10 Ways to Declutter Your Mind & Stop Anxiety
Are you one of those people who find that your mind is always busy and you simply can’t seem to shut it off? Are you an over-thinker that spends a huge amount of time worrying about every little thing and these thoughts are causing you anxiety and worry? If so I’m here to help you learn how to declutter your mind and stop anxiety so that you feel get time to relax and be calm.
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Ever heard of overthinking disorder? Well, it is just another name for anxiety. Anxiety causes people to dwell on negative events that have happened in their past or worry about possible situations that could occur in the future. When this occurs people:
- Have sleepless nights
- Keep on replaying embarrassing moments back in their heads
- Overanalyse situations
- Worry about things they can’t control
- Think about worse case scenarios
- Compare themselves to others negatively
The mind is doing this for a simple reason. It is trying to protect you from something bad happening. As an example when you were a child you forgot your lines in the school play. When this happened you were embarrassed and wanted the stage to swallow you up. Now your mind worries that you might make a fool of yourself in front of people again and overthinks public speaking situations to prevent you doing it again.
No matter what your brain is overthinking it is always remembering a past incident and trying to to help you avoid similar situations. The problem is that the original incident is often very small so now years later you have never connected the overthinking with this moment in time.
How to Stop Overthinking and Relax
If you suffer from overthinking then how can you declutter your mind and stop anxiety? Believe it or not, it isn’t as difficult as some people think however you do need to take some steps to make it happen. With regular practice and perseverance, it can make a big difference to your mental health.
Here are the ten best solutions to help you change those thought processes so that you can relax and let go of unhelpful thinking patterns.
Mindfulness to Declutter your Mind
Mindfulness exercises are a great way to stop overthinking because it helps you to focus on the here and now rather than thinking to the past or the future. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking is a great book to help you take control of your thoughts.
The book is designed to help you change old habits and reframe any negative thoughts. it can help you to create better goals, improve relationships and prioritise what is important to you. In addition, it talks about the benefits of meditation and focuses on deep breathing and shows you how to use it to calm yourself. This is the perfect tool for slowing down your thinking.
Stop Mind Clutter with Exercise
Exercising is a great way of getting rid of tension and clearing your head. Whether you are taking a long walk out in the country or running or cycling your thought patterns can be altered by burning off excess adrenaline and changing your focus.
If you can’t get outside then you can still take yourself away from your usual routines and do some form of exercise. Get an indoor treadmill or exercise bike and take time out to occupy your mind. Set yourself goals so that you run that little bit faster or peddle harder to use your energy elsewhere.
Ways to Declutter Your Mind Turn off Social Media
Spending too much time on social media can impact your mental health. Looking at other social feeds can cause you to compare yourself negatively to others. It can make you question why you don’t have as many likes as another person. Social media feeds can also be full of posts that scaremonger or make you worry.
When we are glued to our phones and tablets hour after hour we become immersed in a virtual world that isn’t always true. It is filled with filters, posed shots of perfectionism and half-truths. It also keeps our minds active even when they should be winding down say for sleep. Catherine Price has written a great book called How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life. Try and implement some of her tips to take a step back.
Declutter your Mind by Using a Journal
A great tool to declutter your mind and stop anxiety is using a journal. The idea of the journal is to get you to write down whatever is going on in your head and get it on paper. When we write things down it is easier to create new structures of thinking and create positive plans of action.
MYnd Map My Journal is one of the best examples on the market. This journal can help you to visualise, plan, mind map, set goals, colour and even practice gratitude. It is a great tool to help highlight what is important in your life rather than focusing on the things that don’t matter.
Stop Multi-Tasking to Clear a Cluttered Mind
Trying to do too much is a great way of stressing yourself out and creating anxiety. So many of my clients are trying to juggle their homes, their families, exercise classes, baking, clubs, study and hobbies and more. By the end of the day not only are they frazzled and lacking energy their minds are a whirlwind of activity as they are constantly trying to pack more into every waking hour.
