Health

How to Declutter a Stressed Out Brain in a Stressful Life

17. Connecting with nature can help you to declutter your mind and generally feel calmer.  Studies have proven that individuals connected with nature have an increased… Trista - January 31, 2021

Many of us are already aware of the physical benefits of exercise and connecting with the great outdoors. However, the profound effect that nature can have on your overall sense of well-being is remarkable. Shutterstock

17. Connecting with nature can help you to declutter your mind and generally feel calmer. 

Studies have proven that individuals connected with nature have an increased sense of calmness and tranquility. Connecting with nature does not necessarily mean that you have to find your nearest woods. It can be anything that you choose. Like taking a walk, you can connect with nature in a way that does not require the hustle and bustle of physical activity. For instance, you can choose to sit by the lake or river and take in the water’s calm and serenity. If you live near the ocean, you can go to the beach and stick your toes in the sand while you absorb all of the calmness associated with the nature around you.

Going outside may feel like a difficult task, but even going for a short walk to the mailbox will provide you with some much-needed fresh air. Shutterstock.

It can even be as simple as sitting in your living room, listening to the rain hit your windows. The goal is the same – focus on all that nature offers and how it brings calmness to your mind and body. Studies have shown that people who spend even a small amount of time connecting with nature have shown lower prefrontal cortex activity. That is the brain region that is extremely active when you find yourself trapped in a repetitive loop of negative thought patterns. Make sure that you are spending a few minutes with the fresh air on your skin. Listen to the birds singing or watch the cloud drift by. Nature can have a powerful impact on your mental state.

Multitasking involves performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Shutterstock

16. Multitasking requires our brain to be on overload by simultaneously working on multiple tasks. 

Numerous people multitask because they are feeling overwhelmed. We know that we must accomplish multiple things in one day; thus, we multitask to get more done. Even in our downtime, we might watch TV while also scrolling through our social media accounts. Although many of us might think we can multitask effectively, the truth is that we are not as efficient as we believe. You could accurately describe multitasking as task-switching. That is because the brain is not capable of focusing on two serious tasks at the same time.

Work and multitasking can be tough on your brain. Shutterstock.

One way to declutter your mind is to focus on doing one thing at a time and only that. Even if you are browsing social media, it is much easier to do it mindfully if you also don’t have one eye on Netflix at the same time. Although there may be some pressure to multitask in this fast-paced world, studies show that multitasking reduces productivity. If your mind was not already cluttered, multitasking further exacerbates the issue by filling your mind with even more activity. Reducing multitasking can require much training because we have become so accustomed to the opposite. To practice, try setting a timer for how long you will spend on one task, and when the time is up, reset the time and move on to the next job.

The cluttered mind may involve a combination of both necessary thoughts and feelings and also unnecessary ones. Shutterstock

15. One activity that you can partake in to declutter your mind and mood is to eliminate anything unnecessary.

Some thoughts or feelings remain in our minds that do not serve a purpose. For instance, if you are dwelling on a decision made yesterday or over-analyzing an outfit that you chose for the family pictures, you are allowing it to remain in your mind. That contributes to the overall clutter and serves no productive purpose. Part of decluttering your mind is distinguishing between what is essential and deserves a space in your mind and what is non-essential and needs to go. If you are an overthinker or someone who worries a lot, you may find that you will have more things in your mind and life that is not truly necessary or important in the grand scheme of things.

Keep only essential things and priorities. Shutterstock.

If you can identify what those items are, you will have an easier time eliminating as many of those items as possible and declutter a bunch of junk out of your mind. That can not only clear up some space in your mind and improve your overall mood, but it can make room for when those essential items do occur. It might mean that you tackle the junk drawers in your home or tidy up your work desk. By tackling some of these more manageable tasks, you can clear them from your mind and stop giving them energy.

For those with busy schedules, time blocking can be a beneficial tactic to provide order and structure to their lives. Shutterstock

14. For someone who has an overly cluttered mind, it can help schedule time in your schedule for worrying. 

Everyone has fears of some kind. Whether that is spiders or the fear of failing, we all worry to some extent, and it is natural. You can get caught up when you let your worries take over your mind and further add to the clutter that is already occurring in your mind. If your worrying impacts your day-to-life, that is where there can be a negative impact. To avoid spending too much time worrying, it can help schedule time to allow yourself the grace to embrace these fears. Suppose you are continually allowing your fears to play over and over in your mind. In that case, it can lead to self-questioning and further contributes to the clutter you are already experiencing.

