Have you ever felt that your mind is in constant overdrive? Your thoughts are going at a million miles per second. You then start to feel overwhelmed and confused. A little anxiety may even set in because you simply could not figure out what to do. All you want to do is just to be able to fight the mental clutter so that you can relax and get on with achieving your goals.
A lot of us have experienced this struggle at some point in our lives but we do not talk about it; we do not want to be judged as not having our lives together. Personally, I know what I want and I know the things that need to be done but most times I am bombarded with all these thoughts of my past, present, and future that sometimes I do not know where to start. Even just before writing this blog my mind was filled with clutter and I decided that it was time to take action and free up my mental space- for my peace of mind and general well being.
Hey, so don’t you worry. You are not alone. Below I will share ten (10) simple and practical things that I do and you can do to organize your mind and rid it of clutter. Try to incorporate one or more of these activities into your life to stop feeling so overwhelmed and anxious all the time. So let’s get started:
1. Organize your physical environment
Have you ever wanted to study, complete a project or create your to-do list but could not because your physical environment was too messy? You had books, clothes, shoes, makeup, snacks thrown all about. Did you know that physical clutter can lead to mental clutter? Thankfully, now you do! Imagine having an untidy bedroom or disorganized workspace. You will be constantly plagued with thoughts that you need to tidy that area because your brain is actively seeing the clutter which can be mentally draining. Also, an untidy environment causes you to be less efficient and forces your brain to work extra hard because of excessive stimuli. So put everything in its proper place and as you declutter your physical environment you will be amazed to find that your mind is also decluttered.
2. Write things down
Writing helps to relax the mind. It creates an avenue where you can organize your thoughts and put things into perspective. You can choose to create something as simple as a “to-do list” or if you want to be more detailed you can create a personalized planner or journal. All those scattered tasks and thoughts can then be easily integrated when you incorporate journal writing in your day to day activities. Not only will you have the benefit of organizing your thoughts but you can vividly see your aspirations, goals and other things that are of importance to you. This is perfect especially for persons who enjoy writing and are task oriented.
3. Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!
In very simple terms, do not waste your time on things that will not add value to your life. Put your energy into things that are of utmost importance to you- your dreams, goals, aspirations, and focus on those. Try to complete those tasks that have a deadline first so that you do not spend valuable time worrying about not finishing them. Those assignments that are not so vital can be left for last. Remember not to pressure yourself into believing that you have to multitask in order to fuel efficiency. Expend your energy into completing one task properly. Know when you are tired and take a break. Then, go ahead and move on to another activity. It is also okay to ask for assistance when you need it. We all have limitations. The sooner you accept that you cannot do it all the easier it will be to release any built-up tension your brain consumed. You must also get in the habit of creating a plan that actually helps meeting your goals. Go ahead and develop that action plan that tailors to your needs. Finally, make a conscious effort to ensure that all the decisions that you make align with your priorities.
4. Forget about the past and live in the present
Many of us struggle with mental clutter because we continue to allow things that happened in the past to control us, thus creating mental clutter. Holding on to the past will not allow you to accomplish anything but misery and frustration. Do not dwell on the “shouldas”, “wouldas”, “couldas”. It can be mentally exhausting trying to figure it all out at once. Choose to live in the present and make the best of every moment. You do not need to have life figured out all the time. Accept what was, embrace the changes and keep moving forward.
5. Be certain about your decisions
Do you often find yourself flip-flopping around with making decisions? Do you frequently put off decision making? Your brain can become clobbered causing you to feel overwhelmed. Take some time to thoroughly appraise the consequences of your decisions and once a decision has been made do not renege. Simply put, stop being indecisive.
6. Embrace positivity
Many of us do wish we could be this “happy go lucky” person on a daily basis. The reality is that we have all bad days; unfortunately, too many of us settle on those moments. Those moments create a catalyst for negativity to take residence in your brain. Thoughts of being unworthy, a failure, or not good enough slowly creeps in and produces the worst kind of mental clutter- not believing in yourself. Be mindful of these unfavourable thoughts; counteract them by coaching your brain to speak about the good things and engage in positive self-talk.
Sometimes it is just best to take yourself away from all the noise and distractions and find a nice, quiet place to relax. Create a personal space to unwind; a place that reflects your likes and will bring you peace. A place where you can escape to that no one else knows about. Our world can be very demanding and often leads to unwarranted stress. So when you feel pressured or caved in go to your personalized sweet escape space to:
- collect your thoughts
- recite your positive self-affirmations
- burn your scented candles
- deep breathe
or simply to do whatever you want!
8. Stay away from toxic people
Toxic people are unhealthy emotionally. They drain your energy with their self-hate and negative energy. They will add no value to the quality of your life. Toxic people can jeopardize your memory and reasoning because their associated behaviour will drive your brain into a severe state of stress and mental clutter. You do not have to put up with them; whether they be family, friends, or coworkers. It is vital that you set boundaries when dealing with these people so that your time, energy, and peace of mind are not compromised.
9. Self Care
Another way to rid yourself of mental clutter is to look after your mind, body, and soul the best way possible. You have to make it a priority to take care of yourself first. Remember, it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. Fuel yourself on a daily basis, especially when you identify an unfavourable stressor. Ensure that you feed your body well by incorporating a variety of foods that will provide you with a balanced diet. Also, try to get adequate rest or sleep to promote brain functioning; after all, there’s no health without good mental health.
Hey, you do not have to go through your mental clutter struggles alone. It does help to talk to someone else about all those built up disorganized thoughts you may be experiencing. If you have that one person you can confide in with some of your most troubling thoughts, arrange a time where you can speak with them and release your mental clutter in the process. Talking to someone about this may not be simple but it does so much in helping to alleviate the stress of mental clutter and reviving your mental sanity.
You do not have to allow mental clutter to take charge of your life anymore. Incorporate some of these activities into your routine to finally rid yourself of the strain that mental clutter causes. Declutter your mind so that you can have more energy to do things that will actually lead you to have a better quality of life and to be the very best version of yourself.