It’s common to think that decluttering is just a physical process of removing unwanted and unused possessions from your home. Those that work with me know there’s much more to it than that. There’s stuff in our mind and emotional body that needs to be let go of too. During sessions with clients, I say that things can come up that need to be processed (emotionally), or discussed with a counsellor. Most times, it can be dealt with by just taking a bit of time to ponder and work through it.
What do I do, to declutter my mind? How do I get clarity? I don’t always get this right, and to be honest, I see it as a working progress. You have to continually work on yourself and with yourself to have that clarity. The things I’ve found useful over the years to be mindful and clear are:
Journaling, Vision boards and Gratitude:
I probably don’t need to go on about this, as it’s a common thing nowadays. Journaling is useful to be able to look at how you feel, what your experiences are, what you’re grateful for and so on. The reason I find it so helpful is that it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the day, week or month. I get to ponder about how I’ve grown over that time, what I experienced, how I’ve changed and what I’d like to do differently. It also allows me time to reflect on if I’m working towards my goals. (Whether they’re personal aspirations like ‘swearing less’, or more career related, like getting a new job). If I am, I get to feel a sense of achievement. If not, then I can consider what’s holding me back and take steps to change this. This regular reflection allows you to become aware of ‘clutter’ floating around in your mind that needs to be ‘digested’ or dealt with.
I personally have a few methods to journal and writing gratitudes. Firstly, I just have a standard journal where I can shoot the breeze, and write whatever comes to mind. I also have a mini notebook for gratitude. I’ve tried apps for this but find them time consuming so opt for a notebook. I like gratitude reflections as my personality is to pick apart my day in a very analytical, critical way. So, gratitude writing is a great way to pull out the positives from the day. I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘favourite frame’ as well. If you could put a frame around a particular part of your day, which memories would you choose? Digesting these moments are important, so they are integrated into yourself. Into your mind, body and spirit.
I do journaling and gratitude writing whenever I get a chance in my day or week. Beyond that I do a weekly and monthly reflection using my Passion Planner. The Passion Planner is a paper calendar diary, that has all the usual diary stuff but has spots for reflecting (particularly for the month just passed).
On a yearly basis, I use the ‘My Shining Year – Life Workbook’ (and Biz book) by Leonie Dawson. I use this book over the Christmas/New Year period to reflect on my year just gone (the Passion Planner monthly reviews help me remember). It also lets me set my intentions for the year to come. The workbook has lots of great questions and prompts to keep you thinking about where you’re headed.
Oh and I often will do a vision board or two a year. I typically attend Dee’s workshop now as she has it all ready to go. I love vision boards as it puts your dreams, goals and desires into a pictorial form to connect with over the year. I hang it on my office door for a daily reminder.
Psychology and outside help
With a degree in psychology, there’s no surprise that I’d be an advocate for talking to a professional to help declutter the mind and spirit. I suffer from depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so find it useful to talk to someone who understands these things. They also help coach you through the clutter in your mind surrounding personal experiences. It helps process things of the past and things you’re experiencing now. These sessions teach you skills and coping strategies for whatever presents at the time.
I also engage other alternative medicine or ‘guide’s’ to help me de-stress, and release some of the mind or body clutter. I personally have loved getting a massage, having acupuncture, doing Reiki, Osteopathy, coaching or body talk.
Connection to myself
I also use forms of meditation, spiritualism and mindfulness practises to free the mind of junk. In the past, I used to be a hard core mantra-based meditator doing two, half hour sessions a day. I found this to be a bit too much for me and not my style of meditation. I sometimes return to that mantra though for a short burst, but definitely don’t engage in the long term sit down sessions like I used to.
I now like little mindfulness practises to check in regularly with myself. I do this in daily activities by bringing my attention back to what I’m doing. If I’m brushing my teeth, reminding myself to feel the toothbrush on my teeth. If I’m drinking tea, to check in with the taste of the tea. If I’m walking, to connect my feet to the floor or feel the breeze on my skin.
When I need a bit more help, I like little practices like connecting with my senses, one sense at a time. This is where I sit for 5 minutes, with my eyes closed, and step through each sense. What can I smell, feel, taste, see and hear? Then I sit with the listening. I might spend some time focusing on my breath, or, I spend some time asking myself “what’s one thing I need to smell, hear, taste, feel or see?” I then seek out the answers.
I also like to dance around to music, go for a walk, do some crafty type thing, have a bath or just sit with a cup of tea and ponder. I personally need to work on the connection aspect much more and always looking for new ways to connect.
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These are just some of the things I have found helpful to let go of, or process, my thoughts, and feelings that are no longer serving me.
What’s something you can do, to declutter your mind today?