One of the most powerful skills you need to have as a business owner is not bookkeeping, time management, or networking – it’s how to reset your mind when you’re feeling stressed.
Stress happens to all of us, but how we choose to handle it makes a world of difference.
You can let it shake up your day, drain your energy, and stall your progress, or you can make a conscious decision to stop and shift your mental energy.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- You look at your to-do list and get hit with a wave of anxiety.
- You think about where you want to be in a year’s time and the breath goes out of your lungs (how will I get there?).
- Sometimes you come down with a weekly case of the Sunday scaries when you think of the workweek ahead.
If this is you, you might benefit from doing a mind reset.
A mind reset is an incredibly versatile tool. I’ve written before about the different ways I’ve learned how to reset my mind when doing everything from setting and achieving business goals to sitting down to cold-email potential clients.
In this article, I’m going to share my thoughts on why resetting your mind is such a powerful tool both for business and for life and some of my favourite ways to reset my mind when stress comes knocking.
Why reset your mind?
Stress can be sneaky.
It can creep up on you bit by bit and have you completely drained, exhausted, disconnected, and discouraged without you even realising what’s happened.
Or it can show up as a giant wave of anxiety that gets in the way of you being able to focus, be productive, relax, and enjoy life.
It’s like having a brick wall between you and your goals. You feel stuck, trapped, and unable to go forward. Or it might feel like a rope that’s tightening around your whole body, preventing you from moving ahead.
Shifting this kind of blocked energy changes everything.
Suddenly, the brick wall crumbles. The rope goes slack.
All of your problems and obstacles, which seemed huge and impossible, get shrunk back down to a manageable size.
Your whirring mind calms down so you can get to work and push forward on accomplishing your goals.
Here are some of the times when it might be useful to take a step back and do a mind reset before getting back on track.
If you’re feeling stressed and might need to calm down
A little bit of stress can be a good motivator, but too much is definitely the opposite of motivating.
This is because stress actually clouds our thinking.
You won’t be able to map out your blog strategy, reach out to clients, get through your inbox, or whatever else you need to do that day if you’re stuck in stress mode.
One of the biggest signs that you need to reset your mind is if you think you “don’t have time” for it.
When you’re in the mindset of “go, go, go,” taking 30 minutes to reset your mind is actually the most productive thing you can do.
If you’re overthinking and need clarity
Business owners are uniquely vulnerable to overthinking.
This is because overthinking is actually a huge asset, and it’s very likely that it’s what got you to your life-changing decision to go into business for yourself in the first place.
But there is a flip side to having a mind that’s constantly searching out new ideas, new potential, and new opportunities.
It’s also just as good as seeking out new problems, new stumbling blocks, and new disasters waiting just ahead.
When you start down the road of overthinking, it’s a very slippery slope. Before you know it, you’re imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios and losing sight of whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re about to start a new activity or project and need to focus
Sometimes a mind reset is in order when you just want to bring a fresh perspective and a “blank canvas” to a new activity or project.
Maybe you’ve just signed a new client or you’re finally tackling a new social media app as a way to build your audience. Whatever it is, when you’re trying something new, you want to be able to focus fully on it and not drag any worries from yesterday or tomorrow into it.
This is also a great time to use the mind reset technique, so you can wipe the slate clean and start from a place of creativity, renewal, and—perhaps most important of all—calmness.
How do we make this mental shift?
Let’s look at some of the most tried-and-true methods for how to reset your mind.
How to reset your mind
A mind reset is an amazing technique for several reasons:
- It’s always available to you.
- It can take several different forms.
- It has immediate results.
- The reset allows you to get on with your day.
Although we don’t have a switch that we can flip in our minds to do a ‘hard reset’, there are a number of ways that we can stop ourselves when things get overwhelming and direct our thinking down a new path.
Here are my favourite ways to do a mind reset.
Do a mind declutter
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel when your home is tidy, with everything put away in its proper place?
Your brain is the same. It feels and functions so much better when the clutter has been cleared away and everything is where it should be.
But how exactly do you declutter a mind?
It’s actually pretty simple and involves using proven techniques like breathing, body scanning, and mindfulness.
It takes just five minutes and helps you sort through your thoughts so they’re not laying all over your mental landscape for you to trip over.
I’m such a fan of this technique that I put together a free downloadable guide, the ‘5-Minute Mind Declutter’ that you can use to declutter your mind, step by step, whenever you need to.
You can grab your free copy here.
Do a brain dump
“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”
This is a common piece of wisdom that we learn from an early age and with good reason – because it works!
Everything seems bigger when it’s in your head. Getting your racing thoughts out of your brain and putting them into concrete form is a foolproof way to manage your stress and clarify the next steps to take.
So what is a brain dump?
It’s like a to-do list, a pep talk, and a road map, all rolled into one.
Start your brain dump by pouring out onto paper whatever is on your mind. It might be:
- Urgent tasks that need to get done.
- Long-term plans and goals.
- Situations that are bothering you.
- Ideas to flesh out.
- Reminders about upcoming events.
- Whatever is banging around in your brain.
At this point, you can set the list aside for the time being and make a note to check in with it later to see where you’re at.
You may find a lot of the problems seem to solve themselves. Or naturally, reach a resolution with the passage of time.
Another thing you can do—and this is best for those issues that are causing you major stress—is to start brainstorming solutions.
It’s extremely calming and soothing to identify what’s causing you stress and then define how to resolve it. Even if you don’t take any concrete steps at this point, you’ll find that your mind is much clearer.
You can take the ‘brain dump’ technique a step further by proactively making it part of your day by starting a journaling habit.
Change your surroundings
Most of us spend way too much time inside, and it has an effect on our mental states.
It doesn’t matter whether we are at our work desks or on our living room couches, being stuck in a routine and disconnected from the natural world takes a serious toll and leaves us feeling depleted.
There’s a simple way to break up your routine and re-energise yourself: go outside.
Even a short walk outdoors can trigger a complete mind reset and lift you out of your stress. And science backs this up. Being in nature restores us physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Changing your surroundings puts you in a new space, both in body and in mind.
Reset your mind for your mental health
Knowing how to reset your mind is a total game-changer.
The best part is, once you get into the habit of it, it becomes second nature and can be a huge boost to your mental health, productivity, and focus—all of which you need to run your business successfully.
Do you have a favourite way to do a mind reset? I’d love to know! Share your tips in the comments.