In modern times, we live in a state of constant chaos and noise. The mess of the materialistic world has left many moving towards a minimalist life. The philosophy to live being ‘Less is More’.
However, more often than not, we miss out on the clutter inside our mind. We are constantly chasing deadlines both in professional and personal life. This leaves us with stress and anxiety becoming a part of our existence.
It’s high time we paid as much attention to our mental health as we do towards our physical health. This journey needs to start with some self help to declutter your mind and make space for higher productivity.
What does decluttering your mind mean?
What exactly is this mental clutter that we are talking about? In simple words, clutter is nothing but a set of postponed decisions.
Just imagine yourself standing in the centre of a crossing with failed traffic signals. I can already hear the honking in my head. The chaos around with dead locked vehicles and yelling drivers is a real mess. Well, while we may not be practically stuck on such a signal, our mind often is.
Just like the vehicles stuck on the crossing that need help to find a way, our mind also needs help to get unstuck.
We live in a state of mind that struggles to find calm amidst worries, anxiety, stress and just too many things that our little 3 pound 15 centimeters long brain can actually manage. Yes, that is the clutter needs to be decluttered.
To begin with, we must with utmost caution open each layer to find the underlying scars and entangles. We must acknowledge each one of them and then know whether to work on healing them or just let go.
We didn’t intend to scare you by the complexity. A problem can only get simpler as we set out to resolve it. Let’s begin with finding out when your mind is cluttered.
5 Signs of a Cluttered Mind
When do you know that your mind is crying out for attention? Most of the times we do not pay attention to our over stressed selves in the name of having just another ‘bad day’.
But the key here is to be watchful of the following whistle blowers:
- How often do you have these spells of anxiety?
- How bad does it get?
- How long does it last?
If you have answers to these questions, you are on the right track. If you don’t, take a break. Talk to someone without delaying it further or being anti-psychiatrist, as it’s doing more harm than you think.
We also want you to know a few behavioural symptoms that you can read for yourself to know that your mind is actually cluttered.
Insomnia / Hypersomnia
Oversleeping or having difficulty in sleep both are a cause of concern if the frequency increases beyond twice a week. If your doctor does not see a physical cause, it is probably a psychological issue and that starts with a cluttered mind.
Erratic Weight Gain/Loss
Have you lost or gained significant weight for no apparent reason? Well, that could be your mental health taking a toll on the physical.
It could also be drawn to phases of overeating or lack of eating which are also associated with mental health conditions.
Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour
Sudden display of obsessive behaviour has been known to be one of the manifestations of self doubt. Repetitive cleaning and washing habits and a constant fear of the bad times are one of the most common compulsive behaviors displayed by people who are preoccupied by a number of thoughts or beliefs.
In circumstances as these they are unable to concentrate and reason their unstable behavioural patterns.
Fatigue and Memory Issues
The constant influx of thoughts and emotions from a weighed down mind result in mental and physical fatigue in individuals.
This could be combined with headache, tingling, heart palpitation, fluctuating blood pressure etc. An otherwise responsible person missing out on obligations due to forgetfulness is also a clear indication of them being overburdened and stressed with too much on their plate (read mind).
When friends and family start remarking upon your repeated snappy or emotional acts, a break and mental declutter must be considered.
Such behaviors result due to an overwhelmed state of mind or rising blood pressure, which is again a symptom of a stressed cluttered mindspace.
How to Declutter My Mind?
Finally, having understood what a mental declutter means and knowing when to go for one, it is time we get you to actually doing it. Here are our 5 golden tips to help you achieve the same.
Identify the essentials
While trying to cut your brain some slack, it is important to identify what are the essentials of your life. Those which require your focus and time and those that bring value to your life.
Hold on to emotions and nurture them so that they can bring out the best version of you.
Eliminate things that don’t add value
Eliminate all thoughts and worries that do not add value to your and your family’s life. They are just like junk food that your mind is feeding on.
They are unhealthy and only add up to the emotional weight on your brain. Simply discard everything that does not spark joy.
