How to improve mental clarity using science-based methods. Our guide looks at the best methods and techniques to improve mental clarity, both naturally and effectively, so you can be happier and more productive every day.
Improving mental clarity - is it really possible?
While it might sound like something that is transcendent or unachievable through natural means, it is possible! And it is even possible to improve mental clarity for increased productivity and a happier, calmer state of mind.
In this guide, we looked at the science and supplements behind mental clarity. We explain what mental clarity is, what mental clarity can feel like, and the various methods that you can use to achieve mental clarity naturally.
If you ever feel that you frequently struggle to focus, overthink, find it hard to sleep at night, or are troubled by constant feelings of worry or anxiety, make sure to read our guide on how to improve mental clarity.
What Is Mental Clarity?
What does mental clarity mean, exactly?
Mental clarity can be defined as a state of mind in which you are removed from stress, self-doubt, headaches, brain fog, and overthinking, while experiencing a heightened sense of concentration and improved cognition.
It might seem like something that is impossible or unobtainable (at least naturally), but the opposite is actually true.
All it takes is understanding how the brain works, and what we can do to improve brain health and our cognition in general.
When in a state of mental clarity, one might feel more alert and aware, more focused, more motivated, and, in general, happier and content.
As a result, there are multiple benefits that can come from achieving mental clarity and learning to maintain it.
What is the Importance of Mental Clarity?
The importance of mental clarity is that it can not only make us more productive at work, at school, or when we need to study or complete a task, but happier in general.
It is easy to understand that when we are happier, calmer, and focused, we are more motivated and productive. In turn, our performance at work or the work we complete tends to be of higher quality, which subsequently goes on to feed our happiness.
Put simply, mental clarity can improve our chances of success on a daily basis and in the long term.
But that’s not all!
Being in a state of mental clarity also means that we are free from stress, self-doubt, and mental fatigue. These things can significantly harm our mental wellbeing and brain health, and therefore negatively affect other areas of our life as a direct result.
Recognizing Brain Fog
What is brain fog?
Brain fog can be considered the opposite of mental clarity. In this case, the mind is cloudy, disorganized, and the ability to focus and concentrate is low.
You have most likely experienced brain fog multiple times in your life. This is when you find it hard to concentrate, cannot think of a word or name for minutes on end, and have simply hit it a mental or creative block that you can’t get over.
Brain fog is frustrating, and can seriously hamper our productivity on a regular basis.
This can also be described as overthinking, which can make it harder to fall asleep or concentrate.
This undesirable state of mind can come from physical tiredness, mental exhaustion, headaches and migraines, poor nutrition and lack of sleep, dehydration, or worries and feelings of self-doubt.
Thankfully, brain fog does not have to be a regular thing! We can avoid it and, at the same time, clear our minds to make way for mental clarity.
How Do I Get Mental Clarity?
So, how do you achieve mental clarity?
There are various natural processes that occur in the brain when we experience feelings of happiness, motivation, euphoria, peace, and intimacy. These are the result of chemical releases, or chemical reactions, which are caused by neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters send signals to the brain as a direct reaction to an emotion, feeling, or situation. Examples of well-known neurotransmitters are adrenaline (epinephrine), serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, glutamate, and histamine.
What’s interesting about our neurotransmitters is that we can influence them to initiate these positive effects on the brain. This means that we can increase how often - and for how long - we feel feelings of motivation, happiness, contentment, and excitement.
At the same time, we can also influence chemical balances in the brain to improve concentration and cognition.
There are various ways to do this, including reducing stress and anxiety, getting more sleep, eating healthier, exercising, meditating, and supplementing.
Address Stress and Anxiety
If you are stressed or anxious, it goes without saying that you will not be in a state of mental clarity. For this reason, it’s vital that we learn to address and manage stress and anxiety to be able to achieve mental clarity.
Stress and anxiety do not just affect our ability to concentrate and be productive, but our mental health, mood, and overall perspective on life.
When feeling anxious or stressed, it’s important to figure out what the cause is (the “triggers”). Through this, we can then assess the problem or situation, deciding whether it is something we can avoid, fix, or accept as out of our physical control.
This is a specific method for dealing with stress and anxiety. However, we can also reduce and prevent stress and anxiety on the whole through exercise, meditation, and practicing expressing gratitude.
We cannot reach mental clarity if we are constantly distracted. The problem is that we live in a world where distractions are never-ending!
In the same way that you must determine the source of any stress or anxiety, you must identify what tends to distract you when you are trying to work or study.
This might be notifications on your phone, external sounds (noisy roommates or barking dogs), or even a link or video that catches your eye when you are browsing the internet.
