If you’ve been finding yourself lacking in mental energy or clarity, or overwhelmed by the constant flow of thoughts in your head, it’s likely time for you to declutter your mind.
In today’s fast-paced world, our minds often become cluttered with a never-ending stream of thoughts, worries, and distractions. The constant noise and chaos can leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and disconnected from ourselves.
But what if there was a way to clear away the mental clutter and rediscover a sense of inner peace and clarity?
I have personally gone through a rough period of my life where I felt overwhelmed by mental clutter. It had a huge impact on my mental and physical health, making ordinary daily tasks almost impossible.
Once I managed to figure out how to declutter my mind, I was a different person. Friends and family were able to see the positive impact it was having on me, I was more relaxed and ‘Zen like’ and didn’t let things get to me as much as I used to.
If this sounds like you right now, don’t worry. I know it’s easier said than done but I promise there is hope.
This article outlines 27 ways you can declutter your mind, and I’ll delve further into each of these below. By implementing these practical strategies, you’ll learn to untangle the knots of mental clutter and unlock a renewed sense of inner calm, creativity, and purpose.
You might also like:
- Mental Minimalism: How Living With Less Can Improve Your Mental Health
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- 13 Strategies for Finding Direction in Life: Break Through the Fog
- 21 Simple Living Tips To Reduce Everyday Stress
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- What is mind clutter?
- Benefits of decluttering the mind
- How to declutter your mind
- 1. Practice meditation regularly
- 2. Keep a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings
- 3. Prioritise and make a to-do list
- 4. Practice deep breathing exercises to relax and clear your decluttered mind
- 5. Identify and let go of negative thoughts and emotions
- 6. Create a designated space for relaxation
- 7. Limit exposure to social media and news to reduce information overload
- 8. Practice gratitude by writing down things you're thankful for each day
- 9. Engage in regular physical exercise
- 10. Identify and eliminate unnecessary commitments and obligations
- 11. Delegate tasks to lighten your mental load
- 12. Practice time management techniques
- 13. Set clear boundaries with others to protect your mental space
- 14. Spend time in nature
- 15. Practice forgiveness towards yourself and others
- 16. Use visualisation techniques to imagine a clutter-free mind
- 17. Take regular breaks to rest and recharge
- 18. Engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and relaxation
- 19. Establish a consistent sleep routine to promote mental clarity
- 20. Practice self-care activities
- 21. Declutter your physical space to create a sense of order and peace
- 22. Learn to say "no" to things that don't align with your priorities and values
- 23. Limit multitasking and focus on one task at a time
- 24. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people
- 25. Let go of perfectionism and embrace imperfections
- 26. Practice positive affirmations to reframe negative thoughts
- 27. Engage in activities that stimulate your mind
- My final words on how to declutter the mind
What is mind clutter?
Clutter isn’t just about the physical stuff in your home, it can also build up in our minds.
When you walk into a room full of physical clutter – scattered papers, piles of clothes, old wires and cables – it’s clear to you that the room is cluttered. But our minds can become just as messy and cluttered.
Mental clutter is like a chaotic jumble of thoughts, worries, and distractions that fill up our mental space, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and scattered.
Mental clutter includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Holding onto guilt and regret
- Being involved in toxic relationships
- Worrying about the future
- Not being able to prioritise
- Having too many commitments
- Being overwhelmed by information overload
It’s almost as if your brain has a hundred computer tabs open at the one time!
But just as you can declutter your home, you also have the ability to declutter your thoughts. By addressing your brain cutter and reorganising your thoughts, you can create a space for clarity and focus.
Benefits of decluttering the mind
There are, of course, many benefits to decluttering your mind. Here are some of the most prevalent benefits:
- Enhanced mental clarity: Decluttering your mind allows you to clear away the mental fog and gain a greater sense of mental clarity. With fewer distractions and noise, your thoughts become more organised and focused.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Mental clutter often contributes to heightened stress and anxiety levels. With a mental declutter, you can release the burdens of excessive worry and overthinking.
