Do you experience a lot of mental clutter and overwhelm? Here are 12 ways to clear your mind.
Sometimes, I have those days when I just don’t feel motivated. I don’t feel focused. I don’t feel… like myself.
My thoughts race, and I get stuck in my head instead of focusing on the task at hand. Needless worry overcomes me. When I think too much and feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s often because I’m experiencing mental clutter.
Mental clutter can steal your joy. I’ve learned that firsthand. When I was in high school, I lived in my head. I was quiet, I didn’t have a lot of friends, and I spent much of my time thinking to myself.
Then, I went to college, and I came out of my shell more. I became more outgoing and intentional with my life. Instead of being alone with my thoughts. I made friends, went to parties, and did a few slightly crazy things, of course.
Now, as an adult, I try to eliminate mental clutter as much as possible. After all, it’s useless. It doesn’t help my productivity. It doesn’t help me improve as a person. It’s just dead weight that holds me back in life.
So, how do you get rid of that pesky mental clutter in your head? I decided to make a list of things that have personally worked for me. If you can relate to my experiences with mental clutter, I hope this post helps you.
Here are 12 ways to clear your mind and eliminate mental clutter:
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1. Focus on the present.
If you ground yourself in the present moment, you can distract yourself from the worry caused by mental clutter. Mindfulness exercises will help you focus on what’s happening right in front of you.
A quick meditation session is an example of one of the simplest mindfulness exercises you can do. It doesn’t require anything but 10 to 15 minutes of your time.
You can meditate in the morning, before bed, in the middle of the day… whenever it will be most beneficial for you.
If meditation isn’t your thing, try repeating an affirmation to yourself. Something like, “I am focused on the present moment and nothing else.”
Affirming your focus will pull you away from the mental clutter and bring your concentration back to the task at hand.
2. Get some exercise.
I always feel better after a workout, even if it’s just a quick session.
Lately, I’ve been starting each day with a chill 2-mile walk. I take about 40 to 60 minutes to complete it, so I’m not really power walking. I just like to start my day by moving my body gently and enjoying some time outdoors.
While I’m strolling, I use the time to think. I spend most of my day focused on my to-do list, so my walk outdoors is the only time I have to think deeply about things.
However, I believe that deep thinking time is crucial because it allows me to be alone with my thoughts for a bit.
After I return from the walk, I’ll usually either lift weights or do more cardio to fit a more rigorous workout into my day. But I’ve noticed that even the walk by itself lifts my mood and makes me feel more relaxed.
3. Organize and declutter stuff.
Cleaning, organizing, and decluttering are tasks that don’t require a whole lot of brainpower, so I like to do them when I can’t focus on anything else.
If my mind is super cluttered, I actually find cleaning therapeutic. It makes me feel like I’m being productive without putting in a lot of effort.
4. Plan out your schedule.
Planning is another task that’s soothing for me, but I think that’s because I’m the type of person who likes to stick to a plan. I always want to know what’s going to happen next. If I don’t have a plan, I get stressed.
Especially if your mental clutter is caused by a chaotic schedule, you should sit down and plan out your whole month to the best of your ability.
Once you write down everything you have to do, you’ll be able to visualize your schedule, and you’ll have a better understanding of what the near future will look like for you.
5. Write in a journal.
Don’t keep all those worrisome thoughts bottled up! Start a journal and just write it all out. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal lately, and I’ve seen a significant improvement in my mindset since I started.
You can free write your thoughts onto the paper, or you can use prompts to guide your writing.
If you want some prompts to get you started, check these out:
- 55 Gratitude Journal Prompts for Positive Thinking
- 25 Journal Prompts for Self-Care and Self-Love
- 125 Journal Prompts for Personal Growth
- 10 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection
6. Read a book.
When is the last time you sat down and read a good book?
I believe reading for pleasure is a lost art. The 21st-century world moves so quickly that many people don’t make time to read for fun anymore.
But if you’re experiencing mental clutter, getting lost in a great book might be the distraction you need!
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7. Talk to a friend.
I don’t often talk about my thoughts and feelings to my family and friends. (That’s something I need to work on!)
But the truth is that when I feel overwhelmed, sometimes I just need to talk it out. I don’t need advice or help with anything per se. I just need someone to listen to me while I vent.
So, if your mental clutter is too much to keep inside your head, talk to a supportive friend who’s willing to listen to your ramblings. I bet you’ll feel a lot better once you get all that clutter out!
8. Watch a funny movie.
I don’t know who said this originally, but I’ve heard it a million times: “Laughter is the best medicine.”
If your mind is racing and your heart feels heavy, just get on Netflix and put on a funny movie, a comedy show, or anything that will make you laugh. Even when everything sucks, you can enjoy the lighthearted things in life.
9. Color in an adult coloring book.
You can color inside the lines, or you can be a little rebellious and draw outside them. Your choice!
There are plenty of adult coloring books out there that will help you relax, focus, and blow off some steam. If you want to try an adult coloring book, here are a few you should check out:
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Designs
- 100 Amazing Patterns Adult Coloring Book
- Drinking Animals Coloring Book
10. Engage in a hobby or creative project.
Creative activities are some of my favorite stress relievers. In the past, I’ve turned to bad habits to deal with stress and mental clutter… bad habits like binge eating, drinking often, and not taking care of my body.
Now, whenever I’m feeling stressed out, I try to focus my energy on something creative. This blog is my favorite project to work on, but you should take on a creative project that you feel personally interested in!
Don’t know which creative hobby to try? Check out these posts for inspiration:
- 35 Creative Hobbies to Try
- 25 Creative Hobbies That Make Money
- How to Practice Self-Care with Creative Hobbies
11. Practice self-care.
Sometimes, the feeling of burnout causes my mental clutter. When I’ve overworked myself to the point of exhaustion, negative thoughts creep in.
Self-care is one of the best remedies for burnout. I write about self-care all the time on this blog because it’s become an important part of my life in the last year or so.
Want to learn how you can benefit from self-care? Read these posts:
- 60 Easy Self-Care Ideas for Everyday Life
- 30 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Under 30 Minutes
- How to Plan the Perfect Self-Care Day
- How to Build Your Own Self-Care Routine
- 31 Self-Care Kit Ideas for Physical and Mental Wellness
- 25 Relaxing Self-Care Sunday Ideas
- How to Practice Self-Care with Creative Hobbies
12. Go to sleep!
If nothing else works for you, just get some rest. I always have renewed energy, both physically and spiritually, when I wake up in the morning.
My mind is clearest around 5 or 6 a.m., when the rest of the world is barely waking up. I like getting up early so I can have some mindful time to myself in the morning.
If you’re struggling to find time to clear your mind every day, I suggest you set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally would wake up.
Find a mindful, but intentional activity to fill that extra hour with. You could write in a journal, meditate, or start a new morning self-care routine. Do something that will give you the mental clarity you need to make it through the day.