What are your top three ways that help clear your mind?…
This was a question that I asked myself repeatedly in recent weeks. My number one go-to has always been to pray. Whenever I feel uneasy, unsure, or I am going through a rough patch (in any aspect in life), the very first thing I will do is pray. But recently I started thinking about other ways and methods that I could use as other tools to do so, without immediately running to Google to find answers. Rather, sitting down with myself and thinking about my top three personal ways that help clear my mind. Those three personal methods are:
- Pray & talk to God in a quiet room w/ no distractions
- Write down my thoughts on paper
- Go on a long walk w/ no music
These methods help me the most when it comes to my mental wellbeing, but one of my new favorite things to do now is go for long walks (45mins or more). Being overseas playing basketball can be taxing mentally if you allow it and occasionally I’ll get a dose of that, but walking helps clear a lot of my mental thoughts/notes (especially negative ones). When I walk, I don’t listen to any music and only listen to my environment around me. That can consist of people talking, birds chirping, or the wind blowing. I look around and think while taking in all that’s around me visually as well. I take this time to reflect and really think about how my previous week went (both positively and negatively), but especially focus on what I could improve on.
When I think about what improvements I want to make, I always try to find a solution for where I’m lacking. So instead of just saying “I’m going to improve xyz” I ask myself “How do I improve xyz?” and then tell myself “This is what I need to do to improve xyz.” On the flip side, when I think about what went right the week prior, I constantly think about how I will duplicate that action or feeling. For example, if I played well in practice three or four days in a row, what do I have to do to make sure that I continue to have good practices for the upcoming week? Or if I had a productive week off the court, again, what do I need to do to ensure that happens again the next week and the week after that? Digging deeper into my thoughts has been made possible (higher level thinking) just by walking and is something that I can’t really explain in writing. It just has.
The crazy part is that taking long walks has helped enhance my thinking ability on what needs to be done and helps me refocus when I’m not feeling my best. Yes, prayer will always be the first thing I go to, but theres something about walking that brings out an entirely new level of thinking for me that I feel has helped me in parts of my journey here overseas…
So I ask you this… What gives you peace? What do you do to help clear your mind and refocus? Take time for yourself and really think about that and once you find those things, use them and use them often. Being in tune with your mental health is one of the best things you can do for yourself and can really be a difference maker in your everyday life.
– Brandon H.