- Improved productivity: When your mind is full of clutter, it’s challenging to prioritise tasks and stay focused. Declutter your mind to help you streamline your thoughts, enabling you to prioritise effectively and boost your productivity.
- Heightened emotional well-being: Mental clutter often includes negative thought patterns and emotional baggage. Decluttering your thoughts helps to let go of negativity, fostering emotional well-being and creating space for positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, and contentment.
- Increased self-awareness: Clutter can create a barrier between you and your true self. By decluttering your mind, you become more attuned to your thoughts, emotions, and inner desires. This self-awareness empowers you to make choices aligned with your authentic self and live a more meaningful life.
- Enhanced focus and concentration: Mental clutter can scatter your attention and make it hard to concentrate on tasks. When you declutter your mind, you sharpen your focus, enabling you to give your full attention to the present moment and the task at hand.
- Improved sleep quality: A cluttered mind often leads to racing thoughts which makes it difficult to unwind, resulting in poor sleep. Clearing your mind before bedtime promotes relaxation and allows for more restful sleep, leading to increased energy and overall well-being.
How to declutter your mind
If you’re ready to reclaim your mental space and declutter your brain, these 27 practical ways to declutter your mind can help to create a life of balance, clarity, and peace.
1. Practice meditation regularly
Meditation practices, such as mindfulness and visualisation, help to quieten your mind and release mental clutter. Try to spend 15-30 minutes each day meditating. During this time, clear your thoughts and allow yourself to be still.
I recommend doing this either in the morning or just before bed (if not both) to help set the tone for your day or night.
2. Keep a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings
Getting all of your thoughts and feelings out on paper can be incredibly cathartic and beneficial in decluttering the mind. ‘Brain dump’ all of your worries, frustrations, ideas and feelings into your journal.
By writing down or ‘dumping’ these thoughts you’ll be able to gain a clearer perspective on the situation and make more informed decisions.
3. Prioritise and make a to-do list
Oftentimes, our thoughts are full of worries about all the things we have to do – take the kids to music lessons, pick up the dry cleaning, make a doctor’s appointment.
To help declutter your mind, make a list of the tasks that need to be done (in order of priority), then focus on completing each task one at a time. This will help to take away any unnecessary worry or stress as you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and how you’re going to do it.
4. Practice deep breathing exercises to relax and clear your decluttered mind
Taking deep breaths is proven to calm the mind and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with mental clutter.
You can practice deep breathing exercises whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed – they’re simple to do, don’t require any equipment, and can be done anywhere (your car, the office bathroom, the corner of a room).
5. Identify and let go of negative thoughts and emotions
We all have negative thoughts that we carry around with us. However, some of these thoughts can be a source of mental clutter and become repetitive patterns that hold us back from creating a happy life.
To declutter your mind it’s important to identify these negative thoughts and try to let them go, either by reframing the thought or simply acknowledging it and releasing it.
For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough”, try to reframe the thought by saying “I am doing my best and that is enough”. This helps to break the negative thought pattern and create a more positive outlook on life.
6. Create a designated space for relaxation
Within your home, you should have a small designated space where you can retreat to for relaxation. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, but could just be a corner of a room or a comfortable chair in your bedroom.
This space should be kept clutter-free and peaceful, with minimal distractions such as phones or computers. When you need to unwind and clear your head, retreat to this space for some much-needed peace and quiet.
7. Limit exposure to social media and news to reduce information overload
If you can take a digital sabbatical for one day a week, you can significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary information on your mind.
Social media and news outlets are often full of stories that can cause stress and anxiety. By limiting your exposure to them, you will be decluttering your mind considerably.
Whether it’s taking a break from technology for one day or unplugging for a few hours each day, setting boundaries on how much you’re exposed to can make a huge difference in finding inner peace.
If you’re someone who finds it difficult to ignore your phone, give this app a try.
