HEALTHY LIVING
03/18/2014 08:38 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2014

6 Ways To Clear Your Mind From All The Clutter

Image Source RF/Chad Springer via Getty Images

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Ever have one of those days where you just can't get your mind to shut off? Your thoughts are going in a million different directions, and each one is louder than the next. If your thoughts are becoming more boisterous than a heavy metal concert, try using one of the tools below. You'll have a clear, calm mind in no time.

  • Write it out -- then throw it out
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    Can't sort out how you're feeling? Putting pen to paper could help. A 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that physically writing out negative thoughts and throwing them away can help clear your mind.
  • Meditate on nothing
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    In his book 10% Happier, ABC News anchor Dan Harris explains how the voices in our heads can be a "total pill" and that most of us are "so entranced by non-stop conversation we're having with ourselves that we aren't even aware we have a voice in our head." His solution? Meditate. Meditation allows you focus on one thing and, with practice, helps you to pull your thoughts back when they start to wander.
  • Press play and run away
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    Next time you head out for your run, make sure to grab that iPod. Researchers at Ohio State University found that exercising with music activates the frontal lobe, the area of the brain associated with higher mental functions. Participants in the study performed better on fluency tests after exercising with music as opposed to those who exercised with no soundtrack.
  • Get that shuteye
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    Sleep and brain function go together like peanut butter and jelly. Next time your brain is clouded with thoughts and you're feeling that mental fatigue, let your head hit the pillow. Taking a 10-minute nap can increase your alertness and productivity and recent research found that sleep also clears out the clutter in your brain at a cellular level.
  • Start talking
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    If your head is buzzing with stressful thoughts, talking it out can help. According to one small study, being around your best friend during tough times can help alleviate stressful emotions.
  • When all else fails, a cute puppy video might work
    YouTube
    Sometimes the best way to get out of your own head is to do something mindless -- and what better way to do that than to watch cute animal videos? But don't feel too guilty about it. A 2012 study found that a few minutes of cute videos or photos can elevate your mood and productivity at work.

For more GPS Guides, click here.

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