When you think of decluttering the first thing that may come to mind is that pesky junk drawer in the kitchen you can never manage to keep clean and organized.
Everything from old mail, school supplies, keys to refrigerator magnets and old recipes are housed in this small drawer and every time you try to get rid of clutter it piles back up again.
Now imagine your mind in its place.
What causes mental clutter?
Mental clutter is the direct result of overstimulation to the distractions around us, a lack of clarity, and disorganized thoughts.
Staying focused on one task feels impossible because your brain is in overdrive. Processing too many thoughts and multi-tasking at one time just leads to mental exhaustion.
Much like our bodies, our minds can suffer from overwhelm, too.
The result? Inactivity and unclear thoughts. Picture tiny, scribbles of chicken scratch on a jumbled piece of paper. That’s your mind on ‘clutter’.
A cluttered mind often reduces productivity while increasing procrastination instead.
Ever wonder why that long list of to-do’s never gets completed? Why constant comparison to others and F-O-M-O (fear of missing out) has taken over your life? Or why the goals you set rarely get reached?
Your mental clutter stems from constant distractions and your tendency to focus on one too many things. Mental clutter can be a silent killer. It creeps up on us when we least expect it then leaves us with high stress and anxiety.
Cluttered minds have no chill. Seriously. They never know when to rest.
This is why taking frequent mental breaks from things and people who no longer serve you is necessary.
Decluttering regularly in order to evaluate and get rid of the ‘stuff’ we no longer need in our lives is key.
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Why decluttering your space and mind is important?
If only decluttering your mind was as easy as throwing away the accumulation of junk in your home, cleaning out the refrigerator, or finally deleting that toxic ex from your contact list.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
The things that cause our minds to wander usually aren’t healthy for us and usually don’t matter as much as we think they do.
Establishing clear priorities and minimizing daily tasks from most to least important helps with compartmentalizing the clutter in our brains.
Limiting accessibility and creating boundaries that dissuade negative thoughts and our engagement in unproductive activities is necessary as well.
When we identify the sources of clutter, we can fully eliminate and limit our interactions with them completely.
How to have a clutter-free mind?
A clutter-free mind prevails in positive environments.
Get in the habit of doing daily assessments of situations, things, or people that negatively impact your mood.
Embrace what makes you feel good and ditch the rest.
Don’t feel bad about releasing mental baggage that no longer serves a role in your life. Stop worrying and obsessing over trivial things that shouldn’t be of concern to you.
Flush out the negativity and bring in the good stuff. Toxic thoughts, toxic people, and toxic overwhelm are rooted in fear.
Declutter negative stimuli
Are you uplifted when you scroll through your social media feeds? If not, consider unfollowing accounts that compel you to comparison or doubt your progress in life.
How does your participation on social media impact your day?
Spending too many hours scrolling, checking for life updates on strangers you don’t even know, or picking out the perfect selfie to post for likes can affect your mental health.
Take a step back and evaluate whether your activity on Instagram or Twitter are really bringing value to your personal life.
Ditching unnecessary distractions is the quickest way to declutter the mind.
You don’t have to ditch social media completely but you can limit your activity.
Research has determined that digital minimalists lead much calmer, happier lives. They aren’t chained to their phones and thrive from their ability to engage in meaningful conversation and being more present in the moment.
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Declutter your social life
How often do you assess the relationships in your life?
Relationships should bring joy to your life not contribute to more stress and drama. When an old friend calls out of the blue do you feel drained when you see their name flash across the screen or are you genuinely excited to engage with them?
Be selective about your inner circle. Friends and familial relationships should be a constant exchange of positivity not a revolving door of negative energy and competition.
Our daily connections should put a smile on our faces. Pay more attention to the relationships you decide to foster with others. They’re a direct reflection of who you are.
Declutter your thoughts
Are you tackling too many goals or projects at once? Shiny object syndrome is kind of a thing, and so is going after low hanging fruit. The temptation to keep abreast of trends isn’t uncommon.
We’ve all gone after things we thought would have greater, faster returns, I’m sure. After looking at someone else’s success, we automatically think “hey, I can do that, too!” just to be disappointed over and over again.
Not zeroing in on one thing can be detrimental to your confidence when the outcome isn’t as favorable as you thought it would be. You start one project then ditch it to start another in repetition to get absolutely nowhere.
Stop falling down the same black hole on different streets.
Declutter your mind by organizing your thoughts with daily brain dumps.
Select 2-3 annual goals per year and break each of them down into monthly micro goals for a higher success rate of achieving them.
Review target dates and deadlines to reassess your ‘why’. Are your savings goals realistic? Are you prepared to start that new business venture tomorrow? Why is that specific timeline for your goal necessary again? Slow down.
10 Ways To Declutter Your Mind
- Clean your physical space
- Brain dump daily (start journaling!)
- Take a walk in nature
- Limit screen time
- Follow a minimalist lifestyle
- Set boundaries (don’t over plan or make too many commitments!)
- Volunteer (take the focus off yourself and put it on others!)
- Stop multi-tasking (concentrate on one task at a time)
- Embrace the moment
- Breathe (take time out of your day to do absolutely nothing)
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