In the modern world, having a quiet minute may seem almost impossible. Troubles at work, an upset spouse, or a traffic jam can lead to chronic stress that has various byproducts. Heavy breathing, constricted blood vessels, an increase in the heart rate, anxiety disorders, hypertension, chronic headaches, and depression are just some of them. If you want to feel at peace with the world and yourself and be truly happy, you need to clear your head, declutter your mind, and devote your time to more important things. Here are 11 ways to clear your mind and improve your mental health.

11 ways to clear your mind of stress

1. Make a list of tasks

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Write down things you have to remember in a list instead of keeping all information stored in your head. It is always better to have all your ideas on the page so you do not have to worry about forgetting anything. A good idea is to make a list on your computer or any other device. It is unlikely you will lose your information this way, and you can delete or add things to your list with ease. In addition, make your computer send you messages with reminders to complete a particular task on your list.

2. Get a plant

Being surrounded by different plants may make your blood pressure lower and thus help you calm down. Great choices of home plants are English ivy, aloe plants, snake plants, rubber trees, spider plants, golden pothos, bamboo palms, red-edged dracaena, philodendron, and peace lilies. If you do not have an opportunity to keep plants at home, purifying the air can make a difference too.

3. Listen to music

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In order not to feel overwhelmed because of stress in your life, take a short break and turn on your favorite songs. Listening to relaxing and calm music affects positively your body and brain, reduces cortisol (a hormone of stress), and lowers blood pressure. It does not necessarily mean listening to classical pieces all the time. The sounds of nature and ocean also have relaxing effects.

4. Do sport

One of the most useful time-tested techniques for clearing your mind is simply going for a walk. Regular exercising can also make you consistently content and relaxed. You do not have to do the heavy lifting; doing easy aerobic exercises is a great way to keep fit and relaxed as well. According to recent studies, the prefrontal cortex of those who exercise is sufficiently larger. The prefrontal cortex is what controls thinking processes, meaning that sport does help people take control over their thoughts. Besides, if you are suffering from insomnia, physical activity can help you get some sleep.

5. Learn to say “no”

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For some people, it is sometimes difficult to say “no” when they are asked to do favors for others, even if they do not want to. Do not add these temptations to your potential stress level if you already have enough on your plate. Always think if a favor asked by your work colleague is practical for you and only then take the task on board. There are likely some situations when it is better to say “no.” Do not allow saying “yes” to become a habit in order not to get stuck with doing unnecessary things.

6. Pay someone a compliment

Though you may seem to be counteractive, try paying a compliment to someone else if you feel down or stressed. In fact, taking time to give others encouragement realizes the hormones of happiness in our brain, and we start feeling better. To see the positive in yourself, you have to see something good in others first. Remember that you have to mean what you say, so the compliment is supposed to be genuine.

7. Talk with friends

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There is no better time to take a break and make a call to your best friend than when you are feeling stressed. Your healthy lifestyle crucially depends on your relationships with your friends and loved ones. It is especially important to hear a reassuring voice when you are under a lot of stress. A heart-to-heart talk even for several minutes can put everything in perspective.

8. Be honest

Avoid telling lies, even if your intentions are good. Trying not to get caught out and having to remember what lies you have already told may lead to the workload on your mind. Always be honest with other people and yourself. For instance, if you feel terrible, share your worries with loved ones. Lying that you are okay cannot help you get rid of the strain, but expressing what is really bothering you at the moment can make you feel better.

9. Turn to religion

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Religion appeared in human life many centuries ago. Even primitive man had some kinds of religion. From a mental health perspective, religion helps individuals devise the right course for their lives and feel more confident about tomorrow. For that reason, believers easily tolerate the strains, stresses, and uncertainties of life. So, if you are a religious person, a good tip is to hang some sacred art on your walls to get inspired by God and eventually regain your calmness. Be sure to visit russianicon.com for more information about religious art and its importance in life.

10. Get a pet

Getting a pet may help you become more mindful and have gratitude for the present. The companionship of a dog or cat eases anxiety, offers comfort, and builds confidence. You do not have to worry about venturing out into the world alone, as your faithful friend will always wait for you at home.

11. Smile

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Smiling releases serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals in the brain that change the mood. Even if you fake a smile, it still may boost your mood. If you smile at strangers in public, they will definitely smile back at you, sharing positive vibes.

Finally, remember that your thoughts are a powerful tool. Clear your mind of stress, and it will work for you!.