By recognizing these distractions (and making a mental list of them), you can then learn to refrain from giving into these urges when you sense a distraction!
Exercise for Mental Clarity
Exercise increases blood circulation and oxygen throughout the body, and this includes the brain. As a result, exercise has the power to clear our minds, fix brain fog, and improve levels of concentration significantly.
The next time you are experiencing brain fog, try doing any physical activity. This can be going for a brisk outside walk, jogging, yoga, or even performing jumping jacks on the spot for a few minutes.
When you return to doing your task, your mind will feel refreshed and clear, with a drastically improved sense of focus and cognition.
This is a fast and simple technique for achieving mental clarity. What’s more is that it can be done anywhere, providing an instant solution to brain fog and any inability to concentrate.
Exercise is also proven to increase feelings of happiness and content. The phrase “runner’s high” is not just something runners like to say, but the positive result of an endorphin rush!
How to Meditate for Mental Clarity
Meditation is one of the most popular methods for achieving mental calmness, presence, and, for some, a state of enlightenment.
In fact, through scientific studies, meditation has been widely proven to reduce blood pressure, regulate breathing in hyperventilating patients, and reduce unwanted neural activity in the brain (stemming from stress or brain fog).
In other words, meditation is one of the fastest and simplest ways to achieve mental clarity.
You do not have to be a Buddhist to meditate. In more recent times, meditation has become more and more widespread as a universal activity for reflection, gratitude, acceptance, and detachment.
If you are new to meditation, the basic principles involve finding a comfortable quiet place, closing your eyes, and slowing down your breathing.
Writing for Mental Clarity
When too many thoughts are clouding our minds, one of the best things we can do is write down our thoughts as a means to release and make sense of any stress, anxieties, problems, and mental disorganization.
This is another simple activity for improving mental clarity. At the same time that we can use writing to “expel” our problems on the page, we can also use this method to recognize the source of our stress, anxiety, or confusion.
This can be done when you are experiencing brain fog or finding it hard to concentrate, or as a means to relax and clear your mind before bedtime to improve your quality of sleep.
Writing to achieve mental clarity does not have to be long-form or artistic; it can be a simple list that states what you are feeling or thinking. Try it and see if it clears your mind and improves your concentration!
Mental Clarity Supplements
You might have come across supplements that claim to improve mental clarity. But do they work?
There are numerous vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, and drugs that have become widely popular for their ability to enhance cognition.
And, through thorough research, clinical trials do in fact show that these supplements can have a positive effect on the brain and its cognitive capacity. At the same time, a deficiency in these organic compounds found in the body has been linked to decreased levels of concentration and general contentment.
A few examples of these brain boosting supplements include vitamin B12, ginkgo biloba, mucuna pruriens, magnesium, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, maritime pine bark extract, lion’s mane mushroom, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea.
These supplements can work by supporting our neurotransmitters and subsequently any chemical imbalances in the brain. For example, if you are experiencing a prolonged period of feeling unmotivated or unexcited about life, it could be the result of a dopamine deficiency.
Can Nootropics Help to Achieve Mental Clarity?
Nootropics are “super” supplements that, put simply, combine many of these brain-enhancing supplements/ingredients as an all-in-one super drug to improve cognition and mental clarity.
These ingredients include some of the ones we listed above, shown by numerous studies to be beneficial to brain health. These various benefits include increased concentration, sharper focus, better awareness, improved memory, and improved problem-solving skills and creativity.
Through these mental benefits, nootropics users, or smart drug users, claim to be happier, more motivated, and less stressed on a frequent basis, with the ability to experience and enjoy mental clarity for longer periods than usual. More specifically, when having to study or work for extended amounts of time.
Due to the medical research and the popular claims of millions of nootropics users, it is not impossible that nootropics can help to achieve mental clarity.
Users of Mind Lab Pro, in fact - one of the world’s most popular nootropics, and one of the few smart drugs to be approved by the FDA - claim to experience heightened levels of concentration together with enhanced focus and memory.
Mental clarity is not transcendent or impossible to obtain. In fact, mental clarity is something that we can achieve, and harness daily, by looking after our mental health, managing stress, and leading a healthy lifestyle through frequent exercise, good food, and supplementation.
While stress, distractions, and overthinking can hamper our ability to concentrate, mental clarity is when we are free of these drawbacks - feeling at peace, content, confident, and happy.
At the same time, mental clarity provides us with an improved sense of concentration, focus, and motivation. These benefits are a proven result of our neurotransmitters, which we are able to support through different means, including nootropics, to improve our chances of productivity and general success.