The media talks a lot about decluttering the things around you, but what about the thoughts in your head? Do you struggle to focus? Are you constantly worrying about things that you cannot control? Just as the space you live in should be neat and orderly, it’s important to keep your head clear too. Unfortunately, for many individuals, decluttering the mind is a lot tougher than decluttering a space.
Supposedly, humans experience around 60,000 thoughts a day, and a lot of those thoughts are the same thought repeated for futile reasons.1 People worry about how they look, how long their to-do list is, or how they need more money but can’t figure out how to get it. Some individuals fall into the trap of spending so much time worrying that they unproductive, making it harder to accomplish tasks and creating more things to worry about.
Clearing Some Space in Your Head
When your head is full of racing thoughts, it can be hard to bring it under control. The first step is to find a moment when you are calm and to work on your coping strategies then so that when you’re challenged, you’ll be better able to employ them.
Set Some Priorities
If you want to do everything, you’ll split your time between too many tasks and end up achieving none of them, leaving you distressed. Instead of trying to flit from task to task, pick one goal and focus on it. If other tasks have to fall by the wayside, that’s OK as long as you achieve your main goals. You’ll feel far less stressed when you know what is actually important to you.
Do One Thing at a Time
Studies show that multitasking makes you less productive, not more productive.2 So, turn your cell phone to silent and shut those “fun” tabs in your web browser. Work when you are working, and save the social media for later.
Let Go at the End of the Day
If you’re working harder throughout the day, you can relax more at night. When you leave work, forget about work until the next workday. Try to resist the urge to send work emails before bed or putting in extra time for a project unless it really is necessary.
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Sometimes, emergencies really do happen, but they should be uncommon. If you’re still at work at 7 p.m. on a Friday night on a regular basis, ask whether you’re working inefficiently or if the company culture is toxic. You may be better off at a company with a better work-life balance.
Learn Self Care
If you’re constantly stressed by the racing thoughts in your head, try to find ways to relax. Use aromatherapy blends such as Zen MONQ to help yourself unwind at the end of a long day. Aromatherapy can be paired with meditation, deep breathing techniques, or exercise to relieve some stress.
Lay off the Stimulants
Stress can lead to people choosing stimulants to try to cope, but even mild stimulants like caffeine can make stress worse.3,4 Instead of relying on stimulants to increase your productivity, try a nootropic blend such as FOCUS, and settle into work at your own pace.
Stop Bad Thoughts in Their Tracks
Find ways to trick your brain when you are struggling to stay calm and clear-headed. If you’re looking at a huge task and your brain is saying “I’ll never get this done,” tell yourself to stop thinking like that. Additionally, try to make the task more manageable by breaking it down into smaller chunks. Once you’ve broken it down, you’ll find that it’s easier to get back to work on the rest of the job.
Decluttering your mind means accepting yourself and silencing the negative voices in your head. Some may go so far as to say it’s about being kind to yourself, however, it’s easy to take that idea too far. Don’t put yourself in an echo chamber where you see only people who agree with you. Do not limit the risks you take so that you will never have to face the possibility of failure. Focus, instead, on making sure that your thoughts are rational.
If you’re going climbing, it’s OK to be scared that you might have forgotten some important safety steps. Your rational mind is telling you to check with your guide to keep you safe.
If you’re on a diet and you feel guilty for wanting to have cake when you already had fast food for lunch, that’s not restricting yourself, it’s questioning whether you’re making a sensible decision. You will probably feel much better if you buy the cake and save it for tomorrow because you’ll have stuck to your goals today and will still get to enjoy the treat in the future.
Modern individuals are constantly bombarded with distractions, marketing messages, and time-demanding tasks. The news is often designed to depress, and the media wants individuals to feel bad about themselves so that they will buy products. Decluttering your mind and focusing on what will make your life better is a way to free yourself from many of these struggles.
Photo credits: PIMPAN/shutterstock.com, eldarnurkovic/shutterstock.com