Mental Clutter Keeping You Up at Night?


mental clutter
© 2014 Christy King
“If we let it, mental clutter will move in and take permanent residence in our minds. With a little work, we can find a way to cleanse our minds and move forward.”
- Elicia McIntyre

Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of all the extra stuff in our homes. It’s about living a fulfilling life. And for us to become happier and more at peace with ourselves, we have to get rid of our mental clutter as well as our physical clutter.

Luckily, cleaning out your mental clutter isn’t as hard as you might expect. To get started, try these five simple solutions.

1. Write it down. Or type it in your phone or dictate a memo. Just get it out of your head. Don’t waste precious brain space on things you could easily keep track of in a pocket notebook or a smartphone app.

2. Exercise. I know, everyone is always telling us to exercise. I don’t like it either. I’d much rather be knitting or drinking a beer on the porch swing with my husband. But I exercise anyway. It really does make me happier.

3. Meditate. I suggest you try a formal meditation practice, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. I did it for over a year at a class, then moved and kind of forgot about it doing it.

However, I found that after I quit officially “meditating,” my brain remembers how to slip into the same type of consciousness and will automatically do it when I’m doing something repetitive such as hand-washing dishes.

4. Spend more time in nature. Depending on where you live, this might be a bit tricky, but even a tree-lined urban street will help. On days you have time, try to visit a park or other natural area for a nice walk.

5. Just don’t do it. Who’s in charge, anyway? Just because your brain wants to worry doesn’t mean you have to let it. With practice, you can force yourself to think about something else.

If you haven’t tried this, it may sound ridiculous. It did to me at first, too – and then I found out it’s true.

I find it’s best to think about something that’s a bit complicated, or I end up with two tracks running in my head, the negative one and the one I’m trying to distract myself with.

What are your favorite tips for getting rid of mental clutter?