Mental Health Crisis
In our previous blog post, we talked about the benefits of spring cleaning and decluttering your home and workspace. But, did you know that you can also spring clean and declutter your mind? Mental health experts say that the arrival of spring can serve as a natural point to take stock of our mental well-being and reconnect with the things that bring us purpose and joy, offering our brains a respite when possible.
Decluttering your mind and focusing on your mental health is more important this year than ever. According to polls conducted for the American Psychological Association, our nation’s mental health crisis is only continuing as we all deal with the prolonged pandemic and its effects on our daily lives in addition to new stressors such as inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and overall global uncertainty.
How to Declutter Your Mind
Paul Napper, a psychology consultant to business leaders and co-author of “The Power of Agency: The 7 Principles to Conquer Obstacles, Make Effective Decisions, and Create a Life on Your Own Terms,” explains that the first step to decluttering your mind is to recognize that you have a choice. Every day you get to make a decision about how we spend our time and how we handle situations. When those choices are in line with our values, interests and passions, we create a clear, more focused mind. Listed below are additional steps you can take to declutter your mind:
- Practice Mindfulness: Often times when we feel stressed, anxious or notice our minds racing, it’s because we are thinking about something in the past or future. Take a few moments to center yourself and focus on the present moment. The best way to do this is to notice sensations in your body, such as your breath, the feeling of the ground on your feet, the wind on your skin, etc. Remember to be compassionate with yourself and approach mindfulness with curiosity, openness and forgiveness to ensure you receive all the stress relieving benefits.
- Journaling: We’ve talked about gratitude journaling, but for the purpose of spring cleaning and decluttering your brain, we’d like to suggest the Bullet Journaling System. This way of journaling has you track the past, order the present and design the future so that you can evaluate how you are investing your time and energy and then decide whether those things are worth it. Learn more about this method here!
- Social Media Cleanse: Social media has become the new news source for many people. However, these platforms are overcrowded with a lot of misinformation that can cause stress and anxiety. Instead, choose one or two reliable news sources and check those once a day at a specific time. In addition, now is a great time to go through all your social media accounts and unfollow or remove what is not serving a purpose or bringing you joy. To learn more about mindful social media use, visit our blog or check out Digital Minimalism.
To learn more about decluttering your mind, check out this recent article in theNew York Times or visit Harvard Health.