If there was a mental and emotional state that improved your creativity, your ability to think rationally, analytically, and critically, and as a result improved your cognitive performance, would you be interested in getting to know it and doing your best to get into it?
In my experience, there’s such a state. It is equanimity and mental clarity. To me, both of those states are the two sides of the same coin. Equanimity results in mental clarity, and mental clarity causes equanimity.
My mind works best in the absence of intense emotions and distracting thoughts. To me, this is what equanimity and mental clarity are all about.
How to Reach Equanimity and Mental Clarity
Equanimity and mental clarity require silence and relaxation. Noise and stimulation interfere with them. We need to sacrifice the external and internal obstacles to reach those states.
External obstacles to equanimity and mental clarity are obvious. These are the distractions in our lives. Here’s a short list of them.
- TV, radio, and distracting music in the background,
- Substances like caffeine, alcohol, and so on,
- Unhealthy food choices, overeating, heavy or stimulating foods,
- Distraction through unnecessary Internet usage,
- Newspapers, magazines, and so on,
- Inessential communication and relationships with others,
- Unnecessary objects in your environment, a messy environment.
The list goes on, but we can summarize it as everything inessential.
Internal obstacles to equanimity and mental clarity are subtler than the external ones. These are the intense emotions, including the so-called positive ones, and irrelevant thoughts.
Handling the external distractions are straightforward. You switch off the radio and TV, stop indulging in coffee and social media, and donate all the useless belongings at your home.
Some of your addictions are harder to give up, but there are techniques to eliminate bad habits as well. The real challenge is the internal distractions.
Dealing with Internal Distractions
The best way to deal with internal distractions is to let them go. When an intense emotion or a distracting thought comes up, stop paying more attention or feeding more mental energy to it.
The ideal way to deal with an intense emotion is to stay with it without trying to change it, suppress it, escape it, or feeding it with more mental energy. If you stay with it long enough, it will subside by itself.
In some cases, the emotion might be too strong to bear. In such cases, let go as much as you can and use your escape strategies consciously.
In some cases, you might not have the time to stay with a distracting emotion until it subsides. In such cases, you can use the dark side of motivation.
For example, you can switch from the desire to distract yourself to the fear of the consequences of your distractions. You haven’t reached equanimity or mental clarity, but in your case, the fear might be a more productive emotion than desire.
I wholeheartedly believe that we are all geniuses. We need equanimity and mental clarity to tap into our genius. What keeps us from getting into those mental and emotional states is our internal and external distractions.
All we need to do to tap into our genius is to eliminate our distractions. It’s a long, hard journey, but a happy, satisfactory life is waiting for us at the end.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.