Declutter Your Mind
Do you ever feel like your brain is just going to explode from the overload of information and stress. Whether it is self imposed, or just a natural process of life in our technological age, we are bombarded constantly with input that our minds need to process or ignore. On top of that many of us spend time haunting ourselves with past regret or failure, or focus too much on what could happen in the future. So how do we remove all the negative or just excessive thought patterns to come back to living in the present? Of course there is no magic pill that can ease our stress or worry, but I found the following options helpful in my quest for a peaceful mind.
1. Physically declutter your room, home or life. Frequently our external clutter is a manifestation of our internal clutter. Removing the physical weight of "stuff" can be liberating for the mind. Check out my blog posts on Minimalism for inspiration, or check out my mentoring service for personal assistance.
2. Go on a digital detox. My previous post "Signs you need a Digital Detox" highlights our overload of technological input.
3. Let go of negative thought patterns. Regrets and mistakes of the past. The need to be liked by everyone. Fearing the worst. Feelings of inadequacy. These are just a few of the pitfalls we can stumble upon that keep us trapped in an endless loop of mental clutter. Not only can these thoughts stifle our ability to be creative and productive, they can lead to a crisis of self.
4. Get up and move. Before you come up with any excuses as to why you cannot move more, I am not asking you to start training for a marathon. Just move. Turn on your favorite music and dance around the house. Walk just a few blocks in your neighborhood - adding sunshine and fresh air will help even more. Embrace whatever movement brings you joy. Elevate your heart rate a little and enjoy the endorphin rush!
5. Take time for silence. Call it meditation, introspection, prayer, or stillness. The key is taking time and space to calm the mind. Notice I did not say empty the mind, but simply direct your thoughts to something positive. In the practice of meditation, that could be a focus on breath or a mantra (positive thought) or the flicker of a candle. If meditation is not your cup of tea, no worries. Call it what you will, but give your self just a few minutes of silence each day that are all about de-stressing your mind. One of my favorite bloggers, Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists, recently wrote, "And when we make room for silence, we're able to clean up the emotional, mental, and spiritual clutter that drives us mad."
6. Consider fasting. Many religious and spiritual practices revolve around a period of fasting to ready the mind for an understanding of something deeper. Removing the input of food and resting our bodies frees our mind to focus on deeper aspects of life. In addition, in a fasted state our bodies shift to burning ketones which are advantageous for brain function. Even when starting small, you will be surprised by the mental clarity that can come with fasting. * NOTE: please consult a physician or nutrition professional before any significant diet changes.
These are just a few of my favorite ways to declutter my mind. What helps you clear your head, blow out the cobwebs and pursue your mindful life. I would love for you to share - maybe together we can come up with a Declutter your Mind -Part 2.