We all want to be successful, whatever our goals may be, and mental clarity is a large part of success. Follow these tips and boost yours!
Thinking more clearly is something everyone will agree is worth striving for. Whether you’re considering your performance at work, at home with your family, or when pursuing your hobbies, thinking clearly and more quickly is nothing but an asset and will make the above tasks not only more successful, but also much more enjoyable. There are a number of simple things we do in our daily lives that can either positively or negatively affect mental clarity, so if thinking clearly is a personal goal, try putting these tips into practice to see what a difference they can make for you:
1. Get Enough Sleep:
This may seem obvious, but given that 30–40% of Americans report getting less than six hours of sleep each night compared to the healthy requirement of 7–8 hours per night, this is an issue that clearly needs to be addressed. Even a single night of insufficient sleep can reduce mental performance on cognitive tests by up to 30%. And the effects of sleep deprivation are cumulative, so missing sleep is not only hurting your mental performance, but do it often enough and you are putting yourself at risk of many other poor health outcomes such as depression and various chronic diseases.
2. Less Screen Time:
Over the past 20 years, electronic devices have come to permeate every part of our daily lives. This has been a positive change for things like work efficiency and staying informed wherever you go, but there are some negative effects to all this electronic inundation. Electronic screens emit UV light, which can interfere with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to get to sleep when you need to, and we just discussed how detrimental sleep deprivation can be.
In addition, electronics provide a constant distraction for those of us who use them regularly. You may be in the middle of an important conversation, when a message notification on your smartphone completely derails your train of thought for example. This and countless other scenarios are examples of how electronics can hinder as well as help, and why it’s a good idea to limit electronic use at times during the day to stay focused on the task at hand and make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep at night.
3. More Exercise:
If you’re reading Sunwarrior News, I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of regular exercise, and you may already know that exercise not only improves your physical health but your mental health as well. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, focus, and mental clarity both by improving circulation to your brain, which enhances oxygen delivery and waste removal, and by releasing the beneficial neurotransmitters called endorphins, so get to work!
4. More Fiber, Less Fat:
Not all of us know that what we eat can have profound effects on how we think and feel, but it absolutely can. Poor diet has been strongly implicated in numerous mental conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, and Alzheimer’s, and nutritional intervention studies have shown the ability of diet to improve these conditions as well. Eating highly processed foods and animal products can leave you feeling moody and sluggish, and will increase your long term risk or several mental conditions, whereas a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans will keep you thinking quickly and clearly today and in the long run.
5. Stay Hydrated:
Water is the one universal requirement for life we’ve found, so it should come as no surprise that adequate hydration is critical for virtually every system in our bodies to function properly. Whether it’s maximizing your exercise performance, metabolic rate, or even mental clarity, getting enough water every day should be a top priority. If you aren’t getting enough, you’ll notice more sluggish thoughts, a grumpier temperament, and increased incidence of headaches, so drink up!
While you may have been aware of some or perhaps even all of the above tips for improving your mental clarity, odds are you aren’t currently putting everything into practice on a daily basis. If feeling your best and thinking your clearest is a goal, try consistently implementing these five strategies every day for at least a month and see what kind of a difference it makes for you!