A great exercise to clear your thoughts

We all know those periods of time when our minds are full of racing thoughts. Those moments when it is really difficult to just enjoy the thing you are doing, to enjoy the present. During those moments you might want to distract yourself because if you don’t all those thoughts come rushing through.

Racing thoughts can be very exhausting. Your brain already uses about 20% of your energy on a daily basis. Imagine having constant thoughts that you aren’t able to control. This phenomenon is common with people who experience an anxiety attack for example, but it is also something everyone might experience.

During my education I’ve picked up on a couple of exercises to clear your thoughts. One of which is to simply write down everything you are thinking. Sounds a bit too much? Well it is easier than it looks. The trick is to use a timer, let’s say 10 minutes (you can adjust the time to your liking), and also some music. The music can be upbeat or slow-beat, but preferably instrumental only. The timer helps you to focus on the task of writing whatever pops up in your head. The music helps you flow through the exercise.

NOTE: There is a clear overview down below.

You’ll need to write in rounds. During the first round the objective is to just write whatever comes to mind. You don’t need to think about what you are writing. Just write. Once that timer starts beeping, you start the second round. That is, you read what you have just written and then you ask yourself ‘why did I write that?’ and ‘what does it mean?’ Then you set that timer again and you start writing trying to answer those questions. You can continue this process for how long you’d like.

Important to remember is that it doesn’t matter what you write down. You don’t have to focus on spelling and grammar and you don’t have to focus on if it makes sense or not. The objective is for you to empty your thoughts and put them all down on paper. What you do with that paper afterwards is up to you. I like to keep my work to read it in the future and reflect on it. You can also burn it or tear it apart, like a kind of ritual.

Overview:

Necessities

  • Pen and paper
  • Music
  • Timer

Exercise

  • Round 1:           
    • Put the timer on 10 minutes (or any time of your choosing).
    • Put the instrumental music on.
    • Write down whatever comes to mind until the timer goes off.
  • Round 2:
    • Read what you wrote and ask yourself
      • ‘Why did I write this?’
      • ‘What does it mean?’
    • Set the timer again on 10 minutes.
    • Put the instrumental music on.
    • Write down the answers to those questions and continue writing whatever comes to mind.

You can continue this process for as long as you would like.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please feel free to send me a message.

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