Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
The clutter in our minds can prevent us from feeling good. We can’t focus. We feel like we are just spinning our wheels.
I know that when the clutter covers my brain like a fog, I feel like just giving in and surfing YouTube. After countless times of just giving in, I decided to create a plan.
So how does a person unclutter their mind?
I have some tools you can use on a daily basis that will help you obtain clearer thinking. The more you use these tools, the easier it will be to maintain a clear mind.
1. Eliminate noise
I know I have a hard time focusing when there is a lot of noise around me. You probably are easily distracted by noise too. So, try using noise canceling headphones or ear plugs to eliminate the noises that can pull you away from your work.
2. Find a way to laugh
A laugh releases endorphins. These endorphins are like dead cell sweepers. They increase the blood flow and push away the clutter. Try going to a secluded spot, thinking about a recently funny moment and chuckling to yourself. Once you get that laughter going, you’ll notice the lighter feeling. This may feel strange at first, but I promise it helps.
3. Vent to a friend
A good friend can help clarify issues that you are facing. I have one friend who has an uncanny talent for simplifying my problem so I can find a solution. So find a good friend and unload your thoughts. Even if they don’t have any solutions, you’ll feel more calm.
4. Go for a walk in nature
Nature has a healing property. It’s hard to feel anxious when surrounded by such beauty. Go to your local park and focus on the beauty. The clogged up thoughts will slowly evaporate away.
Meditation is one of the best ways to train your mind. Studies have proven that taking time to be with your thoughts actually helps unclog the mind. You are helping create new brain synapses. These new synapses help you increase your ability to feel calm and relaxed in any situation.
6. Read Zen quotes
“Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind” – Zen proverb. When I’m feeling lost I pull out one of my Zen books and read the quotes until I find one that resonates with my soul. Then I post it on Twitter to share it with my audience.
7. Make a list
There are days when you are probably trying to hold so much information that you lock up your ability to make forward progress. Write down all your worries and fears then stash it away. You’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. I like to keep my worries and fears for a month and set a reminder on my calendar to look at it in a month. 75% of the things on the list end up being things that didn’t even matter to me any more after a month had passed.
8. Clear away the visual clutter
When I have trouble writing, I clear away my workspace and in the process my mind starts to clear out too. When I’m done I’m ready to write. It’s interesting how a clean work environment will help me stay focused.
9. Take 10 deep breaths
When you begin to feel overwhelmed and you can’t think, this is the best time to stop and take 10 deep breaths. When doing this, make sure you aren’t working on anything else. Allow these slow deep breaths to relax your muscles and mind.
10. Let go
Much of our clutter is due to the fact we can’t let go. It’s really the basis of meditation. Letting go of the unnecessary so we can enjoy the present moment. Practice letting go of your thoughts and emotions. Let yourself come back to center. Next time you are at your desk, worrying about a project or co-worker – tell yourself to just let go and enjoy where you are.
What do you use to unclutter your mind?
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* James of Men with Pens wrote an interesting piece called Are your clients really getting your best?
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Image courtesy of h.koppdelaney