How Clutter Can Drain Your Brain And What To Do About It?
Thought clutter just related to physical stuff? Think again. In this article, we take a look at how clutter can drain your brain and what you can do about it.
As powerful as the brain is, scientists reckon we only use a small percentage of it. Worse still, because humans are hardwired to survive, the brain is conditioned to focus on negative information, so that it can help us avoid things that can do us harm. As such, it’s easy to get overloaded by distractions, worries and fears. And when this happens, our brain gets cluttered. We’re all guilty of taxing the brain more than we should, too.
How many times have you refrained from replying to a text because you’re worried that your response will upset your friend? You’re so worried that you decide to reply later. The problem with this is that the text remains on your mind all day, taking up vital mental energy and room in your brain. It’s just more clutter. It’s the same when we leave work after a bad day, knowing that there is SO much to do tomorrow. We dwell on it, taking up even more mental energy and space in our brain. Over time, this becomes an issue and our brain becomes cluttered. The brain has to then work harder which, in a word, exhausts us. Feeling overwhelmed? Let’s take a look at how you can de-clutter your brain.
One of the reasons our brains get so cluttered is because we’re constantly living in the past or the future. We dwell on past mistakes, while worrying about what’s around the corner. These tormenting thoughts soon build up, and begin to vacate all the rooms in our brain. The best thing to do in this situation is to practice mindfulness. This means being present – living in the present moment and appreciating everything that is happening to you right now. Suspend your imagination, close your eyes and focus on what you can hear and smell at the moment. Listen to the birds sing, the beat of your heart, the faint hum of distant traffic. Breathe in the pleasant aroma of a plant. Open your eyes and be aware of all that surrounds you. Let your thoughts enter you, and watch them as they leave. Don’t try to keep hold of them. Let them go. Declutter your mind. Give your imagination a break.
One of the reasons we fill our brains with so much stuff is because we’re constantly chasing new things and new experiences. Why? Because we’ve told ourselves that what we have at the moment isn’t enough. We’ve seen what our friends have got on social media and we want some of that. We’ve seen what celebrities have got and we want some of that. It’s important to be grateful for the things you already have. Spend some time each morning – just five minutes will do – being grateful for the many things that have enriched your life. Be grateful for your health, for your friends and family, and for the fact that you’ve got another day to get closer to your goals. Stop trying to have more of everything, and be grateful for what you have.
Get Off Social Media
You don’t need to be super dramatic and delete your social media accounts. But disabling them for a period right now could be a good idea. Social media is full of information, much of it useless. On your newsfeed you’ll find political stories, self-improvement stories, making money hacks, vapid statuses, pictures, videos, memes and so on. Think how much useless and varied information you can absorb in just a minute! You can literally take the tribulations of the world on your shoulders in one scroll, from terrorist attacks in the east to your friends breakup. If you feel that your brain is too cluttered at the moment, the easiest way to declutter it is to take a break from social media.
Somewhere in history, someone said that women are good at multitasking. We hate that person. Ever since, women everywhere have tried to do everything at the same time. The results are often messy and second-rate.
Confucius got it right when he said that the person who chases two rabbits ends up catching none. Multitasking just doesn’t work. It actually slows you down – and it clutters up your mind. From now on, focus on one task at a time. Exercise due diligence to each task, and take your time. There is no rush.
Learn To Let Go
A lot of the clutter in our brain is bad, negative stuff that we have no need of. It comes in the form of grudges, issues, grievances and past mistakes. Let go of it all. Learn to forgive people and move on. The past is the past. It’s gone, and can no longer affect you. Once you learn how to let go, you’re able to eliminate a lot of baggage from your brain.
Write Down Your Goals
If you don’t know what your goals are, it’s going to be super easy for you to get distracted by silly things. From the news to politics to gossip, there will be so much you can indulge in. After all, you haven’t got anything else to think about. Successful people are very single-minded. They are laser focused on clear goals. They’re so focused that they are able to ignore all other distractions.
Spend some time jotting down some goals. What do you want to achieve? Once you’re clear on your goals, you’ll be able to focus on them with a clearer mind. They’ll matter to you more than anything – everything else can be pushed aside.
Take A Walk
Sometimes, decluttering our brain can be as simple as taking a walk. Take your mind outside into the open air, and be aware of all that you pass. Don’t think about things, but focus on the walk – where you are, the things you see, smell and hear. Walking can be super invigorating, and it can help to clear the mind of unwanted stuff.