3 Ways to Clear a Cluttered Mind
Many of my clients call me the mental clutter coach, this is because I place emphasise on decluttering their minds. Many individuals with or without Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have a difficult time slowing down their mental processing. Ideas and thoughts fly through the highway of their minds at lightning speed, making it extremely difficult to concentrate on the tasks at hand. I call this a "cluttered mind."
You may ask, what is mental clutter?, Well, mental clutter refers to a mind busy with worries, concerns, doubts, anticipation and stirring emotions. When an excess of these types of thoughts take over our mental capacity, it can be stressful, anxious, overwhelming. noisy, confusing and sometimes even immobilizing.
The best methods of calming and clearing a cluttered mind is to process the thoughts, instead of allowing them to fly aimlessly around in your mind. Doing so will permit you to focus on the present moment, and will help you to feel more centered and calm.
As a psychology and spiritual student I've always known that the single principle one would benefit from to clean out the mind clutter is that, two thoughts cannot occupy the same space in our minds - our ability to remove the undesirable thoughts is key. Our brains were designed for us to forget information and committing other bits to longterm memory so you can remain sane. We were not suppose to continuously walk around with a mind packed with data.
Think about this for a second. If you picked up a glass full of water, and if I asked you how heavy is it? you may reply, light. If I asked you the same question after 1 hour of holding the glass of water, you may still say getting heavier. However, if I asked you after holding that glass of water for 72 hours, you may have an entirely different reaction, if you hadn't gone crazy well before that time. This is not much different to holding information mentally. We grow increasingly uncomfortable, irritated and heavy headed. Our attention, ability to focus and make empowering decisions becomes obscure.
Now, there are 3 simple methods that have proven hugely successful in clearing a cluttered mind. Let's go through each one briefly.
1. Paper and Pen
The first method is to migrate the particular thoughts from your mind to paper. Now, this can in a business setting, transferring thoughts onto a notepad or even a whiteboard. It could be sending an email to a friend or an entry in your journal. When these thoughts are recorded in this way, you give your brain permission to let go of them.
In addition, if you feel weighed down by a situation (like an argument with a family member, let's say) discussing it as you write can also help you process your emotions. Writing is offloading, and doing this in a discussion style, can work wonders. You are able to establish context around the situation, appreciate other perspectives, get a grip on how you feel, and what you may have done differently. A page or more may be all it takes to clear a cluttered mind.
2. Sounding Board
There's nothing like an objective person to pour out to. Someone able to mirror your ideas and talk them through with you. Typically, the whole act of talking through an issue is a powerful way of processing thoughts and emotions. The caveat is, you don't always require a human being to be your sounding board. Clearing a cluttered mind can be done through the use of a pet, the ocean or a deity that you believe in. The act of outpouring and creating an environment that allows you to process thoughts and emotion is critical.
3. Get Active
Some ADDers can clear a cluttered mind by occupying their attention with an activity. It has been shown that full integration with an activity helps the individual successfully process mind clutter.
Trial and error approach
Try out and explore the 3 methods and judge which works best for you.
The essential thing is to understand that taking time out to understand yourself, coupled with adopting a tried and tested method of processing your thoughts and emotions, can be cleared!
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