care of your brain.
How to Improve Mental Clarity: Tips From Brain Expert Jim Kwik
Mental clarity can escape anyone. Surely, even Einstein had moments where he looked at a page full of formulas and had no idea what they meant, and Shakespeare probably sat there, pen in hand, while no words came out of his head.
However, mental clarity is something you can create quickly on the spot. Whenever you need to think your way out of a problem, make a compelling argument, or just want the mental noise to stop. Jim recommends using these tips to clean-sweep your mind and restore mental clarity.
1. Meditate to de-stress
Stress is the most common cause of mental clutter and the inability to think clearly. When your thoughts keep hovering around your problems, there’s not a lot of working memory left for anything else. Just like a computer, your RAM is full from running a bunch of worry programs that cause your brain to work slowly.
Your brain can only handle one thought at a time. Super-fast, mind you, but only one at a time. So when you have a lot of unwanted thoughts running in the background, you can’t expect conscious thoughts to be clear or coherent.
Meditation also teaches you to focus and shut out distractions that contribute to slow mental functioning. You can try out The 6 Phase Meditation, guided by Vishen, founder of Mindvalley to bring you closer to your center and peace of mind.
2. Simplify your life
Too many external stimuli clog up the work too. The more plugged-in and connected you are, the worse the situation. Try having one day a week with zero electronics — no phone, no computer, no TV.
Just you, unplugged from the world. The world won’t stop without your input, and you’ll be just fine without scrolling on your Instagram feed or posting that BeReal for a day.
Also, don’t automatically respond and obey every time you get a bing or bleep that you have a message. Set aside time to answer emails and call people back so you stay focused on your work.
Finally, cut back on your social obligations. If you’re already slammed with responsibilities, let the book club slide. Do you really need to be on the leadership committee? Focus on what is truly important to you and say no to the rest.
3. Make a hit list
You may not realize just how much stuff you carry around in your head that doesn’t need to be there. Your to-do list. Your reminders. Unfinished business. All of that is using up your mental RAM, leaving little working memory for complex problems and clear thinking.
So write down a to-do list that encompasses everything that you need to do. Then, whittle it down to the essentials. Focus on the top priority tasks, your “hit list.”
Do them, finish them, and you can literally forget about other tasks until it’s their turn. They’ve been written down, on a piece of paper (your “external drive,” if you will).
If you spend five minutes a day organizing your hit list, you can free up your memory and focus on what needs to be done. This is a great relief and allows you to put your mental energies into what you need to accomplish.
4. Do a “brain dump”
This is a silly, fun little exercise that effectively clears your mind. For the next 10 minutes, write down whatever thoughts you are having, no matter how random or ridiculous they may be.
Become aware of them as they float into your consciousness, and write them down. Then let your mind keep wandering and write down the next thought, and the next.
Stumped about where to start? Close your eyes and wait for a moment. Your mind does not like silence. It’s not used to not constantly yammering on — so within a few seconds it will come up with a topic.
Write that thought down, and say, “next,” before you get caught up in it; allow the next thought to come up — and write down that next thought. And the next. For 10 minutes.
You don’t need to keep any of this. But if you do, it’s very illuminating what sorts of random thoughts your mind generates every day.
In fact, this is a great self-awareness exercise. You can see very clearly how your mind jumps from topic to topic like a kid at the playground. Awareness is the first step to self-mastery.
5. Move your body and oxygenate your brain
Get up and get away from whatever you’re doing and go clear your head. Go outside, go for a walk, run or bike ride, pet the dog, do yoga, or do some deep breathing exercises where you focus on your breath.
Sometimes you just need a break, a chance to reboot the system with a brisk walk, and a healthy snack to clear your mind. And within 10 or 15 minutes you can be feeling refreshed and mentally clear.
As your body moves, your brain grooves.— Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest
6. Don’t be too full or too hungry, and stay hydrated
Avoid heavy food-coma-inducing meals, and don’t let yourself become too hungry between meals. Both of these contribute to the deadly mental fog.
Also, stay hydrated throughout the day. Your brain is a spongy mass that requires water for electrochemical reactions to work optimally; a dehydrated brain is a slow brain.
Additionally, what Jim calls a “good brain diet” can contribute significantly to thinking more clearly. Make sure to include in your diet foods such as avocado, walnuts, turmeric, blueberries, eggs, wild salmon, and dark chocolate.
Your Greatness Starts With Mental Clarity
Clearing up your mind and keeping it working at its most efficient levels is something that requires time and consistency. But as soon as you get the gist of it, you’ll reap the amazing benefits and be forever grateful for all the practice that you put into this process.
And to guide you along the way and make it easier, Mindvalley will step in for you. There is a number of transformational quests to help you level up. But when it comes to the brain, the Superbrain Quest with Jim Kwik can help you with:
- Techniques for supercharging your memory, focus, and learning capacity
- The most beneficial brain diet
- How to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts
- How to transform the way your brain is wired
- Achieving top performance when learning
By unlocking your free access, you can sample out classes from this program and many others. All you have to do is open your mind to your greatest potential. And don’t be afraid to take the first step.