There are many simple ways to declutter your mind. We can note that when you need to declutter your home, there is a simple solution: put everything on eBay (this is a bit oversimplified, but it’s possible, isn’t it?).
Yet, when it comes to decluttering your mind, it’s not really possible to unload your thoughts onto eager internet buyers…or is it?
In my last post – Unique Self Care Ideas, I mentioned decluttering your environment as one idea to include in your self-care routine. Some readers commented they found the idea new them, and I thought I could take a look further at how to declutter your mind in this instance.
If we need to declutter anything, it’s our minds, but this is also a challenging task. How do you declutter a mind?
It’s not as if thoughts are just laying around, waiting for you to pick through them, finding the ones that should be kept, and those that should be thrown out. The mind isn’t like an inbox, that can be sorted through and acted upon with the option to delete.
The brain is a complex and confusing organ associated with our thoughts and our mind. The mind is often covered in the scar tissue of past hurts and negative traumas.
It is layered in so many levels of consciousness, not even the best therapists have ever been able to completely sort through it.
So how do we begin decluttering our mind? I realized it’s best to keep it simple.
Actually it’s not difficult because you can declutter your mind with simple actions. There are little things that are so simple but they can make a difference.
Here are 11 simple ways to declutter your mind.
We forget the importance of simply breathing, maybe because we do it without placing much thought into it. This is so simple, and powerful.
Take a few deep breaths into your lower belly, and for a few minutes just focus on your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing as it comes into your body or as you inhale, and then as it goes out or you exhale.
It has a calming effect, especially if you continue to return your focus to your breath when your mind strays. It also allows other thoughts to just float away.
Declutter Your Space
We are what we eat…and what we see. With fewer things in our field of vision, we have fewer distractions to worry about…freeing up space in our minds.
Declutter Your Schedule
Another thing that can drive us to complete distraction is the constant rush from one activity to another. Take a look at your schedule and start eliminating things that aren’t necessary. All they’re doing is adding stress to your day and giving you more food to throw into the ever-spiraling mental arena of stress.
Write Down Your ‘To-Do’s
Create a mental inventory by writing down the things that you need to do, the things you should be doing, and the things that you want to do. Then consider why you are doing each of these things – are they really important, urgent or even necessary.
Identify what is most important in your life, and what’s most important for you to focus on right now. Make a shortlist for each of these things.
You don’t need to keep everything stored in your brain. Choose a tool—it can be an online tool, an app, or even a pad of paper—and think of it as a storage device for all those bits and pieces of information that you need to remember. This can include appointments, phone numbers, ideas for future projects, and so on.
Now that you’ve identified what is important, you can identify what’s not important. What are the things in your life that are not truly necessary or important to you?
What are you thinking about right now that’s not on your shortlist? By eliminating as many of these things as possible, you can get a lot of junk off your mind.
Writing in a journal is also another great way to write down your thoughts. You are just writing with a little more depth. It allows you to download the inner chatter that’s constantly interrupting your thought process when you’re trying to get important things done.
Writing in a journal helps you explore different areas of your life that you don’t think about much. This exploration might allow you to find some things on your mind that you didn’t realize were there, and some things that can be eliminated or pursued.
Simply getting these thoughts into some kind of a journal is a way of getting them out of your mind as well.
Journal about your success’s, fears and worries, plans for achieving important goals, and many other things that will reduce the inner chatter. Doing this will bring some level of clarity to your mind and thoughts.
The Sleep Factor
Sometimes we aren’t getting enough sleep, or our sleeping patterns aren’t ideal. You don’t have to change your sleeping patterns, but the results of a simple adjustment to your sleep patterns might surprise you.
If you don’t give your sleep patterns some thought, you won’t realize how much your sleep (or lack of sleep) is affecting you.
Mindfulness is all about engaging with the present in a fully, alive way. There are lots of ways to practice the skill of mindfulness, from meditation to just staring at an object (like a candle) and contemplating its existence.
Mindfulness will help you learn how to push relevant concerns out of your conscious thought process. This will overtime gradually help to declutter your mind, increase your concentration, and focus on completing the important ‘to-do’s’ you wrote down earlier.
Sometimes it’s best to let go of old memories and past negative experiences. From broken relationships to diabolical bosses, we tend to have a whole lot of backstory spinning in the back of our minds.
Just let it all go, and like a computer that suddenly operates faster, you will find your mind in a much more free and easy state.
If you are recognizing you need to declutter your mind, practicing gratitude can be a step toward achieving that. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
Having trouble coming up with a gratitude list? How about your breath, your pulse, your sight, and all the other basic amenities we take for granted.
Once you start writing your gratitude list, you will find that it snowballs and fills your mind with positivity, clearing all the distractions and concerns going through your mind.
Talk About It
Finally, if you feel this will help, then by all means talk about it. Find a friend, family member, therapist, or helpful ear to listen to your problems without judgment, and without recommendation (unless you want it). And if you do want it, listen to them, to return the favor. You might say ‘It’s just talk’ … but it can make a huge difference to your mental well being.
I hope you have got some value from this – please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
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