8. Practice gratitude by writing down things you’re thankful for each day
When there’s so much going on inside our brains, we often forget the great things in our lives. Practicing gratitude is a simple, yet powerful way to declutter our minds and create a sense of calm. It’s a reminder to ourselves that even in the midst of chaos, we still have things to be thankful for.
Take a few moments each day to write down a few things you’re thankful for – whether it’s small things like being able to enjoy your morning coffee or larger things such as having supportive close friends or family.
9. Engage in regular physical exercise
Exercising regularly not only helps to keep your body healthy, but it also helps to release tension and stress from the mind. Exercise releases endorphins which naturally make us feel good, and can help improve our moods.
Keeping good health habits, such as engaging in regular physical exercise, can also help to reduce mental clutter by creating a sense of focus and purpose.
10. Identify and eliminate unnecessary commitments and obligations
Another way to declutter your mind is to identify any tasks or commitments that you don’t need in your life. These may include activities or obligations that no longer bring you joy or are draining your energy.
Eliminating these unnecessary life obligations can help free up time and energy for things that really matter, lessening the mental clutter in your head.
11. Delegate tasks to lighten your mental load
All those things you’re thinking about that need to be done – start delegating them. You and you alone are not responsible for carrying the mental load of everything for the entire family. And once you begin to delegate tasks, you can begin to realise that some of the things that are causing mental clutter aren’t actually your responsibility.
Delegating will lighten the load for both you and those around you.
12. Practice time management techniques
Clutter in the mind is often caused by feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. But implementing time management techniques can help you to create structure and reduce the amount of mental clutter.
Write down tasks that need to be done, breaking them into smaller chunks, and allocating a specific timeframe for each activity. Time management techniques can help you to be more productive, efficient and organised, clearing some much needed space in your mind.
13. Set clear boundaries with others to protect your mental space
It’s important to set clear boundaries with others in order to protect your mental space. This might mean having to say no when someone asks for something that doesn’t fit within your timeline or values, or setting firm guidelines around communication.
By creating and maintaining healthy boundaries with those around us, we create a sense of security and respect, protecting our mental space from any unwanted negativity.
14. Spend time in nature
There’s nothing quite like being in nature to help us reconnect with ourselves and regain clarity. Spending quality time outdoors can help to clear the mind, while also helping to reduce stress and increase energy levels.
15. Practice forgiveness towards yourself and others
Instead of carrying around guilt and regrets from the past, practice forgiveness towards yourself and those around you. Letting go of the emotions that have been weighing you down will help to reduce the clutter in your mind and create a sense of peace within.
By practicing forgiveness, we’re able to move forward in life with greater ease, releasing any emotional baggage that no longer serves us.
16. Use visualisation techniques to imagine a clutter-free mind
Before I declutter my home, I always picture what I want the space to look like – clear, tidy, peaceful. And we can do the same thing with our minds.
Visualisation techniques can help us to imagine a clutter-free mind. Picture what a peaceful mind would look and feel like, and practice visualising that state of mind. This can be of great benefit to you when trying to reduce mental clutter.
17. Take regular breaks to rest and recharge
Despite popular opinion, continuously working and striving without taking regular breaks can have a damaging effect on our mental health. Taking breaks gives us time to rest, relax, recharge and ultimately clear our minds.
18. Engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and relaxation
Hobbies and activities that bring us joy can be incredibly beneficial for our mental wellbeing. Not only do they help us to relax and clear the mind, but they also help to build a sense of purpose and satisfaction in life.
Be sure to make time during your week for the things that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading or going to the gym or taking a dance class. This is not only a great way to reduce mental clutter, but also makes sure we’re doing something for ourselves rather than just for other people all the time.
19. Establish a consistent sleep routine to promote mental clarity
A regular sleep routine plays a key role in keeping our minds clear and focused. Getting enough restful sleep helps to reduce stress levels, improve concentration and focus, and ultimately allows us to function better during the day.
