Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#Mental Clutter,and How to Get Rid of It.

Physical clutter is very much noticeable,and we try to get rid of it so that we can work unhindered,but what about mental clutter?It largely goes unnoticed.We may not even be aware of its existence;yet it has the power to make us feel restless,weighed down,and ill at ease.

What exactly,is mental clutter?I think it denotes thoughts which are not germane to our occupation at a given moment.Naturally,this obstructs focused thinking and screws up our performance.

Sometimes these thoughts are about the current scenario,the pending jobs,looming deadlines,or other responsibilities demanding our attention.These are easy to deal with.

At other times we clutter our minds with worries about the future;brooding about a number of 'what ifs',like the loss of a job,inability to pay off a loan,health issues or the culmination of a deteriorating relationship.These distractions are more distressing.

And then,we fret about what happened in the past.Painful memories of rejection,abuse,loss,failure,injustice,victimisation and humiliation are hard to forget.We shove them to the back of our minds so that we can get on with our work,but they continue to simmer and pop up from time to time.

We often harbour guilt feelings about something we did or failed to do,and this too amalgamates with our mental clutter.

Perhaps the most damning and all-consuming element of mental clutter is intrusive,obsessive thoughts.Even though irrational and out of character,these thoughts cause a lot of anguish.It is very difficult to junk them.This post can help you do this. 

Phew,what a long list!If only there was an automatic delete system in our brains to do away with redundant,detrimental thoughts.But since this is not the case,we shall have to do it ourselves.Regularly!

You can start by identifying thoughts which serve no purpose and erase them determinedly.The ones which have more validity can be prioritised and dealt with.Making a list puts it down in black and white and facilitates execution.But there is a hitch.

Some people go to the bottom of that list to jobs which are less urgent but more enjoyable.Procrastination is the name! Beware of this habit,because it leaves many loose ends in the brain and then the niggling reminders of things which are more important create unrest.This site contains excellent tips for beating this habit. 

Another effective way of snipping mental clutter is to put a quick closure on episodes which are likely to linger on and ruin your peace of mind.If you tackle the injustices and infringements dealt to you,as and when they occur,rather than brooding over them long after the moment,then you shall have greater peace of mind.

Sometimes,because of many personal or practical considerations,it is not feasible to accost the perpetrator.In that case it is best to forgive and move ahead. 

The best way to delete mental clutter is to live in the moment.Those who do so are a happy lot.What happened in the past cannot be undone,but making amends where possible and taking care to not repeat your mistakes is a good way of ridding your minds of regrets and guilt traps.Worrying about the future will not prepare you to combat upcoming challenges,it will only up the levels of anxiety and apprehension.

Some people devise a cue,like a wristband,a bracelet,or a coin in hand,to warn them that their minds are wandering.

Meditation too,imparts a lot of clarity and stability to anxious minds.It augments the ability to concentrate on the job at hand without being distracted.A good night's sleep,healthy diet and relaxation techniques give much needed rest to noisy ,vagrant minds.

No matter which technique you employ,keeping your mind in check will not only improve your productivity but also help you to feel light and positive.

24 comments :

  1. The AA prayer has been the best remedy for me to avoid mental clutter - "God! Give me the courage to change that which can be changed, the patience to endure that which cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference"

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  2. I agree with you Sursh.This prayer takes care of everything.

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  3. I do need to unclutter my mind. Too much happening up there!

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  4. All good stuff,the matter for another scintillating post :).

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  5. agree....things in our heads cause more damage in the long run than the physical clutter. Physical clutter is visible and hence most people take care of it asap.

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  6. Great article as always Indu. Our brain is an ocean and sometimes we dump a lot of waste in it and it becomes very difficult to clean it up. Your tips to keep it sane and fresh are really useful.

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    1. What a remarkable analogy Raj.Thank you for this.
      A happy day to you1

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  7. I wish there was a delete button..its so difficult sometimes to stop the train of thoughts...and very very difficult to change the situation or forgive.

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    1. And Renu,even if we forgive,forgetting is another milestone to be crossed.Life sometimes does seem difficult.

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  8. Agree that stillness is needed from time to time to uncluttered the mind

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  9. Great article as always, Indu. I need to unclutter my mind. I used to meditate, but then, somehow, I lost it...due to lack of time. I do need to start it again...

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  10. Thanks for your kind words Mani,it counts a lot you know.

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  11. I try to live by one of your suggestions. Live in the moment.

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  12. Would love an automatic delete button. Love your clarity of thought Indu.

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    1. Yes Alka,wouldn't we all?
      And many thanks for your effusive compliment :)

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  13. that was a very helpful article, really.

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  14. Meditation surely helps...it works for me :)
    http://www.sunshineandzephyr.com/2016/10/meeting-fiction-concluding-part/

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