Just like we hoard objects that we may not even need, we also hold on to our emotions. Learn the art of letting go. Eliminate unnecessary thoughts, anger, fears and worries.
It helps to bring down stress, boosts self-esteem and obviously free up mental space for positivity.
Start small and as they say, “Accept, Forgive and Forget”. One emotion at a time, get the load of your mind and heart. This step itself will leave you feeling a lot lighter.
Set your life on autopilot
Once you have dealt with bigger piled up thoughts that had been put away for long, what about the regular day to day affairs. There are a bunch of small decisions that all of us need to take everyday.
Unknowingly, they too take a toll on our mind. These could be as small as ‘What to Cook or ‘What to Wear’. Yes the daily brainstorming for these too pulls us down.
The solution is to put routine decisions on autopilot. Meal planning, creating to-do lists, keeping limited ready for everyday clothes can save a lot of time and take away major mental fatigue.
Do a brain dump activity
After having chosen what is important and eliminating the petty thoughts, you have let go of your pent up emotions. You have further reduced the day to day fatigue by pre planning routine tasks and setting them up on autopilot.
But what if these thoughts and worries keep coming back to you? Or if you are still not ready to be positive? This is possible. A brain dump activity is an excellent way to process and take thoughts and emotions to closure.
Get in the habit of journaling regularly. Writing down for nobody is just like talking to yourself. By doing so over time, you reconcile with your concealed emotions. It also teaches one to accept situations and move on without baggage. As you write you will also discover new dimensions to your own personality.
This activity will free up your mind without making you feel vulnerable to judgement and shaming by others.
What happens when you declutter your mind?
A decluttered mind is like a blank board. Well, maybe not as blank, but it surely is open to new thoughts to bring about a positive change. A clear mind radiates positive energy and also magnetically attracts vibrant thoughts.
If you have practiced any of the above steps, you would have already felt the power. You sleep better. It’s just like doing away with sugar from your pantry. You have eliminated temptation to make room for a healthier choice.
The Mary Kondo Philosophy
The Mary Kondo philosophy more popularly known as the KonMari philosophy is about choosing joy.
For those who do not know who Mary Kondo is, she is a tidying expert, a best selling author and the star of her Netflix show, ‘Tidying Up with Marie’.
She advocates a little-by-little approach to tidying or decluttering. If you try to do it all at once, you will forever be picking at our pile of stuff. Declutter category by category. Keep only the things that speak to the heart. Discard things that no longer spark joy. Thank them and let them go. Not only is her philosophy popular for its effectiveness, it also is known to be mindful, introspectiva and forward looking.
There is a clear analogy and connection in tidying up the physical world around us and eliminating toxicity from within our minds and lives.
Meditation to keep you away from the clutter
We are sure you would have tried meditation at some or the other time. It is not a mystical, spiritual or supernatural act. Meditation is not a one time act but a practice of being mindful.
It is a way to train yourself to focus on your thoughts and create awareness.
Meditation helps with anxiety, sleep and achieving a calm and clear state of mind. Regular practice of meditation unlocks the benefits that last for a lifetime.It helps develop a realistic and practical approach to relieve suffering and understand the mind better.
A free space opens up avenues for a fresh perspective making it much easier to focus on problems and effectively solving them. After a restful sleep you get up fresh each day without the stagnant clutter around you.
Confronting your deep emotions and broken dreams helps you reconcile and brings about a personality shift into a more confident self.
When you do away with your unfinished business and deep rooted insecurities, you are ready to take on the world with new risks and challenges.
Take mental health as seriously as you would take your physical health. Your mind and body are the only places you have to live in.
Declutter quotes (to be added as banners)
You Can’t Reach for Anything New if your hands are Full of Yesterday’s Junk – Louise Smith
Clutter is not just physical stuff.
It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits.
Clutter is anything that does not support your better self. – Eleanor Brownn
Of the heaviness that is weighing you down.
Make your LIFE Simple but Significant. – Maria
“Make space for the next adventure.
Open up your surroundings for new possibilities!” – The Unclutter Angel