We are collectors. We collect thoughts and memories and experiences and we hold onto grudges and conversations and we store victories and goals in the endless folds of our minds.
We have conversations in our minds that we wish we’d had & conversations in our minds in anticipation of conversations that may or may never even happen.
We compare and contrast. We are constantly inundated with advertisements, images, and information.
It collects & collects & gathers & grows until it is far too heavy to carry around any longer.
I offer you 10 ways to clear out some mental space
and experience a renewed sense of clarity.
J O U R N A L I T O U T : Get it (we all have our own definition of ‘it’) out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Don’ t have a journal? Use the ‘notes’ section in your phone and just start to write. It doesn’t have to make sense, or be in any specific kind of order. You could make a list, or scribble until nothing is legible. Empty your mind onto a piece of paper, and then you can even rip it up & throw it away! It feels so good to let go.
C L E A N U P : Tend to a physical space. Can you clear out any drawers in your desk, or give away any clothes in your closet? Can you clean out your purse or your backpack or your car? What can you easily throw away so you have more space to pay attention to what really matters? What are you holding onto, and why don’t you want to let it go?
G E T O U T S I D E : Change your setting and take a breath of fresh air. Even if you just go outside and look up at the sky, just put your body out in nature. Walk around the block, take in the little things you might miss if you were driving by.
D I T C H T H E D I S T R A C T I O N S : Put your phone away. Like airplane mode, in the other room away. Turn off the TV. No screens. No humming light that draws you in for endless hours of mindless use. What else can you do with the time that you spend on your devices?
A P O S I T I V E N O : Learn to feel good about saying no. It has nothing to do with anyone else, and everything to do with you honoring yourself and your needs. There is an unspoken necessity to be busy all the time. To say yes to every invitation, for fear of missing out. But you know what it feels like when you are constantly on the go, and how exhausting it can be. Say no when you need to. It’s ok.
T A L K I T O U T : Sometimes we just need to vent. To speak what is on our minds without the fear of being judged. It is important to have relationships with people who you can trust to speak your mind with. Or, you can try having a conversation with yourself out loud. How would it sound when you actually speak what is on your mind? Most of the time we make things worse in our heads, and the actual outcome is better than we could have imagined.
H O W C A N I H E L P Y O U ? : When I have a lot on my mind, and feel frustrated or too overwhelmed to even think about it anymore, I see how I can be of service to someone else. I ask my friends or family if they need anything, and diverting my attention to helping others always makes me feel better and more capable of dealing with whatever I am dealing with.
M O V E I T, M O V E I T : Move your body! Jump up and down, shake your hips from side to side. Do jumping jacks, some push ups, stretch, dance, run, there are endless ways to move! It can be a quick burst of high intensity or long and slow and relaxed. Regardless of what you do, you are guaranteed to feel better after you get out of your head and into your body.
F O R G I V E : Forgiveness can be a very touchy subject. We are collectors - we love to hold on to things. How people hurt us, the mean words they said, how could they?! Who do you need to forgive? Does it feel better to hold onto the hurt, or to let it go and move forward? Use this phrase: “I forgive you (say name) for not being the person I wanted you to be. I forgive you and I set you free. In setting you free, I set myself free.” There is a beautiful and rewarding feeling of freedom that comes with forgiveness. Try it out.
S T O P, D R O P, & M E D I T A T E : Stop everything you are doing and find a place where you can sit, undisturbed, for at least 5 minutes. Get comfortable, lean back against a wall if you can, and close your eyes. You don’t have to do anything, or remember anything. There is no experience that you need to create, all you have to do is observe the moment you are in. You can follow the breath repeating the phrase, “I am breathing in,” as you inhale, and “I am breathing out,” as you exhale.
We live in a very stimulating time. One of constant movement and strong current of business.
There are tools to help maintain a sense of balance and ease amidst all of the chaos. I hope that you can draw from these to help ease your mind when it needs some decluttering.
Letting go and changing habits doesn’t always happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
Make an effort to apply these practices and observe any differences in your life. Hopefully more ability to focus, a clearer sense of desires and direction, as well as an overall lightness.