The Betterment Project
What Mental Clarity Means And How Important It Is To Achieve

What Mental Clarity Means And How Important It Is To Achieve

When we are in a state of mental clarity, we can think clearly, focus easily, and feel a sense of peace with our thoughts. 


Mental clarity can seem as unattainable and dreamy as world peace or total enlightenment in today’s world. However, the one thing we can control in life is ourselves, so mental clarity is within your reach. 


Before we set out to achieve mental clarity, it’s important to understand what it means and how important achieving it is for you. 


What Does Mental Clarity Mean? 

Mental clarity means that your mind is focused and clear. When you achieve mental clarity, there is no self-doubt or indecisiveness. You know exactly what you think, and there is no cloudiness to your thoughts. 


Mental clarity doesn’t mean that you don’t struggle with stress, racing thoughts, or feelings of anxiousness. Mental clarity comes when you learn to move past those thoughts, feelings, and mental states, and through mindfulness, you come to a clearing in the forest of your mind. 


Mental clarity is like stepping into that clearing. There is no canopy of trees to block your view. You’re no longer unsure of your path, and finding the North Star is easy. 


If mental clarity is attainable, why aren’t we achieving it regularly?


What’s Keeping You From Mental Clarity? 

An inability to reach a state of clear thinking could easily be considered a mental block, but what could cause mental blocks? The answer could be many different things. 


Here are a few common causes for what could be blocking your mental clarity:


  • Over-the-counter medications or prescriptions
  • Low levels of vitamin B12
  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much on your to-do list 
  • Stress 
  • Feelings of anxiousness 
  • Dehydration 


What’s blocking your mental clarity is dependent upon you and your situation. If you’re concerned that something major is blocking you, consult your healthcare provider.


You may be wondering why mental clarity is so important and how to achieve it for yourself.


Why Is Mental Clarity Important? 

Mental clarity is the clearness of thought. Clear thinking is crucial for decision-making, creativity, and productivity. 


People refer to a lack of clarity as feeling fuzzy in their brain or fogginess. Often these moments of fuzziness or fog come when we need to focus or concentrate the most. 


Finding mental clarity can help you stay prepared and ready for when you feel more pressure or need to give your best effort. 


Things To Improve Your Mental Clarity 

To achieve mental clarity, your mind needs to be free of clutter, and your thoughts need to be calm with less chatter from racing thoughts. Here are some things that you can do to help improve your mental clarity.


1. Meditation 

Meditation is an ancient practice. Its entire goal is to focus the mind on one thing to bring clarity and calmness to your mind and your state of being. 


Meditation helps improve your attention and alertness, and many people turn to meditation to help them manage stress, sleep better, and quiet their minds. 


There are different types of meditation such as: 


  • Mindful meditation 
  • Focused meditation 
  • Spiritual meditation 
  • Mantra meditation 
  • Progressive relaxation 

If you’re new to meditation, you can find many guided examples introducing you to the process. Be patient with the process and yourself, and remember to keep an open mind.


Some people find meditation difficult or overwhelming. You’re encouraged to start slowly and increase as you feel more comfortable. 


One easy way to meditate: 


  • Take a seat somewhere comfortable 
  • Set a timer and place it out of your sight
  • Take note of your body 
  • Notice your breathing 
  • Allow your thoughts to wonder 
  • When your mind settles, take notice of where it has landed
  • Allow your thoughts to rest and find a quiet space

When you are new to meditation, be patient with your thoughts. You may only be able to sustain a few minutes of meditation, but this is why it’s a practice. Continuing to work on meditation is how you will discipline your mind to find clarity.


2. Yoga 

Yoga is another great practice for mental clarity with ancient roots. Yoga may be a class offered at your local gym or taught by fitness experts, but yoga is a practice meant to improve your mental state as much as your physical one. 


Yoga aims to provide the discipline to control your mind, thoughts, and feelings toward the swirling thoughts and feelings that life causes. 


If you have been curious about yoga but felt that the poses might be too demanding physically, it’s nice to know that there are many modifications and poses for any fitness level. 


The mental clarity and other mental health benefits from yoga can be achieved at every fitness level. Yoga is also a low-impact activity, so even after an injury, there are ways for anyone to learn the discipline of yoga. 


The gentle practice of yoga will teach you to breathe evenly and deliberately. This concentration is the same discipline needed to clear your thoughts when you need to focus.


3. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is what most people call the martial arts practice of T’ai chi ch'üan or Tàijí quán. Like other disciplines in this list, it has an ancient history. Tai Chi is similar to shadow boxing. 


Tai Chi is a practice for teaching defensive training. It’s a slow-style practice that has health benefits and meditative qualities. 


Like yoga and meditation, you learn to control your mind and quiet your brain. Concentrating on your slow, fluid movements trains your mind to slow down and think only about the task at hand. 


To benefit from the slow movements, you have to breathe slowly and evenly. You also must keep your muscles in the proper form and at the proper tension. These deliberate actions help to clear your mind and train you to have the mental discipline to gain mental clarity when you need it. 


4. Journaling  

Your thoughts can be uncomfortably loud sometimes. Journaling can provide an outlet for your thoughts as well as a way to quiet your mind. 


Writing can be a cathartic process. Even if you don’t have a problem, writing can help you direct your thoughts. 


There are many journaling styles. You can recap the events in your life, jot down your thoughts or feelings, or use a prompt to help you explore your thoughts and opinions. 


Journaling is a great way to find mental clarity. Additionally, it can help lower stress levels and reduce feelings of anxiousness. 


5. Healthy Lifestyle 

Your lifestyle choices can negatively or positively impact your ability to focus and concentrate. Some of the foggiest moments come when we are too stressed, hungry, overly tired, or dehydrated. 


Here are some best practices that you can add to your lifestyle to improve your mental clarity: 


  • Greet the day with sunlight to set your circadian rhythm 
  • Exercise regularly each day - 30 minutes per day is recommended 
  • Drink plenty of water - eight cups of water and hydrating foods is best 
  • Take a supplement to fill in the gaps of your diet - we all have them.
  • Consider natural options to help you de-stress
  • Prioritize your sleep - aim for about eight hours each night in a cool, dark, quiet space

Taking care of your body is an important part of being healthy, and a healthy body helps you have a healthy mind. Taking the time to take care of yourself can help you manage your stress, and in turn, you can achieve mental clarity. 


Some other important subsequent priorities that can help give you a clear, calm, and quiet mind include:


  • Learning time management skills
  • Taking time to spend with family and friends 
  • Enjoying nature therapy 
  • Finding a creative outlet 
  • Learning how to be comfortable with silence

Peace on earth is too big of a goal for any one person to hope to attain, but finding peace within ourselves can contribute to that larger hope and help us find mental clarity along the way. 


Summary

Mental clarity is the clearness of thought to allow you to focus and concentrate your mind. It’s essential to learn to find this on our own. 


Thankfully, there are many techniques for improving mental clarity, such as yoga, journaling, Tai Chi, meditation, and a healthy lifestyle. These can all help improve your ability to clear your mind. 


What could you do with more mental clarity and more focused thoughts? Would you be a more productive, peaceful version of yourself?

 

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Sources:

A sharper mind: tai chi can improve cognitive function | Harvard Health 

Is an underlying condition causing your fuzzy thinking? | Harvard Health 

Journaling for Mental Health | URMC

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.