Names of all clients have been changed.
In our modern world, we are bombarded with a stream of information from social media, news, and the people around us. Add this to our existing commitments with family, career, and health, and it is common to feel mentally cluttered as we struggle to process and prioritize all of this information competing for our attention.
Mental clutter can sometimes feel like difficulty concentrating, disorganization of thoughts, struggling to make decisions, and feeling divided against yourself. This can lead to frustration and lowered resilience.
Most of us have a multitude of responsibilities, obligations, and interests that compete for our attention, When the barrage of competing commitments becomes too intense, anyone can begin to feel overwhelmed. Even for those of us who are usually able to handle the bombardment by prioritizing, delegating, and focusing our attention, there are times when mental clutter can feel like the tipping point over into “too much.”
For example, if you are handling a stressful experience like a financial struggle, a breakup, or an intense time at work you may find yourself more susceptible to feeling anxious and overwhelmed by your mental clutter.
3 Ways to Clear Your Mind
- Gratitude. It is easy to focus on what you haven’t achieved, and all the things that you still need to do. When you become fixated on these thoughts, it is helpful to shift your focus over to gratitude. Remember, whatever you feel is missing, there is much that you already have. When you get stuck on the thought, “I have so much to do that I can’t do anything” you might be focusing exclusively on your weaknesses. Be mindful, and be grateful for who you are and what you can handle.
- Detachment. We have more control over where we focus our attention than we typically exert. When you find yourself jumping mentally from thing to thing, it is helpful to intentionally narrow your focus to just one thing. You can use tools to help you maintain your focus like social media blockers and single-item to-do lists on Post-it notes. The real strategy, however, is to discover and nurture the strength that exists inside of you already. To do this, choose to focus and believe that you can accomplish what you single-mindedly have chosen to do. When you have completed one task, celebrate, and then move on to the next single task. It takes practice to be mindful in this way, but it will reduce a great deal of stress.
- Meditation. Building a regular practice of meditation or breathwork will teach you the process of creating internal calm and intention. This calm allows you to not get attached to destructive or complicating ideas that lead you to see your life and judge it as “not good enough.” Meditation and breathwork give you the opportunity to find peace and strength already inside that you can be brought to bear on your cluttered mind.
How do I know when my mental clutter may mean I need help?
The strategies above are great starting points that for many can reduce the impact of a cluttered mind. If you have tried these strategies and still feel anxious or depressed about your inability to manage your commitments, you may benefit from therapy.
Reach out for help today by connecting with us here.