I hate to break it to you but you can’t do it all. By trying to do too much at once you create other problems. Your sleep starts to suffer, your immune system is lower and you are tired and irritable. Something has to give. Take a long hard look at your life and start to concentrate on only a few things at a time. So perhaps exercise twice a week instead of five times. Give up being the treasurer of your local society and claw back some me time. This is not dead time it is so important for your physical and mental well-being.
Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety and Stress Reduction
Have you ever tried self-hypnosis for anxiety and stress reduction? It is one of the quickest and simplest way to learn to switch off. I give all my clients a self-hypnosis download for relaxation or anxiety and after just a few listens most of my clients have completely zoned out from their day to day stresses. It is such a simple and non-expensive way to look after your health. Simply use my guided meditation to declutter your mind and see the difference it can make in such a short time.
Get Organised to Empty Your Mind
A tidy house is a tidy mind says the saying and this is so true when it comes to the art of decluttering your mind. Nobody is going to be able to think straight when they are worried about:
- The Ironing
- The Washing
- House Projects
- Messy Cupboards
- Chaotic Rooms
- A Huge To-Do List
Why do you think home organisation books and people like Mrs Hinch have become so popular? People are waking up to the fact that having a good cleaning and tidying routine can help their mental health. There is a sense of satisfaction when everything has a place and you are not firefighting all the time. Resolve to tackle those chores and projects and stay on top of them so you are not constantly worrying about what to do next.
Overthinking at Night & Sleep
If you are one of the overthinkers who finds it hard to switch off at night and get a good nights sleep then you need to start to look at your lifestyle and routines. I find that many of my insomnia clients have similar problems:
- They bring homework with them
- They use social media late into the evening
- They have televisions in the bedroom
- They go to bed really early
Changing lifestyle habits can make a huge difference to overthinking at night. Always go to bed later, and I mean much later, no matter how tired you think you are. Switch off tablets and phones at least two to three hours before bedtime. Don’t bring your work home with you or if you have to do something do it early in the evening so your mind has time to switch off.
Also, listen to a guided meditation for sleep to help you relax. This can help you to turn off your overthinking brain so that it is lulled into a deep sleep.
Use Mind Clearing Exercises – Learn to Breathe
Ok, of course, you have been breathing all your life but learning to slow down your breathing can make a big difference to anxiety and feelings of panic. When you are more anxious it is well known that your breathing can become more rapid and shallow preventing air from getting into the bottom of your lungs. This is part of the reason why people can hyperventilate. The trick is to learn how to alter your breathing to increase feelings of calm.
A great technique to change this is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Simply breathe out as much as you can and then slowly breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this until you are feeling calmer.
- empty the lungs of air.
- breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
Therapy for Overthinking
Finally one of the best ways to declutter your mind and stop anxiety is to see a therapist. Why is this so useful? Well, the problem for many of our clients is that they can’t quite put their find on what is causing their overthinking. They practice all the techniques but for some, that isn’t enough and the problem continues. This is where one to one therapy can help because a therapist can help you to see the bigger picture.
When we understand exactly why and where our problems are coming from it can be so much easier to rationalise and create positive changes. The most profound alterations in my clients worry and anxiety happens when they fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together and realise why their brain has been keeping them busy. That understanding is often enough for the problem just to vanish as quickly as it started.
Would you like help to declutter your mind? Simply fill out the form below to arrange a personal program to help you feel calmer and more in control. I currently run my anxiety program worldwide using online therapy so no matter where you live I can help.
Tracking Your Anxiety – Bonus
We had to sneak in one additional way of helping your anxiety and that is learning what your actual triggers are. Many people don’t realise that certain situations, people or locations are problematic for them. Discovering what is creating the problem and challenging it can help to change unhelpful thoughts.
We have created an anxiety tracker printable for you to use to help you work out what might be behind your anxiety. It consists of 8 worksheets to help address the triggers as well as suggestions and affirmations to question old outdated thought patterns. Purchase the templates in our online store.
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