You know that overwhelming feeling when your closets are bursting at the seams, or your garage is filled to the brim? Guess what, it’s not just our homes that need decluttering—our minds do too!
Research suggests we could have up to a whopping 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot of mental traffic! Truth be told, not all those thoughts are exactly useful or positive. It’s like we’re hoarding mental post-it notes we don’t need.
But let’s imagine a different scenario. Think about how amazing it would feel to calm the mental storm—I’m talking about not only your meditation and sleep but every aspect of your life, from work to relationships as well.
Sounds tempting, right? So, let’s do something about it. Stick around as we delve into the ins and outs of decluttering your mind and share some handy tips to help you make calm your new normal. Ready to learn how to declutter your mind?
Let’s dive in!
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What Does Decluttering Your Mind Mean?
Let’s take a minute to chat about what decluttering the mind really means. You know how when you declutter your room, you get rid of stuff that’s just taking up space? The same thing applies when it comes to our minds.
Just like you feel lighter and more relaxed in a clean room, by decluttering your mind, you’re clearing up your mental landscape for clearer thinking, smarter decision-making, and most importantly, peace of mind. Negative thoughts be gone!
What are the Benefits of Reducing Brain Clutter?
It’s not always easy, but the rewards of doing this far outweigh the challenges. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy:
By eliminating unnecessary thoughts, you have more mental bandwidth for what truly matters, helping you to concentrate better. You’ll be able to think straight and making decisions will be easier.
A cluttered mind often leads to anxiety and depression. When you declutter your mind, you reduce anxiety and stress levels. You won’t feel overwhelmed all the time.
Improved Sleeping Habits
Overthinking is a recipe for insomnia. By clearing your mind before bed, you’ll experience deeper, more restful sleep. Getting enough sleep gives you the mental energy to crush your day.
A clutter-free mind fosters creativity and innovation. The less crowded your mind is, the more space you have for new, creative ideas.
When you’re not preoccupied with your own thoughts, you’re able to fully engage and be present in your relationships.
Creating space in your mind leads to greater self-awareness, helping you recognize and better understand your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
With less time consumed by unnecessary thoughts, you’ll be able to dedicate more time and energy to your tasks, making you more productive.
With everything in life, it’s a process but trust me, it’s a rewarding one. So, are you ready to roll up your mental sleeves and start decluttering?
5 Ways to Declutter Your Mind for Good
Okay, so how do you declutter the mind? It’s not as if you can empty your brain into a couple of boxes and haul the offending items out to the sidewalk. Or get rid of your unwanted thoughts with a hairdryer.
If only it were that easy, right?
Embarking on a mental declutter is not as difficult as you might imagine. There are a number of tips and tricks you can employ to not only empty your mind but keep it clutter-free.
1. Declutter Your Stuff
Physical clutter leads to mental clutter. You can’t expect to organize your thoughts without first attending to the space around you. If your home or office isn’t neat and tidy, it won’t matter what mental work you’ve done.
Decluttering will make you happier and more productive, give you more time, and help you feel calmer and more relaxed. From that space, giving your mind a ‘scrub’ will be a cinch.
Schedule that overdue clean-out and make it a priority to declutter your home. It doesn’t have to be a weekend-long affair either, there are areas you can declutter in 20 minutes or less. Start there.
Read: The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
2. Get Rid of the Mental Habits That Keep You Stuck
They suggest keeping an eye out for negative language (nobody understands what I’m going through), actively challenging self-doubt (as opposed to just accepting it as the status quo), and understanding the difference between problem-solving and worrying.
Consider what mental habits you have that aren’t serving you and take action to eliminate them. Depending on the type of habit and the hold it has on you, you could either go it alone or enlist the help of a therapist.
There’s no shame in seeking out help when you need it. (Therapy saved Sporty and me from imminent disaster.) If you’re not sure how to go about finding someone to talk to, a website like BetterHelp can help.
Read: Atomic Habits by James Clear
3. Write it Down
The human brain is a remarkable piece of machinery, capable of incredible feats. But sometimes the way to get the most out of it is by giving it a break. Rather than keep everything between your ears, empty your thoughts onto paper.
Journaling is hugely beneficial on many levels. It serves as a healthy outlet for bottled emotions, lowers anxiety levels, and improves your working memory. It’s also a great way to keep track of good ideas and come up with new ones.