Anxious people tend to enjoy having some routine and structure in their daily lives. Shutterstock

Over-worrying can create hypothetical situations and hinder your ability to eliminate or let go of what decisions have already been made or what problems have already passed. None of this will have a positive impact on either your mind or body. If you find that you truly need the time to worry or think about your fears, try scheduling a reasonable amount of time in your schedule. You never want to allow these thoughts to consume too much of your time. Maybe try planning 15 minutes a day to start and then push it further out to be 15 minutes a week that you give yourself time to worry. Utilize that time to get it all out.

Sleeping has many health benefits and is necessary for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Shutterstock

13. When your brain is overwhelmed and cluttered, it negatively impacts your sleep. 

When your mind is trying to tackle the information you want it to process, it can be complicated for you to get a good night’s rest. In turn, not getting quality sleep can further contribute to feelings of chaos and dysfunction that a cluttered mind presents. Most of us are aware of the critical impacts that sleep has on our body and mind and how a lack of sleep can negatively affect the mind. The most common effect of a lack of sleep is brain fog. Essentially, it is the inability to think clearly or make sound decisions. It can also hinder your ability to retain and remember information accurately.

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Sleep deprivation can disrupt the brain cells’ ability to interact and communicate, causing mental lapses. Quality sleep allows our minds and bodies to effectively process the thoughts, experiences, and situations that we have encountered throughout the day. When our minds undergo this process, they work to compartmentalize and sort through each to declutter our minds. Not getting enough sleep stalls our bodies’ ability to complete this task and allows those cluttered thoughts and feelings to ruminate in our minds. The next time you feel overwhelmed, be sure that you are making a conscious effort to get enough sleep every night.

We live in an extremely fast-paced world that continually requires us to move faster from one day to the next. Shutterstock

12. Moving too fast in life can contribute to the overload of information in our minds – try to slow down.

When you try to multitask, your mind can quickly become overwhelmed and cluttered when you are trying to move too soon. Walking and talking simultaneously forces your mind to do more than if you were just doing one or the other. By slowing down and limiting the amount of information your mind is processing at once, you can increase your focus and productivity. In addition to slowing down, you must embrace boredom. Even a few minutes of downtime can help in learning and retaining new information.

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In a society that values business and productivity, it can be tough to allow ourselves grace and permission to pause, let alone stop long enough for us to feel bored. However, studies have shown that boredom sparks creativity and a greater capacity for insight and problem-solving. Overall, it is excellent for your mental health. It allows your mind and body to take a minute to stop and process life without overloading your mind. It is okay to feel bored from time to time. Doing so allows your mind to recharge and process thoughts smoothly and efficiently.

When your mind is cluttered, it can be complicated to sort through those thoughts and feelings. Shutterstock

11. Journaling can help you relax and organize all of the ideas that seem scattered in your brain.

By taking the time to write down your thoughts on paper, you can visualize all of your cluttered thoughts and then organize them. It can help you see what you are spending your time and energy on. It also allows you to let go of having to remember what they are because you can get them out of your mind, eliminating or reducing some of that clutter. Journaling is an excellent option because it helps to organize thoughts and manage emotions. Getting the ideas out of your mind and on paper will help you manage anxiety and cope with depression. It is a healthy outlet to release those bottled emotions and thoughts. You may be surprised by some of what you are writing down.

Stress reduction concept Shutterstock.

Furthermore, you can learn there are items on your mind that you didn’t realize were even there. It can help eliminate some of those unnecessary thoughts and focus on what you need to pursue. The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to go about journaling, and you don’t have to be a prolific writer to begin. Start by making bullet points of some of what is going through your mind. Once you have some bullet points listed, you can determine if there are themes or what needs immediate attention.

Laptops, smartphones, and televisions have made information easily accessible. All of these devices play a role in subjecting our brains to information overload. Shutterstock

10. Studies show that watching too much TV can add to a cluttered mind and inability to focus.

In today’s society, there is more information floating around than ever before. Watching TV has long been said to be a way to relax and disconnect from the day’s activities. However, TV also fills your head with noise. The last thing you want to do is add to the cluttered mess already happening in your mind. One way that you can declutter your mind and mood is to watch less TV. That can be a big adjustment for some, so you can begin by deciding what a good cut off point is for the day.

TV can be a negative force. Shutterstock.

Maybe your deadline is 7 pm, and instead, you use that time before bed to dive into a relaxing book. You could also limit yourself to an hour of TV a day. Watching too much TV can increase information, whether you are watching the news or a sports program. Limiting the amount of TV you watch can help set healthy mind boundaries. When you start by watching less TV, you will begin to see its benefits and how your mind begins to quieten. It could also be a healthy habit for your children.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, including the demands of both work and home, you can experience increased feelings of chaos, clutter, and stress. Shutterstock

9. One of the first things you can do to bring structure to your life is prioritizing. 

Having a long to-do list can lead to increased feelings of being overwhelmed. The first step in prioritizing is to determine all of the thoughts that are living in your mind. You can start by writing down all of your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. Once they are on paper, start by determining which matter the most to you. Figure out your aspirations and goals. You will then want to create a new list that outlines each in order of importance. That can help you identify which thoughts are urgent and which can wait. After listing out your priorities by order of importance and urgency, you must assess whether your actions and the decisions you are making are helping you achieve each focus.

