How to Declutter Your Mind and Lighten Your Mental Load
In honor of Simplify Your Life Week, here are some simple changes you can make in your life to declutter your mind.
Declutter your physical space
Physical clutter contributes to mental clutter. When the space around you is messy, your mind is flooded with excess stimuli and forced to work overtime. Physical clutter constantly reminds your brain that there’s something else that needs to be done, which is exhausting on the brain. Decluttering your physical space is a quick fix to relieve your mental load.
Write It Down
There are many things to remember in a day; relieve your mind by writing some of this down. Find what works for you, whether this is a to do list, an app on your phone, or a journal. Use this as a storage space for bits of information you need to retain, like appointments, phone numbers, and ideas.
Writing it down can also come in the form of a journal, a space for venting, worries, and plans. A journal is an emotional outlet for events in your life and allows your brain to release some things that may be consuming your mind.
Let Go of the Past
A lot of your mind clutter has to do with things of the past. Take some time to consider past events that are consuming your mind and let go of memories that are no longer helping you move forward.
Society views one’s ability to multi-task as a strength, but it may be causing more harm than help. Focusing on one task at a time allows your brain the room to relax, instead of constantly running. Multi-tasking doesn’t save much more time, if any, so save yourself the mental stress and focus on one task at a time.
Limit Incoming Information
Incoming information can come from newspapers, blogs, magazines, TV, social media, and the internet. The more information you’re consuming, the easier it is to clog your brain. Limit time spent on the internet or social media, so you’re not overwhelming your mind. Avoid sources that are not improving your quality of life. Consume information from valid sources; you don’t have to waste mental energy with questions.
Make Prompt Decisions
Every time you avoid making a decision, you are filling your brain with one more thing to worry about. Make decisions, declutter your mind. If decision-making is not your forte, research different methods of decision-making.
Every to-do list feels never ending, and may require us to prioritize some tasks before others. Accept that some things may not get done. Focus your mind on the important tasks, and avoid the smaller, medial items on your to-do list.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness revolve around the idea that you’re able to fully focus on being in the moment. Allowing yourself to be fully in a moment trains your mind to let go of all that’s in the past or the future. Practicing mindfulness lets your mind calm down and let go of thoughts that are just bogging it down. Just focusing on your breath can help center and refocus your brain.
These days, there is more and more pressure to move as fast as possible. Avoid this mentality. Make the conscious effort to move a little slower than you normally would. This gives your brain time to slow down with you.
Sleep has a much greater effect on our health than we often realize. If you’re not getting enough sleep or a good night’s rest, your brain may not be reaching its full potential. Rethink your sleep habits, so your mind is working its best. When you don’t get enough sleep, you often think about how tired you are or your poor night’s sleep; sleeping well means no more mental time spent on last night.
Working out , in any form, allows your brain time to relax. Whether you work out for thirty minutes or two hours, it’s a time that allows your brain to focus on one current task. While working out, avoid thinking about other things you need to do and allow yourself to be present.
If possible, go for a walk outside. Being outside allows you to focus on the outside and avoid the hustle and bustle of regular life. Try to stay in touch with the simplicity of the outdoors.