Sometimes the mind is just overwhelmed after thinking non-stop about the same topic. It could be an issue at work, a health crisis, a relationship mess, a financial burden, or something else. How to gain mental clarity when the mind is all choked up with different conflicting ideas?
There are several steps that you can follow to gain clarity in any situation when the mind has become tired of looking at the same issue and repeating the same thoughts over and over again.
1- Write Down a Problem Statement: The first thing you need to do is to WRITE DOWN the problem statement. Writing down being the keyword here. When we write down something the emotionality of the subject is significantly reduced. As things become less scary and more manageable when they are in black and white on a piece of paper (preferably). even writing electronically is acceptable but writing on a paper is more powerful.
Write down the general situation around the issue, providing as many details as necessary.
Write down the problem statement describing the issue that you are looking to address. It needs to be just the very specific issue and nothing extraneous.
2- Step Away: Once you have captured the essence of your problem then it is time to walk away from it. You will not gain additional mental clarity by thinking about the same old issues over and over again. You need to take a step back and give the problem some space. It is very important to leave the problem behind however counterintuitive it might seem at that time.
You may take a walk in the nature to relax, do something fun like watching a favorite movie, play a game, do something physical. It is nice to laugh and play as tends to relax you and open the door that you might have thought have been closed. If you are finding it hard to step away then start with focussing on your breathing. When we get stressed out the breathing itself changes and by paying attention to a relaxed deep breathing will help open up the body and mind.
3- Remove the Clutter from your Life: It is very important to clear out any clutter in physical or mental space that you occupy. Remove any unnecessary items from your house, car, work area. Many time we create the clutter in our physical space as a result of our mental confusion. But it works n the opposite direction as well. When we clear out the physical space, the mental clarity is helped. As we are observing a clear space and not a cluttered space.
It is equally important to clear out the mental clutter as well. Some of the mental clutter was addressed using the writing down the problem statement exercise. However, it is also important to note that when we are working with one problem we also tend to bunch up other related or unrelated issues with that issue. It is very important to realize what are interrelated issues and what is totally irrelevant. Don’t let any other issue that is unrelated to the current issue, bog you down. If you have too many issues to work with then prioritize them and address them one at a time. Handling too many things at one time would be overwhelming and nothing would get resolved.
4- Seek Counsel: It is easy to talk to someone who we can trust. Other people have a more objective view of our issues even when they might nothing new to the table. If can find someone who has gone through your specific issue in their own life then they will be a valuable resource for you. There is no shame in asking people for help. Always be willing to help others and you will find it easier to receive as well. Feel free to provide something of value to them in return if possible.
If it is not possible to talk to someone else then pretend that someone else is having this issue and they are looking for a solution with your help. What questions are you going to be asking them? How would you advise them?
By following the above steps you will gain sufficient clarity on your particular issue. As you practice these steps more, you will become really good at clearing your mind to solve a specific problem. Always remember that the problems have the answers hidden in them. When one door closes several others open up. We just need to open our minds and eyes to look.