Routines provide a sense of certainty and predictability. Shutterstock

If you need to take additional steps, it can help create an action plan to achieve those determined goals. Some of the goals will require more of your time, whereas others may be ones that you can complete quickly and check off your list. It is okay to understand that as you get older that your priorities may shift and change. Being in tune with yourself will help to ensure that the priorities are still able to be reasonably achieved. You can start out prioritizing once a month and then reassessing the following month to see how you did.

If you find yourself struggling to focus on one thing at a time, then you may want to make decluttering your mind a priority. Shutterstock

8. If you want to declutter your mind, try challenging negativity.

When you can identify the thoughts that are cluttering your mind, you will understand best how to handle them. Negativity can profoundly hinder your mind and body and take up much room in your head. Although it is normal to feel sad or disappointed from time to time, when you start to talk poorly to yourself, it can add to the clutter you are already experiencing. The moment you become aware of these thoughts is to do some self-reflection on how you are talking to yourself.

Focusing on positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts can quickly change your mindset. Shutterstock.

Start by asking what you are saying to and about yourself. To shift your mindset, you have to start challenging yourself. The moment you notice any negative thoughts, you have to question if the idea is accurate or if it’s a misrepresentation. Every time you self-reflect and catch yourself correcting those negative thoughts, it becomes easier for your mind to replace them with positive ones. The easier it becomes, the quicker your mind will be able to do it in the future. When you self-reflect and shift the self-talk from negative to positive ones, your mind will go from feeling cluttered and chaotic to lighter and optimistic.

Sometimes, when you feel overwhelmed, it can help talk through those thoughts and feelings with a loved one. Shutterstock

7. Confiding in a family member or friend can help you sort through some of the clutter and chaos occurring in your mind. 

We have all gone through situations or experiences where we need a family member or friend’s support. Sometimes that support can just be them lending an open ear to listen. When you are experiencing a cluttered mind, sometimes it can be therapeutic to confide in someone and share what thoughts are racing through your head. It is an excellent way to release and get out some of those pent-up emotions. If you have a significant other or best friend, let them know that you need to talk and then sit down to vent your mind.

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However, if you are not comfortable sharing those thoughts with someone in your personal life, seek a therapist or life coach who can also serve as a lending ear and open mind. Sometimes sharing what is on your mind can be incredibly helpful. The person you choose to confide in may be able to offer you a perspective different than your own, which can provide you with clarity. They may also be able to help identify which thoughts are the priority. Unloading your thoughts and feelings forces you to break the cycle of letting those thoughts fester. It’s essential to return the favor and listen to your family member or friend during their time of need.

In tandem with reducing the amount of multitasking that you do, it’s essential to focus your time and energy on a single task. Shutterstock

6. Single-tasking is a great way to limit the amount of information your mind is forced to retain and process. 

Although it can sound extremely counter-productive to stop multitasking, it increases your stress and can create additional clutter in your brain. When multitasking, it is difficult for your brain to filter out irrelevant information. There may be some times where multitasking is necessary, but in general, it lowers your efficiency and mind control. The solution to increasing your productivity and efficiency is to single-task as much as possible. Since so many of us are used to multitasking daily, implementing single-tasking can prove to be incredibly difficult and challenging until you get the hang of it.

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Start by making a list of what you need to accomplish that specific day. Your to-do list must be realistic and attainable. Begin with what task is the most important, and then make your way down the list, checking off one item at a time. Focus on one chore at a time; clear everything else out of your mind until you finish that duty at hand. As you check off each task on your list, you will realize how efficient and productive you are.

A cluttered mind can be further chaotic if your physical environment is also cluttered. Shutterstock

5. One easy action that you can complete to declutter both your mind and mood is to declutter your environment. 

By decluttering your surroundings, you are reducing chaos and disorganization while simultaneously increasing calmness. That might mean decluttering your work desk, that hallway closet, or kitchen drawers. Studies show that if your environment, whether at work or home, is cluttered, the chaos requires your time, energy, and attention. If you are spending a significant amount of time and energy in these cluttered environments, you hinder your ability to focus and process critical information mentally. Your settings, both at work and home, occupy a lot of your mind even if it is not as obvious. Having many material items around you is a visual representation of the clutter that is also living inside your mind.

