Our minds can easily get very cluttered with life’s daily troubles, problems and the downloads from print / electronic / digital media and other such sources. Each and every day a predicament which enters our mind and remains unresolved may take space in our mind and clutter the space.
It may also be helpful to refer to: How the Subconscious Mind Works – Amazing Facts and Insights
Why mental clutter is harmful?
The memory space in our head is precious, pious and sanctimonious. The unwanted negative information stored there can create havoc on our peace of mind. Therefore, it remains to be kept clean and free of possible infection from negative thoughts and unwanted emotions.
Imagine your computer or mobile phone where most of the RAM and ROM have been eaten up by useless, redundant bits of information. Not only that, some of it could be infectious virus or negative / depressive fragments. In the same way our mind also gets choked with negative, unwanted, unhealthy and redundant memories, thoughts, habits and emotions. Eventually human mind gets exhausted losing its efficiency and productivity. Finally the individual get exhausted, run down, depressed or may be worse than that.
The mind cluttered with negative thoughts blocks flow of positive energy towards ourselves. Eventually it becomes very difficult to step out of the dark and be the amazing people that we are meant to be.
What should be the ideal situation?
The ideal situation is to keep the mind free of any clutter. This should be a regular goal as the clutter has the habit of coming back regularly.
This brings us to know and practice two techniques simultaneously:
1. How to prevent clutter entering the mind and
2. How to do mental housecleaning
How to clear clutter from your mind and How to prevent clutter entering your mind
Tell yourself that it’s time to cut out all that mental clutter. Would you go around the neighbourhood picking up trash and then use it to decorate your home?
Here are some tips to help you clean up all that clutter in your mind so that you can see the beauty that’s really there.
I. Create a filtration process
Whenever you encounter a new situation or thought or person or an idea, ask yourself if it would be useful to keep it in mind or you need to delete it. For example, you went to the bank today and the Relationship Manager was not much helpful or rather rude and somehow you managed to do whatever you had gone to the Bank for. But you came out of the Bank with a spoiled mood.
Well the best way would be to deal with it there and then. When you get into your car, don’t start driving right away. Just check what triggered your bad mood? You may say, “it was the uncooperative behaviour of the bank’s relationship manager”. Alright could you finally accomplish your purpose for which you visited the bank? The answer may be, “Yes”. Fine, you have two choices at this moment before you. First, that now thinking about this is not worth your time and attention and you may like to focus on something better or important.
The second option is that you want to do something about it. So you may log on the website of the bank and in the customer feedback section you may briefly report about the unprofessional attitude of the Bank Executive. After you have done this you should be convinced that the incident need not haunt you anymore. Period.
II. Accept what life brings to you
Let us take another example from our day to day lives. Say you have a younger cousin and you grew up together. You were always affectionate, protective and caring for her. Sometimes, you went out of the way to take care of your cousin, may be buy books from your pocket money or pay for her party dress. Perhaps you spent hours to research the best academic institute for her to choose for her graduation. After a few years, you find that she is not bothered even half as much as you do. Now you start entertaining thoughts like: “Has she changed after marriage?” or “Was she always like this and taking advantage of you?”
Well it what it is. You have to understand and accept that there isn’t much you can do about it. Therefore, it is best that you try to stop dwelling on the issue. This is not to suggest at all that you should just “accept” everything that you don’t feel comfortable about. If you can do something to correct the situation and if it concerns you then definitely go ahead and take a corrective action.
Try the look at the issue objectively and once again, if you find that in the long run there is truly nothing you could do about a particular situation then just do the best to “forget it” or “accept it” – depending on the nature of situation. The idea is to “make do.”
I am sure that you have heard a few times that “Everything happens for a reason.” So if you can find the reason or not; you find the reason justifiable or not, just learn your lesson and move forward in life.
III. Cut out the Negative Chat
There are lots of types of people in this world. While some are always optimistic about life and look at the bright side of life and in complete contrast there are personality types who are always talking negative even if things are not so bad. For example, I know of a person who is in his late 40s. He is well qualified engineer working at the top level position for an international telecom company. He has a rare heart problem since his birth but he neither complains nor brings up this topic for discussion during a social get together. Yet there is a lady who habitually uses the phrase, “the future is very dark”. Even if his teenage son had two scoops extra of ice cream, she would exclaim, “I see his future to be very dark from his health point of view”.
It is the latter type of personalities which we need to stop from entering our personal space and their chat from our minds.
IV. Stop the Negative Self Talk
We all agree that the life is not always a bed of roses. Life has its ups and downs. While we all welcome the good things in life with open arms, yet we forget to be thankful for them. We take them as a matter of right such as good salary, lovely kids, caring parents, doting spouse, good house, nice car, excellent social standing etc. But nobody wants to deal with tough or not so pleasant situations in life, when the going is not so good or the chips are down. In many cases, this may lead to worries, anger, complains, frustration and self deprecating thoughts.
But the life is not entirely either 100% white or 100% black, it is in different shades of grey. While there may be problems in one’s life yet there may be many good things concurrently happening. But the negative self talk blinds us from seeing the other blessings or good things. Worrying about what happened in the past or about what might happen in future steals all the joy and peace from the moment that you are currently living in.
It is this habit which invites and collects the clutter in the mind. Tell yourself that it’s time to cut out all that mental clutter. Would you go around the neighborhood picking up trash and then use it to decorate your home?
But still we are so habitual that the negative and damaging self talk happens almost automatically. Here are some tips to help you stop the negative self talk.
- Become conscious of the fact whenever negative self-talk happens in your head.
- Consciously stop it there and then
- Replace it with positive thinking, which is just opposite of it. For example, if you are nor well, do not imagine it to be some dreaded disease. Instead take a proper medical advice and tell yourself that you will be alright soon. Recall similar situations from the past when you fell sick and came out of it – thus affirming your faith in medical science and your body’s self healing process.
- Take time to ponder what you’re grateful for. One of the best ways is to write down the things that you are grateful for. Another good idea would be to say Gratitude Affirmations every day.
- Make it a daily habit to look for the positive things around you. This will make your each day a even a little bit better. Once you start looking for the positive, you will notice that there’s not as much room for the negative mental clutter. Change Your Attitude and Belief to Improve Your Circumstances
- Treat people around you with kindness, love, and patience. Soon you will notice that life is reciprocating with some goodness, may be less anger and frustration in the future situations that you may encounter.
- Use positive affirmations on a regular basis, especially every night before going off to sleep. Please see: All about affirmations
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