Establishing a consistent sleep routine is essential for good mental health – aim for 7-9 hours of quality rest each night. If you find it difficult to switch off, try some guided meditation before you nod off.
Be sure to put away all devices one to two hours before going to bed so you’re not thinking about the last thing you saw on social media or on the news. If notifications tend to keep you up during the night, use the Freedom app to silence them during sleep time.
20. Practice self-care activities
Self-care activities are essential for reducing brain clutter. Taking regular time out to pamper yourself, relax, and do the things you love is a fantastic way to clear your mind of any unnecessary thoughts.
Be sure to schedule time in advance so you don’t get too caught up with work or other responsibilities. Whether it’s yoga, a massage, reading a book or going for a short walk by yourself, make sure that each day has some kind of self-care activity scheduled in. Even if if’s just 5 minutes of self-care, it can make a big difference.
21. Declutter your physical space to create a sense of order and peace
Physical clutter can be a reflection of mental clutter, so tidying up your space is an important part of reducing mental distraction.
Spend some time decluttering and organising your physical environment – whether it’s at home or at work – to create a sense of order and peace.If you’re unsure where to start, these articles may help:
- How To Declutter Your House In One Day: Room To Room
- What is Clutter Blindness and How to Overcome it
- Why Is Decluttering So Hard: 9 Reasons You Can’t Clear The Clutter
- 9 Ways to Find The Motivation to Declutter
22. Learn to say “no” to things that don’t align with your priorities and values
One of the most difficult things these days is learning to say ‘no’, but it’s essential for reducing mental distraction. Figure out what tasks or commitments are truly important to you, and then just say no to the things that don’t align with your life priorities and values.
While it may be difficult and you may feel as though you’re not being supportive, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your mental health.
23. Limit multitasking and focus on one task at a time
I’m a firm believer that multitasking doesn’t exist. Our brains can only really focus on one thing at a time, so trying to do two or more things at once is actually hindering our progress.
Try and limit multitasking to reduce the amount of mental interruption and clutter in your mind. Instead of doing three things at once, focus on just one task till it’s complete before moving onto the next.
24. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people
The people in our lives can have a huge impact on the way we think, so it’s important to ensure that we’re surrounding ourselves with positive, supportive and encouraging individuals. Having these positive relationships around us helps to reduce mental clutter and stress.
It’s time to evaluate who you spend your time with – do they bring out the best in you and lift you up? Toxic relationships can create feelings of self-doubt, guilt and anxiety – so it’s important to identify these relationships, practice healthy boundaries, and learn how to let them go.
25. Let go of perfectionism and embrace imperfections
There is no such thing as perfect. Perfect is in fact imperfect.
Perfectionism can lead to a lot of stress because it’s simply impossible to be perfect. It’s important to practice letting go of the need for perfection and embracing imperfections.
Learn to be kinder and more compassionate towards yourself, and let go of any expectations that don’t serve you in a positive way. Embrace the fact that you’re human, and that there will be times when things don’t go according to plan.
26. Practice positive affirmations to reframe negative thoughts
Our minds are powerful, and what we tell ourselves has the power to shape our reality.
Positive affirmations help to reframe negative thoughts and can have a huge impact on how we view ourselves and life in general. Try to practice positive affirmations daily to reduce mental clutter and focus your mind on positivity.
Here are some positive affirmations you can try:
27. Engage in activities that stimulate your mind
Activities such as puzzles, reading and games can help to stimulate your mind and reduce mental interference.
Try engaging in activities that challenge your brain and build on existing knowledge – this helps to keep the mind sharp and focused.
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My final words on how to declutter the mind
Decluttering your mind is a powerful and transformative endeavor that holds the key to unlocking a more balanced and fulfilling life. By releasing the mental clutter that weighs you down, you create space for clarity, focus, and inner peace.
If you take some time to practice these 27 steps to declutter your mind, you’ll be sure to find more inner peace and mental clarity in no time.