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Throwing Away Mind Muck - Making Room for Mind Magnificence

Updated on September 21, 2012

Everybody knows that throwing out old junk around the house and maybe even making a few extra bucks for it, is nothing but freeing and invigorating. When we take the time to finally buckle down to get rid of the old Tupperware lids, polyester pants, and old Miller Light pony bottles, we feel lighter, liberated, and more importantly, we give ourselves more room to gather more stuff!

The mind or that big spongy thing floating around in our head, is also full of old junk that would do us all a world of good to take some time to do a little housecleaning. Like, remember that old boss that stole your idea, or how about that dog that bit you when you were 9, or the old girlfriend that told all your “cool” friends your secret about how you still like to sleep with your teddy bear. Every once in a while these old memories pop up and frankly don’t feel much better than they did the first time you had them. Just think, most people have around 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. And some people estimate that up to 70% to 80% of these thoughts are negative. Where do we put these? Many just fall through, but many of them don’t – they hang around and over time begin to define or support our beliefs and our experiences.

The ideas, thoughts, and memories that we store that could potentially set off a mini volcanic eruption in our mind and body are always bouncing around in our heads just waiting for a trigger to be pulled. Why would we keep hanging on to these old moldy and potentially toxic thoughts? The fact is, that the longer we hold on to some of these harmful thoughts, the more exaggerated they become in our minds, adding to the likelihood that it could impact “other” thoughts and feeling that we have.

But how do we get rid of the ancient time bombs? Just like cleaning out our houses and garages, there are several steps we can take to hold up these “thought” items for inspection and determine if they still serve us. Then we decide if they go to the throw away pile and we can release them for good, or if we have some reason why we feel we need to keep holding on to them. Thoughts and what we do with them are always a choice, and keeping around old rotten thoughts in our head is really no different than keeping around old moth eaten clothes in our attics. They just keep nagging us until we do something about them. The first step in getting rid of them both, is deciding to do it.

Here are some other steps we can take to focus on clearing up our mental clutter and making room for some new windows of opportunity for the mind.

  • Don’t be afraid of the old scary and hurtful thoughts left hanging out in your head. You already know how they felt the first time, so there is nothing more that these thoughts can do to you. Hold these poisonous thoughts up for inspection and call them what they are – the past and vapor.
  • If you have a couple really stubborn harmful thoughts, take some time to consider why this thought pops up every now and then and describe the results of thinking them. Guilt, hurt, anger, resentment, fear? Now, ask yourself the following questions, after you re-experienced the thought and the attached emotion:
  1. Did thinking and feeling this thought change anything for the better for me or anyone else?
  2. Did thinking and feeling this thought make the best us of my time?
  3. Am I ready to finally get rid of this thought and all the feelings I have attached to it?
  4. How would it be to not ever have to think this thought again?
  • Take the words “would have”, “should have”, “could have” and “if only” out of your vocabulary – completely
  • Create an acute sense of awareness to where you place your attention on your thoughts. Develop some practices in your life that help you do this, like reminders throughout the day to remind you to think about what you are thinking about, or place symbols around you to remind you to pull your awareness into the foreground of your mind, or just stop as many times as you can throughout the day and place your attention to your thoughts.
  • Fill your mind with an opposite thought. For example, you cannot be happy and sad at the same time. If your thoughts decline to past hurts or frustrations, lift up your thoughts with a joke, a funny story, or something else that makes you happy. You will need to go back to address the thought that caused the aggravation in the first place once you have re-grounded yourself.
  • Develop new practices in your life that enhance mindfulness (an open and receptive attention to and awareness of what is occurring in the present moment), and open mindedness. Some options are meditation, nature walks, running, yoga, Tai chi, or Qigong.

Making room for new expansive thoughts is a rejuvenating experience. Whether you believe in a strong spiritual presence in your life or not, the more thoughts we eliminate about our past experiences that may have ever caused us suffering, the more pure our consciousness becomes, which is a state of mind that touches the spiritual aspects of the self. It is quite possible that the removing of negative thinking or persistent damaging mental images of ourselves could redirect many areas of our lives, including increased creativity, new perspective on our lives, our relationships, or our purpose and passions. There is no limitation to what changes might be possible when we clean out the cobwebs of the mind.

Nice to Meet You!

Joleen (Bridges) Halloran is the author ofFinding Home - Breaking Free from Limits. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in the topics of personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unlimited freedom. .

Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books related to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website, Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well.


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    • catmalone profile image

      catmalone 5 years ago

      Very nice hub! You are so right many of us go around with a lot of extra pent up baggage in our mind. Just like we do our yearly spring cleaning in our home, we need to do the same with our mind. This will allow us to think clearer and become more creative. Thanks for the reminder.

    • joleenbridges profile image

      Joleen 5 years ago from Lee's Summit

      Thank you!

    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 5 years ago from Virginia

      What a great article! I agree that our heads have the tendency to get clogged with "junk" ultimately leading to a state of anxiety.