Do you know that feeling of a chaotic mind that’s continually buzzing and you can’t think straight? We all struggle with this from time to time – or more often. Sometimes you just need to declutter your mind.
Especially nowadays, where content, ads, notifications, and more are always present around us. It leads to distractions, forgetting things, and not thinking clearly.
An overwhelmed, chaotic mind makes it hard to declutter your physical environment and vice versa.
You’re here to learn how to declutter your mind, so keep reading for my 4 easy tips.
Brain-what? A braindump means to write down everything that keeps your mind occupied.
This could be some tasks that you are planning to do, an idea you got, that beautiful quote you read somewhere, a recurring thought or worry you have… etc.
If throughout the day you keep stressing about “not to forget to call XYZ”, just write it down. Not just anywhere, but in a place where you can see it or go back to. If it’s written down, you can’t forget it, and more importantly: you can start addressing it.
The idea is to transfer your thoughts from your brain onto paper, so it is visible in front of you.
This frees up space in your mind, so you’ll have a more clear mind, and there’s room for creativity and inspiration.
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them” – a quote by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
And it really works! Sometimes, I have a hard time focusing on a task because I keep thinking of other things I should not forget to do or an idea pops up in my head.
If I don’t write it down, it keeps coming back and makes it nearly impossible for me to focus on my task at hand. But whenever I write it down, I’m able to relax and know I will get back to it later.
2. Reduce your phone/tablet/laptop notifications
Notifications are distracting. It is a constant stream of information popping up on your screen, screaming for your attention.
Turning off or at least reducing your notifications is a perfect way to keep your mind clear and focused.
This has worked so well for me. A few months ago, I turned off my phone notifications for my personal email, work email, Instagram, and Facebook. It is now much less of a distraction.
For the same reason, I disabled email notifications on my laptop. Now I only open my inbox when I have time to read and reply to emails, instead of disrupting a task I was working on.
Fewer notifications to react on helps decrease the chaos in your mind. Take control and react on your terms.
Turning off notifications will help, but what helps even more is to simply use your phone less. Less checking of email, news and social media will help you calm your mind.
You know how to breathe, of course. But did you know that a simple breathing technique can help you declutter your mind?
Steering your attention to one job, helps you to be focused and be in the present. And what easier task, than breathing? This breathing technique will make you feel calmer and give you a sense of control over yourself.
Just breathe in, as deep as you want, and then let the breath flow out, relax your exhale. After your exhale, don’t ‘pause’, but immediately go into your inhale again. Set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes (or longer if you’d like) and focus on this way of breathing.
You can follow this GIF as a guide.
If you have a lot of thoughts on your mind, try to get rid of them one by one. Imagine that with each exhale, you flow one thought out of your mind!
4. Declutter something physically
I know I said a chaotic mind makes it hard to declutter your physical environment and vice versa. But you could also make it work for you in a positive way.
If you take very small steps, it can have an enforcing effect on each other and make things less overwhelming.
By decluttering something in your surroundings, you take charge of physical chaos, which gives you a sense of regaining control.
Where to start? You can do something small as:
- taking out the trash
- putting back the dishes
- making up your bed
- rearranging your sofa pillows
If you’re at work, you can start clearing (part of) your desk or sort out a pile of papers.
Or, if you’re on the go, you could organize your phone apps or delete blurry photos.
Let’s get started to declutter your mind
These are 4 ways that you could easily and quickly start using in your life to deal with a chaotic mind or mental declutter.
As with all tips I give, don’t overwhelm yourself by doing all at once.
Whenever you feel like your mind is becoming too chaotic, assess which of the four techniques above would benefit you most at that moment.
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