Unload the head: three effective exercises

Heavy loads, huge amount of information, excessive demands – sooner or later the brain starts to boil. It needs rest: for this someone will be useful to walk in silence, someone – to splash their thoughts on paper, watch passers-by or just think about nothing.

“I can’t think about anything anymore” – these words would delight any Buddhist who in return would definitely say: “So, it’s time to indulge in a wonderful state of “nothing unthinking”. But, unfortunately, in the life of a western man this phrase does not mean anything good and sounds usually in this context: “My head is overloaded”, “Thoughts are confused” or “Brain is about to explode”.

What’s the reason? There’s more than one. First, we get information from different (numerous) sources and constantly face contradictions, rumors, refutations and confirmation of what we have learned before. Every day we are caught in the crossfire of different data. There is a particularly fierce struggle between the classical mass media and the Internet – hence the contradictions in the obtained information.

In addition, we are constantly running and rushing somewhere – the rhythm of life is constantly accelerating. And every day we have to solve a huge number of questions and problems. The crazy rhythm of modern life overloads the brain. Negative influence can have our own thoughts, which literally dig into the head. This leads to the accumulation of feelings of anxiety and guilt, or a sense of our own worthlessness.

Writing is a kind of mirror that we learn to understand ourselves and solve problems.

Such “thought overload” is what psychologists call “mental intoxication caused by excess information and negative thoughts”, similar to physical intoxication caused by the abuse of drugs, artificial food supplements and pesticides.

In our turbulent times, at a time of endless shakes and overloads, it is vital that we learn how to get rid of unnecessary thoughts and free our brains from all excesses. This is necessary first and foremost to find inner balance. Here are three exercises that will allow you to start a mental detox procedure.

Throw out negative thoughts…

Writing is a kind of mirror that we learn to understand ourselves better and solve some problems. For many years writing has been actively used in personal growth and development techniques. It is a wonderful way to come to terms with the past, to build the present and to prepare for the future.

“Writing is a thread to the soul by which we can reach certain emotions depending on what is happening in life,” explains the therapist-graphologist Dominique Vaudoise. In doing so, a pencil is used as a tool to get rid of unnecessary thoughts in just a few minutes.

Exercise #1

Take a piece of paper and start writing without thinking about the meaning of what is being written or trying to evaluate it. Forget about the slimness of phrases and do not concentrate on your task – to put order in your thoughts. Do not interfere with a flow of words to spill out on a paper, do not miss any of them. In a couple of minutes, as soon as you fill the page, pause and close your eyes, concentrating on the depth and rhythm of your breath. Then open your eyes and look at the page. Without trying to analyze what you have written, just ask yourself the question: “What message was I trying to convey to myself in this letter?”

Go for a walk

Kant’s promenades in Koenigsberg’s gardens, Henry Toro’s forest walks, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s hiking travels… Philosophers of all times have experienced the beneficial effects of hiking. That’s how they found their inspiration. But what’s the secret? The fact is that leisurely walking is a great way to clear your head of parasitic thoughts. And the beneficial effect is not so much the walking itself – no doubt, useful for health – as what we see.

During a walk in the forest or on endless small buildings (for example, churches, monasteries) the vision concentrates on trees, bushes, flowers, columns… Monotonous movements of the eyes allow synchronizing the work of the right and left brain hemispheres, thus removing nerve clamps, which are formed as a consequence of emotional shock, negative thoughts, obsessions.

As a result, the work of the nervous system is adjusted. The discovery belongs to the American psychologist Francine Shapiro, author of the psychotherapeutic method DPDG (EMDR-therapy). She developed her method about 20 years ago, just after a walk in the woods. In fact, a walk in the woods is like taking a DPDG session in vivo.

Exercise #2

Spend 20 minutes and go for a walk, even if it’s around nearby houses. Take a calm step – neither too slow nor too fast. Concentrate on your breathing for two minutes – breathe deeply and calmly, completely relaxing your diaphragm. Let nothing occupy your mind except breathing and exhaling. This elementary physical exercise will allow you to get rid of internal tension. Then, continuing your movements and not turning your head, look into the details of the landscape around you, as if you saw it all for the first time. After a while, you will feel as if your mind is moving away from your thoughts.

Get rid of negative thoughts

Negative thoughts, which are endlessly spinning in the head, remain not only in the consciousness, but in the whole body. Caused by complex life situations, unresolved conflicts, emotional shock, these thoughts are always accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations, which we prefer to forget about.

If we do not get rid of these thoughts and related physical sensations, over time they will cause serious mental and physical disorders. If you want to get rid of negative thoughts and emotions, just “push” them out of yourself.

Exercise #3

Write a list of everything that overshadows your thoughts. Remember that you have not managed to get rid of anger, unresolved conflicts, unflattering comments from a colleague, an unpleasant dispute with a friend or a quarrel with a loved one … List on paper items all the unpleasant events of the past three months – large and small, which seemed to be stuck in your mind and body.

What kind of events “clog” your brain?

After completing the list, go back to each of the items and describe as accurately as possible how you felt in each of the unpleasant situations listed. Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe calmly and imagine the situations described – one by one, trying to revive the emotions experienced in each case. Call them, “That’s when I felt…” Then take a deep breath and, on exhalation, forcefully push out each of these emotions, helping yourself with your hands.