10 Simple Ways to Unclutter Your Mind
By Donna Smallin
There have been many times in my life when I wanted to scream, "Stop the world—I want to get off!"
I get overwhelmed very easily.
What I wanted more than anything was for time to stop for just a little while so that I could catch up on everything and get to all those things that it seemed I would never get to. I am no less busy today, but I have learned to unclutter my mind. And that has made a world of difference in my life.
Following are 10 tips for uncluttering your mind so that you can figure out what’s really important to you and let go of the rest.
1. Worry only about right now. Don’t worry about something that might happen or already did happen. Ask yourself: What am I worrying about? If it’s something in the past or future, let it go and focus on the here and now.
2. Slow down. Try this simple exercise: Stand up and deliberately move across the room in slow motion. Notice how it increases your awareness and expands time. That’s what slowing down in life can do for you.
3. Make conscious choices. How often do you think or say, "I have to?" Replace this statement with "I choose to." It will relieve a lot of the pressure you place on yourself and you will find yourself enjoying more and dreading less because you "choose" to do them.
4. Recognize that we’re all doing the best we can. If someone frustrates you, tell yourself that he or she is doing the best he or she can at this moment in life. Notice how that belief eliminates much—if not all—of your frustration with this person.
5. Leave work stress at work. Studies have shown that if Mom or Dad comes home grumpy from work, the stress and negative emotions can infect the whole family like chicken pox. If you’ve had a bad day, do something on the way home to improve your mood. Listen to soothing music in your car or take a brisk walk.
6. Believe in yourself. If you believe that you are a capable, talented person, then you will become that person. Fake it until you can make it.
7. Breathe. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. And another. This is a good time to remind yourself that all you really need to do today is breathe. Everything else is optional.
8. Cut yourself some slack. If you find that you are slipping back into behaviors that you are trying to change, congratulate yourself for recognizing that. Then recommit to the new behavior.
9. Schedule fun first. If you never seem to have any time left for fun at the end of your day or week, try putting fun things to do in your calendar first and then schedule everything else around that.
10. Start a "thanksgiving" journal. Each evening, write down the good things that happened throughout your day and whatever else you are thankful for. Keeping a journal like this helps you to appreciate the many blessings that might otherwise go unnoticed. It’s also very uplifting to read through your journal if you are feeling blue.
Following these simple tips will help you get back on track, clear the chatter in your head, and help you make time for the things most important to you in life.