health

Feeling foggy? Here are 5 easy ways to clear your mind. 

ASICS
Thanks to our brand partner, ASICS

On a scale of ‘I meditate every day’ to ‘I write to-do lists in my sleep’, where do you sit when it comes to having a clear mind? 

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably towards the latter: a serial overthinker and a lover of lists with a brain so foggy you need headlights just to decide what you want for lunch. 

Luckily, I’ve figured out the best ways to declutter my mind, swat away those unnecessary intrusive thoughts, and focus on being in the present. 

So, in case you're feeling a bit foggy, here are 5 easy ways to improve your headspace. 

1. Go for a walk

If living through lockdowns has taught me anything, it’s that mindlessly walking around my neighbourhood is the fastest way to get me out of any kind of mental funk. 

Exercise has been proven to positively impact the mind by releasing happy chemicals like endorphins and serotonin. A fact that I’m sure many of you are aware of. But what you may not know is how quickly it takes effect. 

Image: Supplied.

According to a study conducted by ASICS, it only takes 15 minutes and 9 seconds of movement to lift your mood.

Just 15 minutes. 

That’s nothing. 

If I can magically lose one hour to scrolling on TikTok before bed (eek), squeezing in a 15-minute walk everyday shouldn’t be too hard.

Our friends over at ASICS think so too. That’s why in 2022 they’re encouraging Aussies to Live Uplifted by moving their bodies daily for mental wellbeing. For Melbournians, a great way to get moving is to participate in the upcoming Run Melbourne marathon. You can train for the full race, or simply participate in the 5km fun run.

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Not to mention Keith Schleiger — a familiar name for fans of The Block — will be kicking off his work boots and slipping on some trainers to join in on the Run Melbourne action. 

Keith underwent a training program with ASICS that involved 30 minutes of physical activity daily. In line with ASICS’ Mind Race study, Keith felt his mood uplift within just 15 minutes. Put through his paces, the typically grumpy foreman experienced more than just improvement on his physical fitness — his biggest transformation was in his mind.

2. Curate the perfect playlist

Listening to music is a low-effort way to ground yourself in the present. 

Think about it. 

Whenever you attend live gigs like concerts, festivals or even just stop on the street to listen to a busker, you’re physically and mentally locked into that moment. 

Now I’m not suggesting you throw money at live gigs every time you want to clear your mind, but here’s a budget-friendly alternative that has proven to work wonders for me. 

If I ever feel the need to press pause, I hop onto my fave music streaming app and start curating my perfect playlist. 

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From shower playlists to pre-game and productivity playlists, one would argue there aren’t many moments you can't make a playlist for.

And you don’t just have to stop at making playlists with the songs you know and love. I’ve found that a great way to anchor myself in the present is by discovering new music. 

When I stumble across new artists, I’ll make sure I have no distractions so that I can just sit, listen and enjoy their music. 

It’s a similar feeling to those moments in the car when you hear a new song for the first time on the radio and you don’t have the luxury of playing it back, so you just have to soak it all up in the moment (and hope you remember enough lyrics to look it up later). 

3. Clean out your closet

A seasonal cleanout of my closet has always been cleansing to my mind in more ways than one. 

What may seem like a chore at first usually ends up being quite therapeutic for me.

I’ve always found that an uncluttered space equals an uncluttered mind. 

You may not realise but when you do these types of activities like organising your closet or cleaning your room, you unload that mental burden you didn’t realise you were holding onto. 

After a closet cleanout my mind feels completely at ease, I don’t tend to fall into my usual habits of rushing to find the ‘perfect’ outfit before work or an event AND I always manage to find that one timeless item I’d thought I’d lost ages ago and end up wearing for seven days in a row.

Image: Supplied.

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This month I was lucky enough to time my closet cleanout with the first ever Mamamia Clothes Swap

So not only was I able to channel my inner Marie Kondo, I also had peace of mind knowing my unwanted clothes would soon find a loving new home.  

 4. Learn a new skill 

When was the last time you tried to master a new skill? 

Right now, I’m learning how to play the drums. 

Not exactly the instrument that comes to mind when you want to clear your head, but sometimes it’s just about diving into a hobby that you have absolutely no clue how to do, so that your only focus is on getting it right. 

When I play the drums, I’m exercising my muscle memory. I’ve found that in the act of practising over and over, I draw every ounce of my concentration to that very moment, eliminating any other thoughts in the process. And at the end of it all, I feel like I’ve been super productive, so really, it’s a win-win.  

Learning a new skill is definitely one of the more out of the box solutions I default to when I just need to step away from the noise in my head and, ironically, get that noise out into the open. Sorry neighbours.

5. Brain dump your thoughts 

And finally, the most obvious way to clear your mind is by literally… clearing your mind. 

A clear mind means letting go of any thoughts you’ve let race around your head for too long.  

These days, I feel spoilt for choice with the amount of outlets there are for expressing my thoughts. 

Whether it’s scribbling everything down in my journal or ranting to my friends on one of those new Gen Z-approved apps like Cappucino, the best way to get it out is to simply GET IT OUT. 

Since I love a stream of consciousness, when it comes to writing out my thoughts, I set myself a 20-minute timer and then let the pen hit the paper. 

You might be thinking, why 20 minutes? 

Well, studies have shown that this is the ideal length of time to effectively release your thoughts without ruminating on them. 

Because at the end of the day, that’s the key, isn’t it? To offload your thoughts without dwelling too much. 

According to ASICS' latest study, it only takes 15 minutes and 9 seconds of movement to lift your mood. 

To get movin' and make your mind feel better, join the Run Melbourne marathon or fun run on July 24. Register here.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

ASICS
ASICS is an acronym, that derives from ‘Anima Sana In Corpore Sano’ a Latin phrase expressing the ancient ideal of ‘A sound mind in a sound body’. This concept is central to our role as a manufacturer of sporting goods and researcher in the field of sports and fitness.