When you think of clutter, you probably instantly picture your closets and other areas of hoarding that occur in your home. However, few realize that your mind can become just as cluttered as your abode, and the consequences can be just as severe. Here are a few signs that prove you need to take the time to clear your mind:
- Worrying about things that might not occur
- Past hurts and regrets
- Ruminating on your problems
- Dreams and plans
- External distractions
- Continuous sensory input
- To-do List
A little clutter won’t hurt, right? Sure, you’re not going to get your mind 100 percent free of every thought, as it’s impossible. Consequently, the problem exists when it becomes overloaded. Have you ever opened too many browsers on your computer, and it causes your CPU to run slow?
The same thing happens in your brain. You can’t be present at the moment and engage in mindful living when your mind is chaotic.
Twelve Ways to Clear Your Mind
A position of mental confusion causes you to become distracted and disorganized in your life. You cannot define what’s a priority from things that can wait, and it’s impossible to make sound decisions. The key is to build mental muscles to help you declutter your mind.
You need space in your brain to organize your time and keep up your energy, and it all starts by unraveling the unhealthy thought patterns you’ve picked up along the way. If you want to clear your mind and release these patterns, here are a few ways to accomplish this task.
1. Decrease Multitasking to Clear Your Mind
Employers often extol the virtues of those who multitask efficiently as the best employees and parents. However, new research proves that your mind cannot handle so much at once, as it overloads your brain. Instead, you need a to-do list that allows you to focus on one task at a time, which can avoid the mental overload that occurs.
An article written by the American Psychological Association cites research by Dr. Robert Rogers and Dr. Stephen Monsell. Studies found that people who focus on one task have more significant mental strength than those who try to do many things simultaneously.
How often have you got lost in all you have to do, and it’s hours later, and not much has been accomplished? Try setting a timer for each task and making yourself accountable for your time. When the timer sounds, you move on to something else. This little tip will give you a gentle push to help clear your mind and desk.
2. Clear Your Mind With Journaling
One way to get all those thoughts floating inside your mind out is by journaling. If you have notes, to-do lists, and other things swirling inside your brain, you can let go of them by putting them on paper. Decluttering your mind is simple when you use journaling to help you.
3. Reject Negativity
Do you engage in toxic self-talk, feelings of sadness, or hopelessness? Is the negativity you ingest each day suffocating you? You need to reject negativity and angle your perceptions towards reality. Be careful what you allow into your mind and heart, as it can profoundly affect you.
Changing your mindset isn’t easy, but you can do it. Ways you can do this are through positive affirmations, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, relaxation techniques, and practicing gratitude. Your brain isn’t always right, but you can help guide it along the way with positive reinforcement.
4. Get Restful Sleep
Your sleep directly links to your mental state. When you don’t get sufficient rest, it causes you to have “brain fog.” Have you ever had those days where you can’t think straight or remember anything?
It likely comes from a disrupted sleep cycle. Not getting sufficient rest disrupts your mind, and your cells cannot properly communicate with one another. When you want to clear your mind, the best and easiest way is by getting more sleep.
5. Limit Social Media
Every day your mind is flooded with sensory information. One significant way to clutter your brain is by limiting social media. Did you know that these channels can dramatically impact loneliness and depressive states?
Social media is skewed only to see what the actor wants you to see. They give snapshots of the perfect life and family, as most people don’t like to air their dirty laundry. It’s effortless to feel down on yourself when you can’t measure up to the façade created on these channels. If you find that negative feelings from social media trigger you, it’s time for you to take a break.
6. Clear Your Mind by Prioritizing the Chaos
Is your to-do list growing longer by the minute? Do you feel completely overwhelmed and don’t know a good place even to start? Think of your brain as an empty house where vagrants have moved in.
When you take control of the property and move out the uninvited guests, you have the space you need to work. You restore order by setting priorities and following through with them. Sometimes you need to dump the data and organize it accordingly.
Some things are urgent, while other matters can wait. Prioritizing your mental hoard can help you ensure that things get done promptly. Additionally, it feels so good watching things get crossed off a list, as you have a sense of accomplishment.
7. Share Your Burdens
Everyone feels mentally overloaded at times in their life. However, sharing your deepest thoughts with someone you trust is one way to unload all this negativity. Mentors can help you gain perspective and clarity, and they can help lighten your load.
8. Practice Decisiveness to Clear Your Mind
When you have a brain full of clutter, think of all this stuff as delayed decisions. Your life is all about choices, and some of the decisions you must make are simpler than others. If you become too overwhelmed with all that’s on your plate, you may avoid making any choices.
Did you know that procrastination is one of the biggest reasons your mind is so full of clutter? Each day, you face so many “what ifs,” which can be overwhelming. Relaxation is challenging when your mind’s full of stuff, and you can develop analysis paralysis.
Thankfully, when you practice being more decisive, you can let go of all the unanswered questions and things that keep you up at night.
9. Declutter Your Atmosphere
What would you say if you found that your environment directly impacts your mental clutter? Chaos creates confusion, and it’s challenging to focus when there’s an excess of stuff around you. In an article by the New York Times, Dr. Ferrari conducted a study to see how clutter or hoarding affects mental wellbeing.
The results were quite shocking, as those who kept their space neat fared better than those who had excessive stuff.
Meditation is like a tow truck that pulls a stuck car out of the ditch. When you need to clear the area effortlessly, this is the vehicle for the job. Meditation gets rid of negativity and confusion and allows you to focus on what’s most important. Using this ancient practice every day lets you clear your mind and stay grounded.
11. Get Outside to Clear Your Mind
Those who spend more time in nature have better mental health than those who don’t venture out much. A study cited by the National Library of Medicine states that people who get fresh air and sunshine have lower rates of depression and anxiety. If you feel overwhelmed and your mind clogged, then a stroll outside may be what you need to clear the clutter.
12. Take a Break
Sometimes you need to hit the reset button on your life and clean up the chaos by getting away. It’s often very taxing when you get stuck in a mundane rut. A change of scenery, new faces, and experiences can do you good.
If you don’t have time to take a week off, don’t worry, as just a couple of days will do the trick. Even if you have an evening to unwind, prop your feet up, and read a good book, it can be all you need to do to hit the reset button.