When you declutter your home, you have a more positive space. Pixabay

Studies have shown that if you live or work in cluttered environments, you are more likely to be less efficient and disorganized. You may also find yourself overly frustrated because you cannot find what you need. Start by clearing out all of the non-essential items and giving everything an assigned place. The best way to remain organized and decluttered is to clean up before you leave that environment.

A lot of us feel the need to be on the go continually. It can be challenging to force your body and mind to relax. Shutterstock

4. One of the best ways to declutter your mind and mood is to take a break. 

Easier said than done, taking some time to relax, and unwind is critical for your mind. Like your body needs sleep to function, your mind needs a chance to rest and recharge to perform at its optimal level. Although you may not be able to schedule a vacation to a tropical island for a week-long break, it is sometimes just as useful to take 15 minutes doing nothing. Schedule some time in your busy day to put your feet up or do something that makes you happy.

Reading is a great way to take your mind off stressing you so that your mind can have a break. Shutterstock.

Be sure to turn off your TV, laptops, and phones and allow yourself to indulge in your favorite hobby. Maybe you enjoy baking or crafting. Perhaps you prefer to go for a hike. Whichever your relaxation method, it is vital to understand how necessary it is to declutter your mind and care for your overall well being. Taking the needed time to relax and give yourself a break increases your ability to focus, concentrate for more extended periods, and generally feel calmer and refreshed.

To effectively declutter your mind, you need to be aware of what thoughts and feelings are spending too much time there. Shutterstock

3. To increase your focus, try practicing mindfulness. 

When there is an overload of information running through your mind, you can quickly feel disorganized and chaotic. You may struggle with where to start to declutter and organize your thoughts. One way to do so is by practicing mindfulness. That requires you to give your undivided attention to whatever you are doing at that particular moment. It requires you to be aware of your thoughts and emotions but at the same time, not reacting or judging them.

Mindful.org

If you choose to be pay attention to what you are doing, you can be more alive in the moment. Whether you are going for a walk or doing the dishes, you can enjoy it. If you are more present, you are more likely to take pleasure in what you are doing because you are not focusing on things you are not doing. Practicing mindfulness can improve the efficiency of your mind. This exercise can help you get to the point of being more productive in the task at hand rather than allowing a constant cycle of worrying. Like anything else, the more you practice mindfulness, the more natural it will become for the future.

The average person can spend up to four hours a day on their phones, laptops, or tablets scrolling through social media. Shutterstock

2. Try decluttering your mind and body by limiting the amount of social media you allow yourself to access each day.

The media you consume or scroll can have a profound impact on your mental health. Many people spend hours a day on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. After a long day, scrolling too much can contribute to the chaos that is already cluttering your mind. Companies have instilled innovative algorithms that take control of our dopamine-driven desires. However, it’s essential to be aware of how much time you spend partaking in these activities. Your mind is swarmed with sensory information all day, every day. The overabundance of data can increase your stress levels and contribute to anxiety by creating a psychological impact of loneliness and fear of missing out.

 

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Social media can be a great thing if used in moderation; however, it also adds more brain clutter and can harm your mental health. There are several options for limiting your social media access. For instance, if you have an iPhone, you can monitor the amount of time you spend on specific applications. If you currently spend much time on social media, start by setting a realistic limit and then lower it each week until you achieve your goal time. Be selective about what you choose to consume. Avoid harmful content and unreliable sources of information.

Doctors directly link physical activity to your mental well-being. Spending some physical energy can help you to clear your mind. Shutterstock

1. Exercise has a wide range of benefits, but being physically fit is vital to your brain’s current and future health. 

Your mind can benefit from exercise in the same capacity that your body can. Studies have shown that regular exercise can aid in decreasing anxiety and depression. There are no rules or guidelines to which exercise you should partake in or for how long. Choose an activity that interests you and spend a designated time per day, maybe 30 minutes, burning some physical energy. Exercising has many benefits for your health. It causes the release of endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones in your body. When your physical body feels sharp, your mind will follow.

Healthy exercise can help free your mind. Shutterstock

Regular exercise can help you concentrate and feel mentally competent for any task thrown your way. It also gives you a set amount of time to focus on exercising rather than the cluster of thoughts that may be racing in your mind. A walk or run will help your body feel refreshed and ready to tackle what the rest of the day presents. Exercise leads to the formation of new brain cells called neurogenesis. Those who exercise consistently are not only able to declutter their minds but are also able to better focus on each task. 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2017/11/19/how-to-declutter-your-mind-10-practical-tips-youll-actually-want-to-try/?sh=22f3880c24f1

https://chopra.com/articles/15-ways-to-declutter-your-mind

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10aMUcHJ33HpUqXGfdM01ipmbvEPemFprcFHvIX5RT64/edit?usp=sharing

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