Healing Figures

Self Care and Inspiration for Dancers

3 Simple Ways to Clear Your Mind and Refocus

Using sweets to clear your mind

Sometimes in life our minds can get cluttered. I know from balancing a full time degree, voluntary work and being a single parent, that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the week. My to-do list can get very long and overwhelming. So here are my three top tips for keeping a clear mind.

My first top tip was given to me by a close friend who, if I'm honest, has helped me stay sane throughout my time at university! My to-do list was growing out of control and even prioritising tasks left me feeling like I was drowning. So she asked me to imagine a drawer and to place all of my tasks in to that drawer apart from two. I shut the drawer and forgot about the other tasks so that I just had two to focus on. I immediately felt relieved and more able to cope. Once I had completed a task I could take another out, but remembering to only ever have two tasks out at once. I was able to begin working through my list much more effectively with a clear mind.

Clear Your Mind

Top tip number two is a great exercise to help you clear your mind, especially if you haven't tried meditation before. First you will need to get a collection of small things, like marbles, pennies or sweets. Make sure you are sitting comfortably in a quiet room. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths and notice where you can feel the breath the most. This may be your chest rising and falling or the air on your nose. This point will be your focus throughout the exercise.

Set a timer for one minute and try to concentrate on your breathing, keeping your mind clear. Every time a thought comes into your head move one of the items to a new pile. It's ok for these thoughts to come, just accept it and push it away. Refocus on your breathing. At the end of the minute you can see how many thoughts you had. Over time and with some practise this number will slowly decrease, and clearing your mind will become easier.

Mindful Apps

My final top tip is to use a meditation app. There are so many available including popular ones like Headspace and Calm. Download a few of them and find the one that is right for you. My favourite is Stop, Breathe & Think. It combines mindfulness and meditation. When you open the app it asks you to assess how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. From this it recommends meditation sessions to help you improve. You don't have to go with these, you can pick from a list. There are 20 free sessions to chose from, including relaxation exercises to help you sleep. A kids app is also available aimed at ages 5 to 10.

There are lots of ways to help clear your mind. These are my three top tips. Hopefully they will help you refocus and allow you to approach and complete tasks more effectively throughout the day.