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How To Become A Mental Minimalist

January 28, 2011

Everyday our brain is processing more information and thoughts  than we can sometimes handle. We are thinking about work, car payments, our kids, work, the grocery shopping, paperwork, taxes… Sometimes the thoughts get overwhelming. Maybe it is time to step back and clear some of that clutter our of your head.

5 ways to become a mental minimalist:

Write it down- Each day we think of hundreds of things we need to do, to get, to remember… the list is endless. All these things float around in our head and we aren’t trying to remember all that we need to do we spend endless amount of time trying to shake that ‘I-know-I’m-forgetting-something’ feeling. Whenever these things pop up in your head write them down. No matter how small write it down. Keep a small pad and pen with you. I’ve downloaded a task manager app on my phone where I can write down everything I need to remember. Once you write down all those small things you would be surprised how much room it will clear up in your head.

Stop Worrying- Simple step right? My family excels at this. I come from a long line of people so talented at worrying that if Yale decided to offer a class my family would make up at least half of the list of possible teaching candidates. But in the long run where does worrying get you? Does it solve any problems? Does it make what you are worrying about go away? And what happens when the issues is over? Do you just find something new to worry about? Why bother than? There are things that our out of our hands. Things that we just can’t control and no amount of worry will change that. Just sit back, take it back and let it go. Handle the situation when it happens until than don’t drive yourself crazy.

Create a plan- Sometimes things get too big to handle. There is nothing to do but worry, get stressed out and lose sleep. All of our thoughts are devoted to this. The is not room for any other thoughts. When that happens create a plan. Make a plan to overcome what ever it is. Sometimes the idea of being in control is enough to trick yourself into calming down. The best way to do that is to create a plan to overcome your situation. Just by having a game plan can cause a great amount of comfort and ease your mind.

Stop the insanity– Besides the worry and things that need to get done what else clogs up your mind? Gossip, maybe? Yes it might be juicy, a stress relief, and sometimes fun but what comes out of it? Gossiping usually breeds distrust and causes more problems than anything. It also focuses on negativity. Why would you ask to bring negativity into your life?

Focus on the moment- My mind tends to be dwelling on the past or thinking about 10 minutes, 1 week, or 10 years from now. Often I find myself mentally everywhere other than I should be. When you your mind is frantically jumping around staying in the moment  and focusing on what is in front of you can bring a certain serenity. It is easier to find joy in what you are doing, in the moment, instead of cluttering your mind with everything else that needs to get done and other random thoughts.

Dose your mind ever get cluttered with thoughts? What do you do to drown them out?

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