I space out a lot. My mind wanders a lot. I get jumbled up in my own thoughts for hours. Sometimes I just sit there, staring into empty space without a reason. The moment I start experiencing these things, I know the time has come to clear my mind. I have learned over the years that this happens because there is so much going on in my head at once, it becomes incapable of processing anything at all . Let me give you an example – think of a washing machine – If you load it with more clothes than it can handle, what will happen? It is going to get stuck, unable to do it’s job (bad analogy, I know) but I like to think our minds work similarly. If we overload it, it will get stuck not being able to do it’s job. When my mind gets stuck, it throws me off of my balance, I start to forget important dates and deadlines, I even start putting clean dishes in the fridge thinking it’s the cabinet (I know I am not the only one who does something like this, or at least I hope I am not). My point is when my mind stops working, I feel lost. However, just as if the solution to an overpacked washing machine is to take some clothes out, the solution to an excessively cluttered mind is to clear it!
1) Write it down – due to the nature of my work and the weekly deadlines of assignments for class, most of the things cluttering my head are things I need to do. I usually make a list of everything that needs to be done and then I prioritize. Writing everything down on a piece of paper helps my mind compartmentalize what’s important and what can take a back seat for the time being. This is the reason that I own half of the notebooks they sell at Target and Tjmaxx.
2) Meditate – it helps me focus on the present rather than focusing on the past or the future. It clears my mind from all the things that are weighing it down. For example, if I live in the past – I dwell on how things could have been handled differently yielding different results. If I focus on the future, I get anxious with the amount that needs to be done. Meditation brings my mind to the present moment. I only do about 10 minutes every other day and it is magical.
3) Show Gratitude – being thankful for the little things can help you focus on the positive, pushing negative clutter out of your mind. Everyday before I go to bed , I recall 5 things that I have been grateful for that day. Yesterday’s were – 1) not being stuck in traffic on the way home 2) coworkers showering me with wishes for upcoming birthday 3) knowing I will get to spend the day at home today due to the weather 4) family members getting home safely in the crazy weather 5) living to see another day.
4) Make Me Time – I like to take a break from daily routine to do something that helps my mind just wire down for a bit. Rather than having it on the go 24/7, I like to to take a mini break each day to help it unwind. Me time carries a different meaning for everyone and that is why it is important to find what works for you. For example, some like to take a nap, paint, go for a drive, listen to music etc. For me it is star gazing- I am lucky to live in an area where the sky is clearer compared to other areas because we are far enough from the city that the lights don’t cloud the sky. I like to just take a few minutes every time I can and stare at the stars in the sky. I can’t explain it but staring into the sky, looking at the stars above us takes me to a whole another level of being calm.
5) Let go – I have to keep reminding myself to let go of things that are out of my control. When I start to worry about things not under my control, it stresses me out, makes me irritable and frustrated. It clutters my brain. I have been training my mind to let go of what is not under my control. I chose to focus and worry about things under my control.
Make focusing on the positives a habit!! not a one time thing. Negativity will cause your mind to be bogged down. Clutter free mind means a more efficient you, a more productive you , a better you- a happier you.
For me – it also means clean dishes not ending up in the fridge.