Getting rid of mind clutter

It’s important to think about clutter that's been building up in our minds, like stress, reoccurring or preoccupying thoughts. Having a cluttered mind can make us feel stressed, anxious and worried. So what can we do to ‘clear’ our minds of all this clutter?

girl curled up in foetal position while sitting on a green couch

Tip one: Reflection

We’ve all learnt by now that ignoring something usually does not make it go away.  The first step to clearing out clutter is reflecting on what is actually going on inside our mind. What are we feeling stressed or worried about? Why is it making us feel that way? It’s important that we learn about ourselves because it will help us identify warning signs if we become cluttered again in the future.

Tip two: Write it down

Having to remember a trillion things all at once is not only really stressful, but it uses up a lot of mental space! Writing things down is a great way of de-cluttering our minds because it means that we don’t have to remember every little detail. It can also make things seem a lot more manageable when we map them out on paper – like study or important dates. Whether you decide to use a diary or you’re fond of the list-approach, it can really help to prioritise your thoughts and identify the ‘essential’.

Tip three: Meditation

We’ve all heard that meditation is a good way to clear your mind, find yourself and relax. What you may not have heard is that there are a thousand different ways to meditate meaning you can find the one that best suits you. Some suggestions include:

  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Walking the dog or going gym
  • Having a bubble bath
  • Shopping or seeing a movie

Tip four: Talk

Talking to someone you trust can be a great way to release emotion and get what’s bothering you off your chest. It can also be helpful to get a fresh set of eyes on a problem that’s got you stumped and is stressing you out.

Tip five: Prevention is better than a "cure"!

Sometimes we can’t avoid feeling a little bit stressed and that’s okay! However, there are steps we can take to reduce the likelihood of things becoming too overwhelming. It’s important that we learn to identify the signs that indicate that we’re starting to become too stressed or that our mental clutter is starting to build up. These might include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Difficulty relaxing

Working some of the previous tips into your everyday life can help you offload your daily mental clutter so that you don’t overload yourself. Make sure you get a bit of ‘me-time’ every day so that you can wind down properly. This might mean actually allowing yourself some time each day to get your worrying out of the way.  It's also important to remember that even though some things won’t automatically be easy on the first go (like keeping a journal) we just have to keep trying in order to work out what’s best for us.

Last reviewed: 15 June, 2015
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