- Mental Health
De-cluttering Your Mind
The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
This is so true. But, this also includes the 'waste' that you accumulate with constant clutter from your daily grind. Do you find yourself often just trying to make it day by day? Do you have tension headaches? Are you stressed? Does it seem that there just aren't enough hours in the day, the week or even the year in which you aren't busy?
Sometimes its necessary to take some time to get rid of all the mind clutter.
To do this you have to understand that you have the ability to determine what you want to think about. You have self-control.
1. Self-Control - An ability to control your behavior, emotions and desires to obtain a reward in the long run. Another word for this is 'self-regulation'.
It's often assumed that self-control is something you use at a given moment where many people often lose it. While this is apparent as in dire situations, being calm cool and collected is what may determine life or death, it's often something that has already been mastered by the person who made the important decision that saved a life.
In Wikipedia's definition of which I paraphrased above, one of the important aspects of self-control is getting something out of it later. There is a reward for the long haul. If you want to buy a new car you need to save up for it. If you have a dream house you need to do research and if its not in the market, you might want to have someone build it. It requires money and time invested. And all of this is regulated by an aspect of self-control.
Once you have a desire in place and set in motion, you might have a few setbacks. They may cause you to be afraid. With self control you are 'regulating' your behavior and attitude towards that setback. You want to push forward and upward.
After you are aware of your ability to regulate yourself, you can readily admit that you are afraid. Admitting and facing your fears doesn't make you grow weak. It will give you the ability to separate your emotions from your logic.
Above are two different definitions. One is from dictionary.com, the other from Psychology Today. The reasons being is that fear has been associated with a 'negative' emotion when in reality its a 'warning' sign about a negative event. Dealing with your fear is a way to de-clutter your mind. The best way to overcome your fears is to confront them. And its more often than not that we have our minds in such a disarray is due to 'How am I going to pay my bills', 'I'm having family issues, and I can't cope', 'My son or daughter is having problems at school'.
It can be difficult to 'focus' on working the situation when you can't get the 'magnitude' of the situation out of your head.
Ways to deal with fear.
1. Face it. It's there, and you can't escape it. Just say 'I am afraid, and I need to deal with it.'
2. Analyze why you are afraid. You may have misinterpreted something, or received some very distressing news without getting all the facts. We may have taken something too seriously. It's kind of like following that old adage 'Don't believe everything you hear'.
3. What other emotions are associated with it? Sometimes we need help in dealing with it. It might be a traumatic event, so you may feel sadness. Or after you went through a particular situation, it left you angry. Those are residual emotions after the initial 'shock'.
4. Talk to someone. Talking to someone about it helps enormously. It releases a burden from you. You aren't alone in your fear. And usually the other person may have a different perspective.
5. Get away from what makes you afraid temporarily. I know this may sound contradictory to the first one, but its important not to 'dwell' on your fear once you've faced it. If you need a vacation, some time alone, or something to get your mind off of it, go for it! Sometimes there are 'valid' reasons why we need to leave a certain place, and not just out of 'fear'.
Save time and take a break.
3. Rest - The definition as according to Merriam Webster is 'a bodily state characterized by minimal function and metabolic activities'. All of this leads to one thing 'peace of mind'. Not many activities will lead you to peace of mind however. Sometimes just some 'good' news, or news that you had been anticipation will give you some peace of mind. To achieve the state of rest however refer's to three things.
Leisure - This is free time that you have to spend away from working, business and domestic chores. It can also be referred to as your 'break' time that you take while doing any of the above mentioned. This is not to be confused with doing work for things that you enjoy doing. Work is still work, no matter how much you like it. Working on creative writing, poetry, singing while I love to do it, is still work. These aren't just hobbies to me as I invest time and energy and HOURS doing it. And from any kind of work no matter how enjoyable it is, you need a break.
- Human Relaxation - This is defined as any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to relax. Self-Hypnosis, Anger Management, Meditation and even Lamaze Classes that women take while pregnant are a variety of techniques and exercises that you can use to improve your state of relaxation.
- Sleep - A natural recurring state of reduced of absent consciousness. This includes suspended activity of your five sense and inactivity of nearly all your muscles (voluntary.) Two-thirds of your life is spent sleeping. Getting some good Zzz's accentuates growth and rejuvenation of your immune, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. It's believed to help conserve energy.
After everything that I had gone through in my move to Virginia, I realized just how much of a break I really needed. Seeing as I couldn't take one, I had to find support.
The key word to remember here is 'needed'. Even though we are not children, we are still human beings. And just as a child will cry when they are hungry because they are in distress, if you are in distress its ok to look for people to talk to. Believe it or not, they are out there. No one expects you to be strong all the time, even if you show yourself to be a person of strength.
To be able to rest and achieve the peace of mind that you so desire, you may need to have people around who can help you with things, even menial things like housework. This is not a path of laziness. It's to be used if you are in such a state that even housework can be tough to catch up to.
My family is small, its just my son and I. When I moved out here I didn't have many friends, but those I did have I honestly explained my situation and asked for their help. Unfortunately it didn't work out exactly the way I wanted it to. I kept asking however until I got what I needed. There is no problem with seeking guidance and assistance from other people. But some of us because we are such go-getters and survivalists will get proud and not accept help or even ask for it when we know we really need it.
You'll discover once you get the support you need that the above states of rest will come easier. You'll have that leisure time to just 'declutter' your mind. You'll sleep better and as you rest more you'll desire to use techniques to get you to the point of 'calmness' that you need to help you deal with stress. This is NOT impossible! And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. At one point I felt desperate enough to 'scream to the top of my lungs'. This is not for lack of self control, but all of us reach our breaking point. What's important is that you don't lose it to the point where you start giving in to your fears, or give up entirely on your dreams.
So, if you are one of those who starts off your day with 'Oh my God, I have a million things to do and I don't know how to begin' Then already you need to take your first break and your first step to 'de-cluttering' your mind.