Clarity Breakers

Periodically throughout my day, I recall times when I was able to think very clearly.  I remember having full control of my thoughts.  I remember everything seeming to be in its right place.

Broken EyeglassesPeriodically throughout my day, I recall times, in my life, when I was able to think very clearly.  I remember having full control of my thoughts.  I remember everything seeming to be in its right place.

Those moments of clarity do not happen often.  And when I stop to think about them, I try to determine what about the present moment is stopping me from feeling that clarity.

The causes fall into three categories:

  1. Body
  2. Mind
  3. Environment

(Yeah, I know that everything can fall into those categories, but they work for me.  So, I am just going with it.)

  1. Body – If I am physically uncomfortable, I will not be able to overcome mental discomfort.  If I am hungry, or in need of a restroom, or lacking sleep, or if I have not fed my caffeine addiction in a while, or have missed exercising for a few days, or any other physical ailment, I have a hard time feeling like everything is in its right place.  Rarely, I am able to overcome the physical problems and get my mind in a state of clarity.  This only happens when I enter a state of flow.
  2. Mind – There are times when I get stuck in thought loops.  The same thoughts keep coming back into my head over and over again.  The thought loops can last for a couple of minutes.  Typically, the ones that only last that long are at the top of my consciousness.  They take over my brain enough that they have to go away quickly otherwise I can not function normally.  But there are other thought loops that last for long periods of time.  They fester.  They typically have to do with emotions.  And they are hard to break.  A combination of mindfulness and rationality seems to work.
  3. Environment – People never leaving me alone.  The TV blabbering on about some product.  An uncomfortable seat.  A dripping water faucet.  Any number of things in the environment around me can cause me to break clarity.  The symptoms can show up in the body as physical discomfort or the mind as thought loops.  The fix is to change the environment.  And if you can’t do that, fix the body or mind symptoms.  I talk about environmental problems hereherehere and here.

Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Moore 

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