How to Reset Yourself Mentally
Performing a mental reset can be just what you need to improve your focus and your mood. Just like a computer needs to be rebooted, our minds require a similar “reset”. The brain is the computer system that runs the body, and it is always engaged in work — even when you’re sleeping. Let’s be real — the mind needs a break just as much as the body needs physical rest and recovery.
So, how do we get this done? First, we must acknowledge the critical importance of brain breaks before the need becomes critical. Simply stated, take regular mental pauses during the day.
Mental burnout is becoming the “norm” and we need to change the trajectory. Yes, the brain is naturally and anatomically wired to be alert and awake — it’s part of our survival programming. However, doing too much for too long (just like sitting for too long without a break) makes us less efficient and less productive. We call this “brain fog”.
Regular mental breaks and a reset can mitigate this condition and improve mental clarity, focus, and elevate your mood. Who doesn’t want to achieve more and be the best version of themselves? The key — intentional pauses throughout the day.
Ways to Reset
Ultimately, enjoying a mental reset is highly individualized. It might take a few attempts before you find something that helps you feel centered and balanced. Here are a few tips and tricks to try.
- Keep a gratitude journal and list three things you feel grateful for each day.
- Take mindful movement breaks throughout the day. Even if it’s 5 minutes.
- Mediate and/or listen to soothing/calming music.
- Practice breathing techniques such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.
- Prioritize 10 minutes each morning and evening for self-care.
- Take a cat nap.
- Beautify your surroundings and create an appealing office aesthetic.
- Decompress with a trusted colleague or friend.
- Unplug from digital devices for a few minutes each day — this is particularly helpful to do before bed to limit/minimize evening exposure to blue light.
- Laugh. Watch a funny show or indulge in a favorite movie.
When it comes to hitting the mental reset button, it needs to be all about what you enjoy and what makes you feel good and rejuvenated. Like nutrition or physical activity, mental fitness is unique to each person; indulge in techniques that resonate with you and result in a recharge.
Dr. Erin Nitschke is a professor of exercise science at Laramie County Community College. She holds certifications including NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1. Erin is an editorial author for IDEA, NFPT, where she writes regularly on topics related to personal training and health coach skill building, behavior change, and career success.