Having a busy mind can make you feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to help clear some of the daily mental clutter.
1. Identify the problem
It’s hard to fix something if you’re not sure what’s wrong. Be aware of warning signs that your mind is becoming overcrowded. Some common things to watch out for are trouble sleeping, poor concentration and being unable to relax.
Once you’ve recognised that your mind is in need of a spring clean, the next step is to find out what’s adding to the clutter. Take time out to reflect on how you’re feeling. This will help you to identify what’s stressing you out, and why. Over time, you’ll get better at spotting the warning signs of a cluttered mind and be able to nip things in the bud nice and early.
2. Put pen to paper
When you’re trying to keep mental tabs on everything that’s going on, your thoughts are likely to get jumbled. Writing them down will help you to prioritise what’s most important, which will make you feel less stressed. You can mark important dates and reminders on a calendar or in a notebook, and jot down your thoughts on anything that’s worrying you in a personal diary. It doesn’t matter whether you use an app or just good ol' pen and paper. In a stretch, even the back of your hand will do (though it’s not our first choice).
3. Be mindful
We’ve all heard that meditation is a good way to clear your mind and relax. What you may not have heard is that there are thousands of ways to be mindful. This means you can look for a way that suits you. Some common things to try are yoga, exercise and deep breathing (try the ReachOut Breathe app). Some not-so-common ways to practise mindfulness are taking a bubble bath, cuddling a pupper or chilling by the beach. Do whatever works for you.
4. Talk to someone
Talking to a trusted friend or family member, whether online or face-to-face, can be a great way to clear your mind, release some emotions and get whatever’s bothering you off your chest. It also helps to get a fresh take on a problem that’s got you stumped and is stressing you out. If you’re really struggling, remember that you don’t have to tackle your problems on your own. There are lots of different professionals available to talk with about anything that’s worrying you.
5. Keep at it!
Work some of the tips listed above into your everyday life to help you offload mental clutter. Make sure you get a bit of ‘me-time’ every day so that you can wind down properly. Just like cleaning your room prevents it from turning into a total dump, reflecting, writing, meditating and talking with others every day will help prevent the build-up of clutter in your mind.