How to declutter your mind is today’s topic and not by chance or as a random subject. It is something I have been examining and working on with myself this year as I have sought to develop my own effectiveness in my personal and professional life.
“It’s as though our brains are configured to make a certain number of decisions per day and once we reach that limit, we can’t make any more, regardless of how important they are.” ― Daniel J. Levitin, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.
Everything I read on how to have more will power and be more effective shows more studies and evidence on the negative effects decision fatigue and getting bogged down with unwanted thoughts, rumination and a busy, buzzing reactive mindset. Take it from me, you want to declutter your mind. Do you constantly feel your brain’s capacity is full, and it is going to explode soon? Don’t worry, you are not alone. In the world we live in today, it is very easy to add masses of information to our mind very quickly, thanks to multitude of social networking and information radiating channels.
“The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” – Michio Kaku.
Many of my professional hypnotherapy clients find their minds seemingly cluttered as part of the issue they are seeking help with. A client recently stated that he felt down or upset a lot of the time. “I feel as if I have no control over the way I feel,” he said. Upon us working together, he learned that his thoughts were largely responsible for his feelings and he was able to gain much more control over his disturbing emotions. He found that, with a bit of effort and application, it became possible to control and alter many of his negative thoughts. An inherent part of that process was decluttering, stopping rumination and overthinking.
Read this article for much more on that: How To Stop Rumination and Overthinking Being Your Downfall.
In cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy and other related fields, myself and many of my peers give our clients a thought form for practical use and many other thought disputation methodologies to show them how easy it actually is to take control of one’s own thoughts…
This concept is at least two thousand years old and is often attributed to the philosopher Epictetus, who said “Men [and women] feel disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them.” Many centuries later, William Shakespeare rephrased this thought in Hamlet when he wrote: “There (is) nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
The fact is, we have tremendous control over our emotions and are not helpless stimulus-response creatures who are powerless over our moods. Simply recognising that thinking influences emotions is a very important step on the road leading to a happier and healthier life… As I’ll be explaining later, noting thoughts down on a regular basis is even better…
I have a theory of my own devising, espoused to my students and clients on a regular basis… It is called the candy floss brain theory.
A regular thought is just like a long, thin, fragile stick.
Our brain is a bit like a candy floss machine – at least in terms of this metaphor. (No pedants start critiquing the works of brains and fun fair machines here please.)
When a thought is running rampage and left inside the brain, the brain being the fantastical and wondrous thing it is, can make the thought seem exponentially more than it actually is. Like the stick being turned into a big, pink, fluffy gooey thing when left inside the candy-floss machine.
I recall a client telling me about his depression. I asked him how he did it. He explained the process and I repeated it back to him “So in order for me to do your depression if you stepped off the planet, I’d have to do this, this and this, right?”
“No Adam, it is more than that.”
“Ok, so explain it to me again then, I may have missed something.”
To which the client then repeated and explained the way he did his depression. Giving a detailed account of it.
I replied again ” So for me to do your depression, I’d have to do this, this and this?”
“No Adam, it is much more than that.”
This could have gone on and on. It is not more than that.
It is only more than that when it is left inside the head rattling around, ruminating, being catastrophised about and made all the more fantastical by the brain, being turned into candy floss. I am not saying the unpleasantness is not real and experienced as unpleasant. I am saying that when thoughts are written down, and disputed in a structured manner, we see them for what they really are. We take the stick out of the candy floss machine and see it for what it really is.
We often realise how silly they are and the thoughts become vulnerable. Very much more open to change and updating. Decluttering can begin in a number of ways, learning how to get ‘stuff’ out of your head is what today’s article is all about.
A decluttered and organised home and office space allows you to thrive. The environments you spend time in play a huge role in how healthy you are, how productive, how effective, and how successful. The things we have around us really do have a big impact upon our lives. Clutter – both in our physical and mental space – can block us from thriving and achieving our goals and gaining abundance. It can drain our energy and weigh us down. Go and declutter the spaces you spend most time in as a good precursor and framework for decluttering your mind.
How do you declutter your mind? – It is not a difficult task if we all give it a little thought. Simplifying should not be made complex because that is what most of us do. Here are few simple tools and techniques you can use regularly to cleanse and declutter your mind.
1. Go for a walk and empty your mind – You do not need access to a pretty landscaped walking path to practice this. Idea is to empty your mind while you walk. Researchers from the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto published a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders have advanced a wide range of theories about the specific physical and mental benefits nature can provide, ranging from clean air and lack of noise pollution to the apparent immune-boosting effects of a fine mist of “wood essential oils.” Focus on any happy thoughts while you walk, or just be without thinking too much. You can combine this with many or any of the other points listed here, but sometimes being in nature and having some quality time helps you to declutter your mind all by itself.
