Does your mind ever feel like it’s just bursting at the seams? Is there too much mental clutter hindering your ability to think clearly or access your intuition? You are not alone!
Between the everyday To-Do-Lists, the bigger thoughts and worries about life and those we love, and the “what-ifs” and “should-I-have” ruminations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel disconnected from your deeper self. Then, add on all the sad and scary news in the world and the uncertainty of the last few years, and you may find your brain spinning and spinning without a break.
Sometimes for me it’s like those old Energizer Bunny commercials: “it just keeps going, and going, and going…” Except our minds aren’t batteries. Or even bunnies! Our minds need rest, time, space, and stillness. Calming the mental clutter stills the spirit as well, and sends a message to your whole being that it’s okay to relax, allowing you to move toward that nourishing, vital stillness.
- Breathe: Step number one is to breathe. Yes, that’s it! You might be thinking, “Liz, I breathe all day!” But when was the last time you took a truly deep breath, inhaled fully and let it remind you that you are alive?Let’s do it now. Breathe in, breathe out. Pay attention to the air filling your lungs, listen to your breath as it moves in and out, remind yourself you are here, you are worthy, and you deserve to rest. Don’t you already feel a little better? Mindful breathing is the foundation of clearing your head of all the clutter. It’s also a great way to calm and center, anytime.
- Meditate: My second recommendation for reclaiming stillness is to meditate. My favorite meditation mantra is, in fact, “stillness” repeated over and over as a reminder to myself to slow down, to reconnect with my guides and my higher self. It’s so much harder to hear those helpful hints from spirit if your mind is too chaotic to receive them! Whatever your meditation practice may be, commit or re-commit to making it a priority. Even a few minutes a day can really calm your brain and body.
- Process Emotions: So often we think of the brain as separate from our emotions, but they are intricately intertwined and affect each other a lot! So even with a goal of clearing mind clutter, we need to acknowledge our emotions. Emotions don’t disappear, even if we wish they would. If you ignore them, they bury themselves in your body and brain, and the festering pain of those feelings piles its mess on top of the clutter already crowding your head. Acknowledging, and the next steps of processing and expressing those emotions, releases them and gives you back a little space.
- Write it Down: Usually some of the clutter we carry is made up of limiting beliefs. Try writing down all the thoughts and ideas you have that no longer serve the truest you. Get them out of your head and your heart so they lose their power over you. Then, go a step further and write down all the thoughts and ideas you have that DO serve your truest self. Read that list as often as necessary to shift your perspective and conjure up that feeling of gratitude for who you are and what you are capable of.
- Shake Your Booty: Lastly, move! I know this can sound counter intuitive as a tip for cultivating stillness, but sometimes when you just can’t calm your brain down, moving your body is essential. Go for a run, play fetch with the dog, dance around in your jammies, wash your car—whatever it is that will take light concentration to engage your brain and some movement to get your muscles warmed up. That combination allows for the clutter to shake out and eases the tension in your mind.
Certainly for me, and I’d bet for you as well, a cluttered mind leads to faster burnout. Decisions become harder, and the simplest tasks become overwhelming. We are more emotionally and spiritually fragile, and slower to recover from setbacks. A chaotic mind is not an easy place to live, either.
Luckily, we have these tips and tools to quiet the commotion and clean some of the old junk out of our mental attics. The more “crap” you clear, the more space you create in your head to fill with authentic stories about yourself and behavior patterns that are healthy and serve who you are now. And you gain more frequent and easier access to the stillness inside of you just waiting for you to remember to breathe.