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10 ways to gain clarity

As a coach, I find my work often involves helping clients gain clarity – about what they really want, what will best serve them, what strategies they need to use and their next best steps.

Many things can get in the way of achieving clarity, and confusion and uncertainty can keep us stuck.

Here are 10 different approaches I use with my clients to help them get a clearer picture.

  1. Getting some distance: Gaining a new and clearer perspective will come from shifting our focus away from whatever's causing confusion and doing something – anything – else. Coming back to re-look at the issue, after even a short a break, will provide an opportunity to see things in a different light.

  2. Decluttering: Physical clutter causes mental clutter, so spending time decluttering our environment will declutter our minds. Be it at work, or at home, tidying a desk or kitchen bench, reducing visual 'overwhelm' can do wonders to calm the mind and enable new ways of seeing and thinking about things.

  3. Good quality and quantities of sleep: Often when we feel unclear, it's because we haven't slept enough, or well enough. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep, but seldom get it due to busy schedules and an inabilty to fall asleep, or stay asleep. When our minds don't have ample opportunity to process information as we sleep, we find it difficult to think clearly during the day. Whenever possible, go to bed and endeavour to be asleep by 10pm. Allow yourself time to unwind and relax by disconnecting from all electronic devices at least an hour beforehand. Create your own ritual that will help you fall asleep. My favourites are sipping on herbal tea, like chamomile or passionflower, taking a shower and diffusing essential oils.

  4. Connecting with nature: Taking time out in Nature is both grounding and healing. It's especially important for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen or working with electronic devices. Do it as often as you can, even if it's just just in your own garden or local park.

  5. Going for a walk, run or any kind of exercise: Exercise increases the circulation of oxygen in your body and that helps your body and mind function better.

  6. Meditation: Stilling and calming the mind and body through meditation is another great way to return to healthy thinking.

  7. Conscious breathing: Taking time out to focus on your breath, noticing it as it gently moves in, through and out of your body, will bring peace and tranquillity to your mind. Through our breath and intention it's possible to stay centered and become present in the moment, regardless of what is happening around you. As a result, your outer life will begin to reflect your inner peacefulness.

  8. Talking: Discussing and exploring an issue that might be confusing or worrying you with a caring and impartial listener can help by drawing out your thinking. Ask the listener for their feedback so you can view the situation from another perspective.

  9. Writing or journalling: We often have a mulitude of things swimming around in our minds. Dumping what we're thinking about on paper can help us to empty our minds and work with our thoughts.

  10. Focusing on and visualising the the outcome you want: Rather than focusing on all the scary 'what if' scenarios that our minds like to conjure up, create a new habit of focusing on what you want and visualising it. Notice what it feels like to achieve the outcome you want and then keep refining your vision until you have a clear picture of what it would look – and be like.

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