Declutter Your Mind
I talk a lot about how decluttering is so much more than getting rid of unwanted material possessions. My definition of clutter is anything in our lives that doesn’t serve us or make us feel good, so this can be mental, emotional or energetic, as well as the expected tangible physical items. So, how do you actually declutter your mind?
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t suffer from “clutter of the mind” or “mind monkeys” of sorts. It’s something we learn from an early age, usually subconsciously, and although it has the greatest bearing on our happiness and health, much of us go through life unaware of its tight grip.
Never allowing us to be still, present, calm, peaceful or content, our mind clutter typically takes two forms:
- Negative thoughts about the past. The thought sparks the emotion, and we dwell incessantly on long-gone situations that cause us to feel regretful, guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, inadequate, angry, frustrated, sad, and so on. This critical, judgemental thinking robs us of the joy of the current moment. Although logically we know we cannot change it, many of us (albeit subconsciously) are choosing to live in the inhospitable environs of our past.
- Negative thoughts about the future. Worrying about what may or may not happen is a great leveller – it zaps any good out of our lives. These fears take us out of the present and continually catapult us into unfavourable future scenarios and situations. Many of us understand on some level that what we give out we’ll get back, but this doesn’t stop us from obsessing about things that are undesirable and unwelcome.
How to really declutter your mind
If our mind clutter goes unchallenged, we live lives that are stressful, manic and noisy. However, when we gently practice the “observing” of the chatter and seeing it for what it is (a useless, melodramatic and stubborn old voice!), it begins to soften and dissipate over time, creating more space in our heads for the things we really want. The whole concept of Mindfulness is brain training at its best. Helping us to undo thought patterns that are neither helpful nor forgiving, it allows us to recognise the everyday craziness and the clutter of the mind that we have unfortunately come to expect.
The good news is that as you set the intention to declutter your mind, simply becoming aware of your mind clutter is a massive first step in conquering it. Even for those who understand the destructiveness of over-thinking, learning to master it does require patience and skill, but it’s worth it.
Do yourself a big favour and learn to declutter your mind, and enjoy the peace, joy, simplicity and freedom that will naturally flow into all areas of your life. What’s the alternative anyway – feeling continually anxious, flat, guilty or frustrated, or a myriad of other negative emotions? Let’s raise our expectations for how we live and what we accept as “normal”.
The Declutter Academy helps with all sorts of clutter in all areas of life, as well as the more obvious wardrobe and home, and you can find out more about this Certified Professional Organizer online training.