2. Leverage your support system – This could be anyone whom you trust; family members, trusted colleagues, gym partner, close friends, spouse, and I even talk to my dog while we are out running together! Try to select someone who is a good listener. It is important that you feel comfortable and safe to pour out all the junk. Sometimes just getting things out of your head and spoken is all that is required to declutter your mind.
3. Practice a breathing exercise – Just breathe in and breathe out with some kind of rhythm. Access to quiet and calm environment will help. Make sure, you breathe deep from your gut. While you do this, focus on chanting any chosen words. This meditation would help to eliminates stress, allows you to think clearly, declutter your mind and feel more energetic.
Here is a great article all about a range of breathing exercises to help you declutter your mind: 8 Breathing Exercises to Enhance Well-Being.
4. Unplug from technology – Psychologist Jean Twenge, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic cites findings from a range of studies that show that social media appears to promote narcissism. Additional research suggests smartphones could be causing insomnia, and making us less empathetic. Have some time away from your phone, laptop, iPad and as already suggested here, connect with nature in one way or another. Take a hike into the woods or take a well-deserved break of some time. Take a listen to the crashing waves, the birds singing, wind blowing through trees, or rain drops falling. Don’t you feel lighter already?
Here is a great article all about having a digital detox to help you declutter your mind: Why You Need A Digital Detox and How To Have One.
5. Write a blog or a journal – Pouring your mind out in form of writing a journal will help you better understand yourself and declutter your mind. Always have a journal near you. Put it in your bag or on your desk. Easy access will remind you to keep writing.
You can expand upon this by working with a professional who can instruct and guide you how to effectively use therapeutic thought forms. As with my candy floss theory, this helps you see your thoughts for what they really are.
6. Just relax – There are a number of relaxation techniques like yoga, reading a book etc. that are easily accessible. Just type ‘relaxation exercise’ on google. A regular relaxation routine will help you to manage your stress. Here on this website, you can download for free a couple of relaxation hypnosis audio tracks that will help you massively – all for free, do go and do that and declutter your mind.
7. Laugh, have some fun! – Do something crazy and have a blast. Talk to a person who makes you feel warm. Watch a funny movie, play tickle-me game with your kid, or just go to a comedy club. Yes, it is okay to laugh out loud too. WHen you have fun, you let go of what you do not need, you declutter your mind.
Read these articles for more on this important subject:
– The Science of Laughter: Why Laughing is Really Good for Your Health.
– How and Why You Need To Be More Playful and Childlike.
8. Find ME time – You need time set aside just for yourself, away from your work, friends and family. Declutter your mind with me time. Take short breaks through out your busy schedule. Practice some of the exercises mentioned in this article during your ‘me-time’ or simply do nothing and let yourself be (the ultimate way to declutter your mind!). Your personal space is as important as anything else in your life. Do not ignore your red flags. Acknowledge those red flags and take steps to course correct it.
Read these articles for more on this important subject:
– Solitude – The Importance of ‘Me Time’ and How It’ll Make You More Successful.
– The Science of Silence: Why Silence Is So Good For Your Brain.
9. Simplify and Focus – Begin to declutter your mind and thoughts by following the rule of simplicity. Determine a few areas where you would like to see growth and put your plan into action. Being organised ensures that we’re not panicking about what we need to do tomorrow, what we forgot to do yesterday, or where we were supposed to be right now. Knowing your schedule will help you take control of your time. Learn to plan your day the night before, work towards fewer more important goals, focus on what progresses you towards those goals. Then leave what is not essential. By not loading yourself up with more to do, you inherently declutter your mind.
10. Sleep – A good night’s sleep really does help declutter your mind. Jeff Iliff is a neuroscientist at Oregon Health and Science University who explains this in detail during his brilliant Ted Talk. Now research has finally discovered why we need to spend so much time sleeping – it helps clear the mind of the day’s biochemical clutter. Do your best to get an early night, if not every night, then more often. It seems like you’re productive late at night, after everyone else has hit the sack, but it’s far more likely you’re at your best in the mornings. Aim for at least 7-8 hours, more if possible, and you’ll be more productive as a result.
We live in a culture in which we are bombarded by so much information and striving for materialism. Material things tend to bog us down whereby we are constantly on the hamster wheel (the hedonic treadmill) trying to obtain more. If you want to declutter your mind, the notion of “less is more” is a very important one by which to live. We should all strive to live a simpler life instead of being consumed and swallowed by information, problematic thoughts, and stuff. Combine elements of what is written here today and go declutter your mind today.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life? Want to declutter your mind?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career? Do you need to declutter your mind to be more effective?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book. Self-hypnosis will help you to declutter your mind for sure.