Mental Minimalism: 3 Ways To Declutter Your Mind

Learn how to declutter your mind

I am going to go out on a limb and say none of us wake up in the morning thinking, "Oh boy, I can't wait to feel overwhelmed and stressed today!" No, we want to be happy and free from self-doubt and negativity. But, alas, our minds have a mind of their own (pun intended) and they fill up with all sorts of unnecessary thoughts, creating what I like to call mental drama.

That's where the concept of mental minimalism comes in. Just like we declutter our physical space, we need to declutter our minds. By practicing mental minimalism, we can clear up all that excess waste and overthinking, and finally live a truly happy and fulfilled life.

Edit Your Story

You know those moments when you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated? Yeah, those are clear signs that you're thinking is not minimal at all. 

Let's acknowledge that overwhelm is a big red flag that your mind is cluttered with unnecessary thoughts. It's like a neon sign screaming, "Hey, you're not thinking minimally right now!" So, when you start feeling that way, pay attention and get ready to take action.

You know when you make up stories in your head? These stories are the root cause of our stress and frustration. It's not the events or reality that are causing us trouble; it's the stories we believe about them. Our minds are experts at spinning tales and adding unnecessary drama to our lives. It's time to put an end to that.

So, here's what you need to do: grab a pen and a piece of paper. When you're feeling overwhelmed, start writing down everything that's going on in your head. Don't hold back. Let it all out. Get those thoughts out of your mind and onto the paper.

Do not filter your thoughts. Write down every single thought, no matter how ridiculous or irrational it may seem. This is not the time for judgment. Just let it flow.

Once you've written everything down, it's time to put on your editing hat. Take a look at what you've written and start crossing out anything that you can't know to be true. Say goodbye to those unverifiable beliefs and judgments. They have no place in a minimal mindset.

Now that you've crossed out the unverifiable, focus on what you do know for sure. Identify the facts, the concrete details that you can rely on. Strip away the unnecessary fluff and reduce the story to its essentials.

Once you've edited your story, you'll be amazed at how much clarity you have gained. You'll see the situation for what it truly is, without all the added drama. And with that clarity comes the power to make decisions and take action in a minimal mindset.

This Means That

Now, we all know how simple events can trigger excessive thinking in our minds. Someone doesn't say hello, and suddenly we're jumping to conclusions and creating unnecessary stress. 

Let's face it, we're all guilty of it. Someone walks by us without acknowledging our existence, and we immediately assume they're rude or don't like us. We start imagining all sorts of scenarios and stories based on a simple event. And before we know it, we're drowning in a sea of stress and overthinking.

It's amazing how our minds can take the most innocent of events and turn them into dramas worthy of an Oscar. A coworker doesn't say hello, and suddenly we're convinced they think they're better than us or that we've done something to offend them. Our minds love to add unnecessary layers of complexity to simple events, and it's time to put an end to that.

Instead of immediately jumping to conclusions, we're going to separate the event from our interpretation of it. We're going to question the validity of our beliefs and assumptions and reclaim our mental clarity.

So, grab a pen and a piece of paper (or open a blank document on your computer) and get ready to do some mental decluttering. Write down the event that triggered your excessive thinking. Maybe it's that coworker not saying hello or a friend canceling plans last minute. Whatever it is, get it down on paper.

Now, it's time to dig deeper. In a separate column, write down everything that your mind says that event means. Is it really true that the coworker is rude or that your friend doesn't value your time? Challenge those beliefs and ask yourself if there's any evidence to support them.

As you go through, you'll start to realize that most of the beliefs we attach to events are just assumptions. They're not based on facts or reality. They're simply stories we make up in our heads. By separating reality from assumptions, we can free ourselves from unnecessary stress and mental clutter.

Once you've gone through the process of separating the event from its interpretation, you'll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. You'll reclaim your mental clarity and see the situation for what it truly is - a simple event, nothing more. And with that mental clarity comes the ability to think minimally and make decisions without the added drama.

To Be Determined

TBD is all about embracing the unknown and letting go of the need for certainty. In our minds, we often have this insatiable desire to know everything, to have all the answers, and to control every outcome. But let me tell you, my friends, that's just not realistic.

Life is full of uncertainties, surprises, and unexpected twists and turns. And instead of resisting them and fighting against them, we can choose to embrace them and go with the flow. By practicing TBD, we can release the mental clutter that comes with trying to control everything and find peace in the uncertainty.

When we embrace the unknown, we open ourselves up to endless possibilities and opportunities. We allow ourselves to be curious, to explore, and to learn. We let go of the need for everything to be perfect or to go according to plan.

One of the biggest sources of mental clutter is our constant need for certainty. We want to know how everything will turn out, we want guarantees, and we want to eliminate any possibility of failure or disappointment. But let me tell you a little secret: certainty is an illusion.

Instead of trying to control every aspect of our lives, we can choose to be flexible and adaptable. We can learn to go with the flow, to adjust our plans when necessary, and to find joy in the unexpected. By doing so, we not only reduce mental clutter, but we also become more resilient and better equipped to handle whatever life throws at us.

It's all about shifting our mindset and embracing the beauty of the unknown. We can start by letting go of the need for certainty, by being open to new experiences, and by reframing uncertainty as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Practicing TBD also involves living in the present moment. When we focus on the here and now, we free ourselves from the worries and anxieties of the future. We can fully experience and appreciate what is happening right in front of us, without getting caught up in what might or might not happen.

Final Words

Let's remember that our minds can become cluttered with unnecessary thoughts and excessive thinking. This mental clutter leads to stress, overwhelm, and negativity, which nobody wants in their lives. By practicing mental minimalism, we can declutter our minds and experience a happier and more fulfilled life.

By incorporating mental minimalism into our daily lives, we have the potential to experience a profound shift in our thinking. We can let go of the need for certainty and control, embrace flexibility and adaptability, and find peace in the uncertainty of life.

Remember, mental minimalism doesn't stop at decluttering our thoughts. It's about embracing minimalism in all areas of our lives, beyond just physical possessions. It's about simplifying, prioritizing what truly matters, and living with intention.

Are you someone that overthinks a lot and causes you a lot of mental stress? Do you have any tips to deal with it?

Let me know in the comments or connect with me on Twitter.