Too many thoughts and ideas are going through your mind? It can be great at times, however, if they are popping in your head constantly, they will more likely affect your focus. Moreover, negative thoughts will leave you feel stressed and anxious. In this post, I will give you tips to declutter your mind in order to be more focused and gain more clarity.
When is it time to declutter your mind?
Mental clutter can include a lot of things. For example, it could be worrying about your future, or on the contrary, contemplating the past. It could also be keeping a long mental to-do list that you need to remember about all day long. If you feel like your mind is restless and unfocused constantly, it might be time to declutter it. Luckily, if this sounds like you, there are a lot of strategies and techniques that you can use to make some space in your head. Keep reading to discover 8 simple ways to declutter your mind.
1. Write it down
If like me, you are the kind of person constantly having ideas or reminding herself of things to do, write it down. Easy, right? I end up making all sorts of lists for pretty much anything (to-do list, blog inspiration, grocery list, books to read, and so on). If you write down whatever is coming to your mind, there is no risk of forgetting anything. Also, putting your thoughts on paper will basically mean you don’t need to hold them in your head while you are trying to focus on something else. You could use any kind of support: a sheet of paper, a notebook, a phone app, your laptop. Choose what is the most practical for you. To sum up, rather than storing all your ideas in your head, putting them “out” will help you visualize them clearly, and therefore declutter your mind!
2. Do a brain dump
A brain dump follows the same principle as above: putting all your thoughts on paper. However, I see it more as a “session”, when you have a lot of anxieties and worries. I’ll explain: as I am already making all sorts of lists regularly, I don’t need a brain dump to write down my basics things to do. However, I love to do it for what worries me at the moment, whenever I feel overwhelmed or anxious. I find that putting my concerns on paper help to put them into perspective and find a positive side, or at least a practical way to deal with it.
Basically, whatever is going through your head can be put into paper, which will clear and organize your thoughts. A brain dump can be done at regular times (for example daily or weekly). However, you could just do it whenever you’re feeling like you need it. The choice is entirely yours. It will help reduce your anxiety, with the idea that if you give your thoughts a kind of external form, you can move on.
3. Be organized
After you’ve done a brain dump or all sorts of lists (like me), the next step is just to organize your thoughts. Schedule your important appointment, your next brunch with your friend, or your grocery shopping session in your agenda (or whatever tool you use), and plan ahead. With your schedule being prepared in advance, you won’t need to think whether or not you need to do something, which will remove unnecessary thoughts from your mind.
4. Declutter your mind by exercising
If you are getting frustrated by your lack of focus, why not take some time to unwind? Going for a walk or doing a workout is the best way to forget about everything else and focus only on your body. If you stay sitting on your couch all day, chances are you going to go insane. Instead, exercising will help clear your mind. If you don’t want to go to the gym, have a look at these workouts you can do at home here. Most of them don’t require any equipment! Otherwise, you could just get into nature for a walk and enjoy the outdoors. Just remember that a workout doesn’t need to be intense: just choose an activity that you love to be able to stick to it!
5. Practice a hobby
What better way to declutter your mind than thinking about something else and doing something you love? Personally, one of my favourite activities is to do some journalling, as I find it super relaxing. You could try these self-discovery prompts I’ve written here. But of course, it could be any kind of creative activity: think about painting, playing an instrument, growing your own garden, practicing photography, read a new book… The possibilities are endless! Just practice what you love and let go of everything else.
6. Practice gratitude
There are many ways to practice gratitude: by doing a jar, journaling (once again), or even meditating. Basically, the principle is to be thankful for what you have and what is surrounding you. If you take a good look at all the things around you (that a lot of people on this planet are not lucky to possess), you’ll realize there are tons of things you can be grateful for. Do you have a roof over your head? Are you healthy? Do you have loved ones around you? Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, just remember that!
7. Breathing exercises
Deep breathing is a common meditation technique that will help you get calmer and relieve your stress. This is actually something I like to do while working on my blog. When I take a break, I like to do a short breathing exercise. I started to do it after I bought my Fitbit, with the app “relax”. It guides your breathing and you can even close your eyes, thanks to the watch vibrations. I found that this is a great way to declutter your mind and be ready to work again. What is interesting is to see your heart rate decrease before and after the session: if your mind is not clear, at least your body will be more relaxed. Of course, if you don’t own a Fitbit, there are numerous apps or youtube videos to guide you through breathing exercises (try this one).
8. Tidy up to declutter your mind
Clearing your mind also goes by clearing your environment. If the place you live in is a mess, chances are your mind is too. Constantly asking yourself “where did I leave my keys” before leaving your house will take space in your mind unnecessarily. The easiest way is to have a dedicated space where you put all your important items, to make sure you don’t look for it regularly.
Moreover, if you store things away to decide what to do with it later, you might end up with clutter in every cupboard. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but every time you’re going to see these things, it will make you think about what has been left undone. To avoid this, take some time every day to make your bed, wash and put away any dishes left during the day, tidy up any papers on your coffee table, and so on. Sorting out your home daily will leave it tidy and neat effortlessly.
Mental clutter will prevent you from thinking clearly, staying focused, and will most likely decrease your productivity. I hope that this post will help you the next time you feel overwhelmed and need to free up some mental space. If you liked it, please feel free to leave a comment or share it!