Inspired by Marie Kondo — 5 Ways to Declutter Your Mind Without Exercise

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If you have a five minute conversation with me, you will soon realize that I’m not a public speaker. I have the tendency to follow my thoughts where ever they may lead me. This ability allows me to be open minded about topics of interest by looking at them in different ways in my mind. It also leads me to new ideas very quickly. I often think about my mind as a giant octopus that extends its tentacles as ideas strike.

This leads to a very cluttered mind as you can imagine. By the end of the day, my mind feels like a swamp filled with many octopus tentacle prints everywhere.

octopus running through my mind. —

I can see you say that I should breath, detach myself and just do some yoga.

Well, I’ve tried that for a few years. I had a regimen of high intensity cardio for an hour, plus 30 minutes of yoga. It helped me in my 20s and 30s to declutter my mind. Recently, however, I found a few new ways to declutter my mind throughout the day so that I don’t have to rely on that 90 minutes of exercise to detox my mind at the end of the day.

  1. Fidget while speaking

For years, I try to stop myself from shaking my legs while I have a conversation with someone. I no longer refrain from doing that. In fact, I find that fidgeting helps me with concentrating on the topic so that I do not veer off the topic as easily in my mind.

2. Taking Notes

I’ve been taking notes as I go about my day. This allows me to file away my thoughts and ideas. It also motivates me to detach from my ideas in my mind. Often, when there’s a dedicated time and place for me to think about these ideas, then I can explore them later. When I get a few minutes of quiet during the day, I take out my notes and ponder on the ideas.

3. Silence, Silence, more Silence

A long time ago, there was a TV in my house. My iphone played my favorite tunes in the car. I was constantly on the computer working or playing games. Now, there’s silence everywhere I look. I work often in total silence. I usually put on meditation music in the car. My favorite hobby is walking in the woods. But my instincts are right. All of that stimulation from media just clutters my mind with too much information. Don’t get me wrong. I still binge watch TV shows when I have the moment to process. I still play iphone music while I have dance parties with my son. In fact, I’m on social media a lot more now to publicize my blog. But, the silence during the day helps me recuperate from that bombardment of information.

4. Enjoy Repetitive Tasks

I used to hate housework. You ask me to clean a toilet and I will give you the finger. But now, I enjoy the time spent loading the dish washer, wiping down the counter or cooking a dish from the recipe. Well, maybe not entirely from recipe. But, you get the idea. Repetitive tasks actually calm my mind. They are especially useful when I’m on a work binge. When I have been out all day at a mommy group with my son, enjoying some downtime performing repetitive tasks actually feel like an emotional detox treatment.

5. Thinking or speaking of myself as a third person

A long time ago, whenever I’m uncomfortable in a situation, I would start to speak about myself as a third person: She did this last night. She wants to do this today. My friends used to make fun of me since I seem a bit strange at that moment. But, you know what. Subconsciously, I am detaching my mind from the topic that I’m thinking about intensely at that moment. That is a great way to be mindful. So, next time, if you meet me and I start to talk about myself as a third person. Just know that I don’t care if you think I’m a wierdo. I’m being mindful at that moment by detaching myself from the situation so that I can process it.

After reading this list, do you feel like making your own list of strategies to declutter your mind? Go do it. We can all be more present in our endeavors. For once, we can enjoy our workout and not feel like we need to use it to detox our mind.

Written by

Writer, Technologist: Tech|Future|Leadership (Forbes-AI, Behind the Code)

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