Have you ever experienced squirrel-brain? Monkey-mind? Foggy-head? I know I have!
In fact, I am experiencing it now, and have been feeling it for the majority of this week. I had been calling it a "funk". I felt slow, unable to form concrete thoughts, my head feeling heavy. Besides finishing up Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keys today *sniff, sniff* (you can read my review on Instagram here), I didn't do too much and never really stimulated my brain, so I was unsure why I was seemingly sluggish.
I soon realized that the root of these emotions was so much simpler than I could've possibly imagined: a cluttered brain.
As someone who strives to get things done, who loves interacting with people and maintaining their social life, and is obsessed with stimulation in the forms of reading, television, and exercise, my brain piles up with clutter quite often. However, sometimes I forget to actually take out the trash!
In our physical lives, it's important to clean up our space, toss out garbage, dust the furniture, and tidy. But, it is just as important to stop and declutter our minds, as well. Otherwise, our thoughts will be loose, our ideas ending up incompleted or merely forgotten, and our minds will feel heavy.
Cluttered brains can also make us feel tired, anxious, bored, and fearful. Furthermore, they can cause headaches and other pains related to stress. When our brains are filled from floor-to-ceiling with thoughts, worries, ideas, and plans, there is little room for growth, focus, and clarity. Rather than hold onto it the mental clutter, it's important to let it go.
I'm just now realizing how ironic this post is--for the last hour and a half, I binged Hoarders.
Let's let go of those cluttered thoughts, and experience a clear mind once and for all!
How to clear your mind for focus and clarity
1) Unplug once a week, and set limits for social media
Just today, I stumbled upon a post by The Blissful Mind, Digital Detox: What I've learned from unplugging once a week. I cannot wait to start doing this myself!
So often, I want to just take a step back and get away from Youtube, Instagram, and all technology for a bit, but I never knew how or when to do so. This blog post talks about how unplugging from social media for one day a week will increase our productivity, and help us step away and do things we've been putting off, or thoroughly enjoy. Also, we don't have to randomly take off various days from social media when we get overwhelmed--we can have a set schedule!
If this doesn't work for you, set limits for social media. Maybe set aside an entire day to be mindful of your choices, decisions, and the way you spend your time. Allow yourself to breathe every now and again. Your mind will thank you for it.
2) Write it down
If you have a lot on your mind, it may be a good idea to write it down. Try making a brain-dump page in your bullet journal, or take up daily journaling. Write out your worries, future plans, and anything that's pressing on your mind and creating clutter in your life.
Anytime you feel stressed, foggy-headed, etc., I suggest you stop what your doing and write it down somewhere to prevent a cluttered mind!
3) Schedule/structure your day, or create routines for yourself
Especially right now, it's easy to mindlessly go through the day, reading here, binging tv there, and getting in some work. But, to avoid clutter and create space for focus, it may be a good idea to schedule your day in advance or create morning and night routines to gain a sense of stability. Clear out time for creativity or work, too, so you don't have to jam it in last-minute.
Your brain won't have to think so hard throughout the day, and so you'll have a better sense of clarity as well as more time for focus and flow.
4) Remove distractions, and avoid multitasking
One thing that helps me stop multitasking is hiding my phone until I'm done with work, or just need a break from it. I also avoid Youtube and television while working.
Self-discipline is key for productivity!
Try to focus on one thing at a time, and work at that thing efficiently and productively until it is done. Then, you can scroll, watch TV, or do all your heart desires!
5) Partake in a peaceful, mindful task
We love to constantly consume content, reaching for our phone on instinct, or having a show play in the background. However, excessive amounts of this type of consumption can turn to overstimulation, which can then create brain clutter.
Try doing yoga, or bake something yummy. Try any task that is both nurturing your mind and giving it the slight stimulation it craves.
For more peaceful tasks, read 8 peaceful (and free) things to do on your own.
6) Learn to process your feelings and manage your thoughts
If your mind feels cluttered, you may be suppressing the past and other emotions. There may be experiences you haven't quite dealt with that are sitting heavy on your mind. Take time to sit with yourself and experience the thoughts and feeling as they come. Maybe write it out, talk it out, or just sit and listen.
Here is a meditation on releasing suppressed emotions here.
You could also be prone to overthink, which can be tiring on the brain. Be aware of the thoughts you're thinking, and know when to stop them from spiraling off. Maybe take time to reframe your thoughts, which you can learn to do here.
Another way to phrase this tip is to simply take a break. Simply be. Observe, process, and wonder. But, don't think too hard!
Related posts you may enjoy ~
I hope this post helped clear your monkey-mind and brought you guidance for clarity and focus. If so, let me know below--it's always helpful to hear your thoughts on my posts! :)
Thanks for reading, and I'll catch ya on Sunday!
Probably releasing clutter,