Read: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
4. Forget Multitasking
Don’t be fooled, there is nothing productive about multitasking. In fact, according to some schools of thought, there’s no such thing. All you’re doing is task-switching, which is unproductive and a recipe for mind clutter.
When you stop multitasking and instead focus on one task at a time, you will improve your mental focus and wave goodbye to mental clutter.
Done enough, you’ll eventually learn to think only about the task at hand. Single-tasking (yes, it has a name) is also the secret to being more productive, less stressed, and much happier.
Read: Deep Work by Cal Newport
5. Stop Overcommitting
We all want to be the good guy, the person who says yes to every request. While admirable, it has its downsides. For one thing, it’s easy to overextend yourself. When that happens, overwhelm is not far behind.
Your mind quickly goes into overdrive as it tries desperately to process everything you said you’d do. Remember, you don’t have to stick your hand up every single time. It’s okay to say no occasionally and use the time to unwind, or take a walk.
Read: The Book of No by Susan Newman
Bonus Tip: Meditate
Meditating regularly (as in, daily or even twice daily) does wonders for your state of mind. People are often intimidated by the thought. They assume it’s difficult or something only monks can do.
Meditating does take practice, but it’s definitely not the sole domain of the enlightened. Believe me, if I can master the art, anybody can. Sporty and I learned our daily practice from the Art of Living. We highly recommend checking out their Happiness Programme.
If that’s not accessible to you, then another alternative is to get yourself a meditation app. I recently checked out Headspace and it’s pretty neat. Along with teaching you how to meditate, the app will help you form the habit of regular practice and expand your mind to the teachings of mindfulness.
Also, whoever is guiding the meditations has the perfect voice for the job. It’s not woo-woo or affected, but it is calming. Which is nice.
Read: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Key Considerations for Decluttering the Mind
As you embark on this journey to clear your mind, remember to be patient with yourself. You’re not going to stop obsessing over unnecessary thoughts overnight.
This process is very similar to breaking a bad habit—it will take time and dedication. Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way, every little step forward is a step towards a clearer, more peaceful mind.
Another key consideration is consistency. It’s much more effective to do a little decluttering daily than to do a lot at once and then stop. Treat your mind like any other part of your self-care routine—similar to brushing your teeth or exercising.
As you consistently practice these steps, you’ll find they start to become second nature, and a calm, more focused mind will truly become your new normal.
Taking it to the Next Level: How to Go Beyond Clearing the Mind Clutter
Alright, you’ve got these steps under your belt, what’s next? If you’re keen to go a bit further here’s an idea: How about trying something a little more out there like, say, a silent retreat?
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s a bit too much for me.” No worries. How about exploring some cognitive-behavioral therapy or roping in some professional psychological help?
These guys can give you a fresh perspective into why your mind loves to party with unnecessary thoughts and arm you with precise strategies to show them the door.
There are also plenty of books, documentaries, and online programs that take you further down the rabbit hole of mindfulness, productivity, and mental decluttering.
Our personal favorite is Heroic. The brainchild of Brian Johnson, Heroic is personal growth on steroids. Along with a ton (literally) of goodness in the form of Philosopher Notes and bite-sized chunks of wisdom called +1s, there’s also a Heroic app (read our review) and the 300-day Coach Program (read our review).
All of which have the power to remove the clutter and fill your mind with pure goodness!
How to Declutter Your Mind: Final Thoughts
There you have it, six relatively simple ways to declutter your mind. Because, everyone loves simple, right? And that’s exactly what it should be—simple yet effective. By applying these strategies consistently, you can regain control of your thoughts and finally bid adieu to that nagging mental clutter.
Over the years, we’ve personally tried out these steps and found them to be extremely beneficial in training our minds to focus on what truly matters and discard what doesn’t. Granted, there were some hiccups along the way, but that’s all part of the journey.
Remember, decluttering is not about creating a void in your mind, but about making space for the thoughts and ideas that resonate with your goals and values. It’s about separating the wheat from the chaff if you will.
So if you’re ready for a journey of self-discovery that can benefit mind and body, take a deep breath and dive in. Begin your practice today, one step at a time. Don’t get discouraged if it feels hard initially. It’s not about achieving perfection, but progress.
Our minds are complex and often full of noise. When we prioritize these mindfulness techniques we can learn to direct our thoughts towards positivity, leaving the unnecessary clutter behind.
Enjoy the journey, celebrate your successes, and remember – each day is a new opportunity to lower the volume of unnecessary noise in your mind.