Who else is in full spring-cleaning mode? I’ve been decluttering my surroundings, my business model, AND also focusing on decluttering my mindset. When we think of clutter, we often think of physical items in our environment, but a cluttered mind can include things like:
- Ruminating and worrying
- Focusing only on the negative
- Holding on to negative emotions
- Keeping a mental to-do list and feeling overwhelmed
- Sensory overload that keeps the mind running constantly
When your mind is cluttered, it wastes precious time and mental energy which prevents acting on priorities, making decisions, having focus, and being productive. And it also doesn’t feel good, am I right?
Here are some tips to help you declutter your mind.
Keep A Journal
Journaling is a great way to relax your mind by organizing your thoughts and allowing you to reflect on the way you feel. “This practice will provide you with you a lot of personal data,” Carroll, author of The Bullet Journal Method adds, “and that data can provide profound insights into your life: what have you tried, what have you not tried, what should you do more of, what’s working, what’s not.”
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect (no one is going to see it except you), its more about what the practice gives you.
Challenge Your Thoughts
The first thing to do is become aware of how you talk to yourself. What are you saying? How does it feel? Does it empower you or does it make you feel less than? What would be a better feeling thought? Try that on and know that these little changes over time will support you in the long run. And when that happens, your mind will shift from feeling cluttered to lighter and free.
Just Get Started
Time for some tough love here. If something feels hard or overwhelming, you’re likely putting it off. It’s the stuff we what know we *should* be doing, but still procrastinate on. And the longer we procrastinate, the more it clutters our mind and stresses us out. So, where you can start? That’s the hardest part right? But once we get going, the momentum kicks in. So, what’s the one thing you can do right now? Just start there. You got this.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Prioritizing is a great way to proactively take charge of your life. What are the things that matter to you most? Prepare a list of your top priorities and make sure that your actions and the decisions you take reflect the priorities you set for yourself.
Leverage the Power of Habits
Create space by creating new habits. (habits are really just a type of automation where you use your subconscious mind instead of technology)! After all, you don’t stress out or even think about things like brushing your teeth or making your morning coffee. The more you use habits to self-automate, the more brain freedom you will have.
Share Your Thoughts
Sharing your thoughts with others can help you look at things from a fresh perspective. This supports clearer thinking and better decisions. It also allows for those pent-up emotions to be released. Who in your circle can you share your thoughts with?
Limit the Amount of Media Intake
Listen, this is a concept that’s not new. We all know we need to manage the media we consume as it has a huge impact on mental health. What I also want to point out here is “who” we consume as well. Do you feel jazzed about what you are consuming, does it feel heavy, does it make you angry, sad? Pay attention to how it feels and know that you get to curate who ends up on your feed. Choose wisely. Your mindset matters.
Schedule Time to Worry
Okay, this sounds counter intuitive I know. And when I first heard this concept, I thought to myself, isn’t the point to stop worrying? But if you are worrying anyways, why not just own it? Why not create space to NOT fight it, but to allow it to process? Rehashing the same things over and over in your mind—such as second-guessing your decisions and coming up with an endless list of hypothetical situations—won’t help you. It will paralyze you.
Consider scheduling time (maybe 15 minutes a week or a day) to worry and ruminate. During that time, don’t hold back; let it all out and when you start to worry between your scheduled worry times, just remind yourself that you have schedule time to do this. Otherwise, you’ll just end up having it take over your mind and life.
Take Some Time to Unwind
Last but not the least, rest! Your brain needs to recharge in order to perform smoothly. Unplug and do something that makes you feel happy. You are worth it.
Decluttering your mindset allows you to feel like you are intentional, in control of yourself and paves the path to the things that really matter to you. So, choose one to start and how will you incorporate this moving forward?