Date posted: 11/05/2017 3 min read

Eight simple ways to clear mental clutter

Clear your mind during your busy day by following these eight simple steps to a healthier, happier life.

In brief

  • Developing healthy habits can help you start your day with more energy.
  • Stay in control of your to-do list by prioritising and completing the most important items.
  • For every bad thought that enters your headspace, make room for two things that make you happy.

Any type of mental clutter can slow you down and hamper your productivity. It’s only when you identify your mental clutter that you can start to sort through it, get rid of what’s holding you back and put the rest into neat, manageable piles.  

If you currently have an endless number of things to do that you can’t seem to get a handle on, this checklist is for you.  

Clear mental clutter so you can welcome peace and calm back into your life. Without this brain clutter, you will become a more productive, happier and all-round healthier soul.  

Try concentrating on one thing at a time. Finish it, take a break, then move on. Here are eight strategies to try the next time you feel overwhelmed by mental clutter. 

Eight steps for clearing mental clutter

  • 1. Tame your to-do list

    A to-do list is essential if you want to be happy. If you don’t have one, it’s time to start making one. It should be an actual list, not just a mental one. When you feel overwhelmed, lists help by consolidating scattered thoughts and tasks. Once you’ve created a list, make sure you prioritise it. Tackle the critical tasks first, especially the ones you least want to do as once they are completed they are no longer taking up worry space in your mind. Refresh this list at least once a day.  

  • 2. Clean up your actual clutter

    Clean up your wardrobe, desk, bedroom, office, and house to get some clarity. Tidying up your physical space greatly encourages and improves mental clarity.  

  • 3. Rethink your thinking

    Those voices in your head that tell you that you’re not quite good enough are the worst kind of mental junk. Pay close attention to these thoughts and learn to retrain your brain with positive self-talk.

  • 4. Eat, sleep and live well
    The mind-body connection is no longer up for debate. A happier you is a healthier you. Learn how to beat stress, depression, anxiety and more just by eating, sleeping and living well.  
  • 5. Less screen time
    TVs, tablets, computers and phones can fill your head with so much useless noise and clutter. It’s important to make the conscious effort to switch off every now and then, especially before going to bed.  
  • 6. You can’t please everyone so stop trying
    When you really can’t fit another thing into your schedule, or you just don’t want to, it’s perfectly fine to say “no”.  
  • 7. Start to live in the present
    Scientists estimate that our frantic minds produce about 35,000 separate, unconnected thoughts daily. While it’s great to plan ahead, you should take care not to postpone joy until each “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted. It’s time to start practicing clearing your mind and focusing on the present.  
  • 8. Create your own sanctuary
    Create your own quiet space somewhere, where you can escape the sounds and demands of the outside world. Go there as needed to collect your thoughts, decompress and practice that deep breathing and positive self-talk.

This article is part of an ongoing Balance column, offering tips for juggling work and life while also managing your mental and physical wellbeing. Have something you’d like this column to cover? Email the Acuity team now.