Getting lost in thought, forgetting your workout routine, and miscounting your reps and sets are just some examples of what you'll experience when you lack mental clarity. It's quite clear that lack of mental clarity can only lead to disadvantages.
Unfortunately, unlike with physical health, taking care of your mental health, much less your mental clarity, isn't as simple as lifting weights or jogging. It's much more complicated, but one thing's common–knowledge of it will make it easier, and that's why you're here.
Before we get into the main topic, let's first take a closer look at mental clarity.
What is Mental Clarity?
Experts have different thoughts about mental clarity, so you might find different meanings for this term. At its core, mental clarity refers to a clear state of mind. Achieving a high level of mental clarity means that you can focus on things more efficiently while lacking mental clarity means being anxious or having a foggy mind. So, what does this have to do with exercising?
For starters, exercising or working out requires confidence and focus. Since mental clarity minimizes doubts and improves your focus, it's a vital component of exercising. You can also figure out what to prioritize while exercising.
Although you might be naturally talented with handling mental clarity, that doesn't mean it's okay to neglect it. Below are signs that you need to improve your mental clarity:
- You're not satisfied with your current routine, but you can't do anything to change it
- You don't feel like you're making progress
- You often lose count of your reps and sets
- You tend to blank out for no reason
- You often ask yourself what you're doing
As you can see, lacking mental clarity can be disastrous if you intend to make some considerable changes through exercising. For one, it hinders your progress and strips you of the feeling of accomplishment. The worst part is that these are just a few of the many signs.
On that note, your best bet is to look for ways to improve mental clarity. With that said, the following tips may help you:
1. Take Necessary Medications
Taking prescribed medicine can play a significant role in treating mental disorders and physical complications, but that's not the only purpose of medications. Thankfully, certain medications can help with mental clarity, too.
More precisely, you need to take medications that stimulate dopamine–a neurotransmitter responsible for your concentration. It's also beneficial to take medicines with serotonin as this will help regulate your mood.
Examples of drugs that fit these criteria include:
Bromantane, in particular, has plenty of benefits for muscle builders and athletes. Not only does it help with your mental health, but it also boosts your physical performance. Hence, it would be a good idea to look at this Bromantane guide for more information.
2. Watch What You Eat
Despite medications having several benefits, consuming too much of them may lead to adverse effects. So, you can also pair it with a more natural approach–eating healthy food.
Since you already know the best medications to stimulate dopamine, this time, you'll find out exactly which food groups has the same effects as these medications. Here's a list of food that you should include in your diet to increase dopamine production:
- Dairy foods (milk, cheese, or probiotic yogurt for lactose intolerant individuals)
- Unprocessed meat (beef, turkey, chicken)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dark chocolate
If you intend to improve your overall mental health, it's advisable to eat food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and other seafood. If you want to go extra, you can always include foods that boost your physical performance, such as:
- Whole grains
- Fortified foods
Also, don't let health trends on the internet influence your decisions. Perhaps intermittent fasting is excellent for those looking to lose weight, but if your goal is to improve your mental clarity, it's best to look for other diet plans.
3. Monitor Your Sleep Schedule
Although some studies show that sleep deprivation increases dopamine, that doesn't mean you should pull an all-nighter every time you plan to exercise the next day. In reality, the disadvantages of sleep deprivation outweigh its benefits.
For one, your immune system will weaken, which can be a serious problem if your main goal for exercising is to improve your overall health. In other words, sleep deprivation counteracts the benefits of exercising. Not getting enough sleep also leads to mental issues.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to get better sleep, such as the following:
- Set A Sleep Schedule: Before you can monitor your sleep, you must have a schedule in the first place. Make sure you wake up and sleep at the same time. Don't be afraid to sleep a couple of minutes later or earlier, but make sure the difference is less than an hour.
- Create A Relaxing Room: The length of your sleep isn't the only factor that affects its benefits. You should also get a higher-quality sleep by creating a relaxing room. You can do this by reducing the lighting, limiting the room temperature, etc.
- Stay Away from Screens: Blue light is known to block melatonin–a hormone that helps you sleep. Whether you like it or not, the screens of smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets use blue light, so make sure to avoid these gadgets before going to sleep.
You're the one who knows yourself best, so while these tips will surely help you monitor your sleep schedule, it would be best to come up with your own system. On that note, there are other things you might not know about yourself that can play a vital role in mental clarity.
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4. Know Yourself
Believe it or not, there’s a specific time range where you can learn things a lot easier than usual. Scientists call this ‘acquisition mode,’ and it's when your body, or more specifically, your mind, enters a state where you can digest information more quickly and smoothly.
Simply put, for a limited duration, you’ll gain a higher level of mental clarity without doing anything. The bad news is, each person has their own time for acquisition mode or ‘peak time.’
On the bright side, the peak time of individuals isn’t that different from each other. Scientists claim that a human mind enters acquisition mode between 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and again during the night at 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. However, as previously said, it's not advisable to stay up at night, so it’s recommended that you should take advantage during the afternoon.
Other than the ‘acquisition mode,’ there's also a peak time for your physical performance. Studies show that the best time to exercise is in the morning since exercising with an empty stomach seems to yield better results. It also helps you get better quality sleep.
To maximize the benefits of acquisition mode, it's a good idea to plan your exercise so that it overlaps the time when you're in peak physical performance and acquisition mode.
Speaking of which, these are not the only thing you should consider in your plan.
5. Stick To Your Plan
One reason why people lack mental clarity is that they don't have a direction. As long as they can complete the task, they won't think about the process. This is not what you should be doing.
If you have a plan, don't diverge from that plan. Below are some tips on how you can do this:
- Avoid Multitasking: People tend to do something else while exercising, such as reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching their favorite TV show.
While multitasking might seem like a good idea, studies show that it actually leads to adverse effects. For example, multitasking can cause you to lose focus or make you more anxious. That's why, as much as possible, avoid multitasking.
- Plan SMART: If you intend to create a plan for your workout routine, make sure you follow the SMART mnemonic.
Be Specific on what exercises you'll include, make sure your progress is Measurable, know your limits so the plan can be Achievable and Realistic, and like how your peak time works, the plan should be Timely.
- Take Short Breaks: Studies also found that taking short breaks tends to help individuals maintain their focus and strength through the workout routine. It also allows you to significantly reduce stress, which can be a hindrance to mental clarity.
Once you learn how to create a foolproof plan, you can pretty much guarantee a successful exercise session. However, you still need to work hard to put that plan into reality.
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Exercising has many benefits. For instance, it’ll strengthen your immune system, increase your muscle mass, and even improve your mental health, which is why it can be a bit perplexing to see that you're no longer making any progress.
Although part of it may be the lack of effort, one of the main reasons for this is the lack of mental clarity. Perhaps you don't focus enough or maybe you lack confidence. Either way, if you don't want to get left behind by your friends and your workout goals, you must always keep tabs on your mental clarity.