Cluttered minds create cluttered lives.
Have you ever noticed how much harder life feels when your mind is weighed down with negative thoughts? Mind clutter can make it difficult to see things as they are, and even more difficult to find your way through life’s challenging moments.
But clutter can also take a toll on your health. Swirling negative thoughts lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety. And that can result in unhealthy coping behaviors that can further damage your health.
If you’re craving a deeper sense of focus and clarity, this article will show you how to clear mind clutter through journaling.
Health Benefits of Uncluttering
Clearing mind clutter can be incredibly freeing. Without the heaviness of your worries and fears, you’ll have more space to focus on solutions so you can find more joy in life.
But before you can address the clutter, you’ll first need to identify the sources of it. Clutter comes in many forms. Here are just a few:
When it comes to clutter, most people think about their personal spaces. Piles of “stuff” and disorganized “things” can become distractions. For example, research has shown that physical clutter can lead to unhealthy eating habits. As it turns out, distracted minds are prone to mindless eating.
While your journal can’t help you do the actual work of clearing physical clutter, it can help you create a plan to take action. Clearing physical clutter could be as simple as tidying up or as complex as hiring a professional organizer to help you.
Another form of clutter that sometimes gets overlooked is social clutter. Without healthy boundaries, social clutter may lead you to overextend yourself. If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to events and gatherings that force you to neglect important areas of your life, it might be time to make some adjustments.
Likewise, people can also create clutter. If you’re surrounded by people who discourage, criticize, or belittle you, it might be time to reconsider when and how often you spend time with them.
Mind clutter can be just as damaging and distracting as other forms of clutter.
Negative thinking patterns and beliefs can interfere with your ability to solve problems, making it difficult to make healthy lifestyle choices and accomplish your personal and professional goals.
Everyone has mental clutter to some degree, but how you deal with it can dramatically improve how you experience your life.
How to Unclutter Your Mind with Journaling
One of the easiest ways to begin clearing out mind clutter is to journal your thoughts.
Journaling gives you a clearer picture of your thoughts and beliefs. When you examine your thoughts on the pages in front of you, you’ll be able to dig deeper into what’s behind them.
Clearing mental clutter is a process. Before you can release what isn’t serving you, you’ll need to identify what’s really happening in your mind. Once you uncover the sources of clutter, you can begin to actively clear them out and make space for what matters most.
Here are a few tips to unclutter your mind with journaling:
Accept What Is
Acceptance is the process of acknowledging your reality in this moment. While your reality will certainly evolve and change over time, accepting what is—right here and now—can change everything. Similarly, your journal can help you identify what’s within your control and what’s beyond your control. Accepting what is can help you refocus your efforts.
What are you willing to accept about your life right now?
Create a Decluttering Routine
Establishing a daily journaling routine can help you manage your mind clutter on an ongoing basis. Choose a day, time, and location to allow your thoughts to flow onto the pages of your journal. Some people describe this process as a “brain dump,” where you literally purge your thoughts out of your head and into your journal.
How could you create a regularly decluttering routine?
Release What No Longer Serves You
When you’re out of alignment with your values, goals, and beliefs, life can feel like a struggle. Releasing the expectations and goals that no longer serve you can free up space for what’s truly meant for you. Your journal is a great place to let go of thoughts that are not helpful. Within the pages of your journal, make a list of the things, people, and commitments you’re ready to let go of.
What are your ready to release?
Your journal is a great place to “try on” ideas and solutions before you actually implement them. Focus on one area of your life at a time and generate ideas for how you could declutter. Your journal is a safe place to take risks and walk through possible changes in your mind. The writing process can be intensely therapeutic and inspiring.
How many ideas can you come up with?
Reframe Your Experiences
Life is full of a wide range of experiences—granted, some more positive than others. But reframing your negative experiences can do a lot to life your spirits. Consider the lessons you’ve learned through your heaviest moments and reframe how you remember and relive them in your mind. Use your journal to reframe and rearrange your life story.
What heavy life experience(s) do you need to reframe?
Journal Prompts to Unclutter Your Mind
Journal prompts that focus on releasing what no longer serves you can help you unclutter your mind. Try these prompts during your next journaling session:
· What’s been weighing on my mind is...
· The thing that frustrates me the most is…
· What I’d really love to let go of is…
· What is no longer supporting me is…
· Another way that I can see this situation is…
· If I could change one thing it would be…
Uncluttering your mind is about releasing what no longer serves you and creating space for does. Journaling can help you not only identify the sources of clutter in your life, but it can also help you map out a plan to release it.
Is it time to unclutter your life?
Download the Learn how to declutter your life in 21 days eBook and start organizing your life today!
Information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Author bio: STACY FISHER, RDN, LD, CDCES is the founder of LivingUpp, a lifestyle design company that teaches women how to use a self-care planning system to create more ease and better health.
She is a registered dietitian and lifestyle coach with 20+ years of experience in the healthcare industry, where she’s worked with large companies such as Dell, Boeing, and Nike. Stacy is the author of The Lifestyle Design Planner, a flexible life organizer for high-achievers who value self-care and simplicity.