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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« Good Clutter | Ebb & Flow of Clutter »

Release Mind Clutter

Do you ever have so many thoughts twirling around your brain that it feels as cluttered as a room full of stuff? It seems like our thoughts have nowhere to go and that our heads could burst. We jump from one idea to the next. We lose focus. We feel frazzled. We have no clarity. Details and minutia cloud the big picture. This is mind clutter.

I’ve experienced it and I know many of you have too. Unlike physical clutter, we can’t donate our mind clutter. We can’t toss it in the trash. However, we can do some things. Recently when my mind felt too full, I tried a few techniques that worked.  Perhaps a combination of these ideas mixed with some of your own solutions will help you the next time your mind is feeling cluttered.

  • Grab a Pen – Whether you prefer traditional writing or typing on a keyboard, recording your thoughts to another medium helps to release and make sense of them. Whether you make a list, short bullet points or long paragraphs, the act of transferring the thoughts will reduce your mind clutter.
  • Invite a Distraction – Let your mind wander by shifting the focus away from within to an external distraction like watching a movie or reading a book. The focus on a different “story” can help suspend the frazzled feelings.
  • Unleash Creativity – Pull out the colored pencils, paints or instruments. Bake a cake or knit a sweater. Find a creative outlet to help loosen your thoughts and unclutter your brain.
  • Be Kind to Self – It’s stressful when our thoughts are cluttered. Feeling this way is temporary. Go easy on yourself during these times. Take good care by getting enough sleep, hydration and nutrition.
  • Initiate a Conversation – Another great way to release mind clutter is to share your thoughts with a friend or family member. Talking and being listened to, even if there is no resolution, can be a great way to gain perspective and organize your thoughts. 
  • Change the Scenery – Getting away from your customary environment to another location, can help to reduce mind clutter. It could be something simple like going for a walk or more elaborate like exploring a new town or destination.
  • Play Some Tunes – Listening to music can greatly improve your mood and help release extraneous thoughts. Singing or dancing along is an added benefit. I’ve recently started hula hooping to loud, upbeat music. Aside from being fun, it’s great exercise and helps me refocus.
  • Eat Some Chocolate – I admit that eating chocolate goes against my healthy eating and exercising suggestions. It’s just that as a chocolate lover, I have to fess up that indulging in a bit of it helps me when my mind gets too cluttered. There are some other benefits to eating chocolate. The operative word here is moderation. I’m not suggesting a chocolate-fest, but a piece or two.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about releasing internal clutter. What works for you when your mind is cluttered?

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Reader Comments (10)

Love the idea of releasing creativity! Brilliant!

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Yes, Ellen. Many things can be released when clutter moves on. Doing a creative activity can help to "organize" the mind clutter.

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :) jhxoru jhxoru - Mulberry Purses Outlet.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterqzavxn qzavxn

Much appreciation for the FB "like" and happy to know your receive my posts on Google Reader. Enjoy!

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

These all work for me, but the most effective one I've found is to write things down. Sometimes there's something I need to do and I don't write it down for whatever reason, and I carry it around in my head for weeks, but once I write it down, I make sure it gets done!

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I'm visual so I'm all for writing things down! Another great visual tip is, if possible, find visual reminders of all the thoughts bouncing around in your head. For instance, if you're dealing with too many things on your to do list, create visual reminders for each. This can be putting your return items by the door, placing the grocery list on the counter, leaving your bills by the tv remote, or putting a stickie note in a prominent place.

Thanks for the great ideas, Linda!

Thanks for punctuating that point about "writing things down," Janet. There's something about committing the floating thoughts to paper that puts action into motion.

I appreciate you stopping by, adding your thoughts AND including this post on your Professional Organizers Blog Carnival on Clutter. Your blog includes other wonderful articles on clutter by my colleagues.

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

As a visual person, I can totally relate to your wonderful suggestion, Eileen about placing physical reminders in prominent places. I've often done just that and have left sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, letters to mail in hanging basket next to front door, reading glasses on top of stack of books to read. All of these help to visually tie an object to the desired action AND help to keep my mind less cluttered. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your ideas.

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Always happy to share and I love to hear everyone else's thoughts!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEileen (of Space Matters DC)

Many thanks again, Eileen for stopping by. It's always wonderful to hear what people are thinking about and reacting to. It enhances our community. I appreciate you being part of that.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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