April 26, 2017

Clearing Mental Clutter

It is easier to be happy when you are not surrounded by the confusion and the clutter of life. ~David Baird

Feeling infobese lately? Overwhelmed by faux facts and truthiness? Bundles of bad news? Mental overload is easily achievable in an information age if one is not careful.

Indeed, the most dangerous clutter is not in your home - it is in your head. Mental clutter, like its material counterpart in your home, creates stress. Stress creates illness. No one likes illness.

So how does one go about clearing mental clutter? There are many ways. Here are a few that have worked for me and Linda.


"Self-reflection is the first step to decluttering because it's not about the stuff."
How about stopping the thoughts altogether? One of the main universal methods for clearing mental clutter is meditation. It can be recommended for anyone, and everyone. A few minutes each day of quite time in which one stops the constant flow of outside input, has multiple benefits.

And it is free. All you need is yourself, although a teacher can be beneficial.

Science is even in on it. Findings show that the release of catecholamines and other stress hormones are reduced and parasympathetic activity is increased while subjects are meditating. Spending time in “thoughtless awareness” enables one to dwell in the present moment rather than focus on the unchangeable past or undetermined future.

The result is the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralised while the meditator remains alert and effectively able to navigate life. Peace and compassion remain when the clutter is removed.

Music, Singing, Dancing

“When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war.”
- Confucius

When I am listening to music and dancing, or playing guitar and singing, or playing guitar, singing and dancing all at the same time, it is impossible to think about anything else. Let the music move you, and the all cares and worries slip away.

Walk in Nature

"Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes." ~Terri Guillemets

Being in nature is good for the body and soul. It is my main method for closing all the unnecessary tabs open in my brain. When I return home I feel refreshed and uplifted. My mind is still, and I can more easily focus on what is most important.

Give In To Your Creative Yearnings

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

We are all creative, despite what some mean teacher may have told you in grade school. The painting above was done when Linda decided to start exploring creativity through watercolour painting. Making art is a naturally immersive activity that replaces fear and doubt, replacing it with a pure flow experience and sense of accomplishment.

Go ahead, pick up the paint brush, or camera, or knitting needles. Cook, bake, build something. Indulge your creative urges - you can do it. It feels great.

Unclutter Something

"There is something immensely therapeutic about clearing your clutter. The reason is that while you are clearing things on an external level, there is a corresponding change going on internally too.... Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids I know to manifesting the life you want, and it is absolutely essential if you truly want to know joy and happiness in your life. "~Karen Kingston

Meditation does not have to be static. One can get into a meditative state of mind through movement. Might as well make that movement meaningful and do something that you have been putting off.

Straighten a drawer, clear out a closet, do the laundry or washing up. When you conduct your activity, do it with all your being. Remember to breathe.

Having strategies to clear mental clutter is more important than those that keep your physical possessions in check. Both can be difficult, at first, but both are worthwhile to do. An uncluttered mind is conducive to an uncluttered home, and vice versa.

Choose things that appeal most to you. The important thing is to slow down and cut out all distractions. This could mean any of the suggestions above, or a long, relaxing bath, disconnecting the phone, TV, and Internet, yelling "Stop!", sitting quietly with a kitty in you lap, or taking in deep, cleansing breaths.

You are on your way to better mental, physical and spiritual health. There is no better way of improving yourself and the world around you.

How do you clear your mental clutter?


  1. Anonymous4/26/2017

    Minimalism, running and mediation work for me. I also practice minimalism with beliefs as I have found trying to believe in culturally constructed things difficult. I take inspiration from many sources that I come across, but do not get attached to a set of beliefs and try to possess it. Life is a practice and cultivation, currently I'm working with reducing attachment to the virtual world that most people live in. It's interesting that the less attachment you have the more love and compassion there is. If people are trying to pay for expensive holidays and cars where is the energy to find love and contentment.
    I was walking in the woods the other day and took inspiration from the plants and trees. They grow, live and then return to the earth. That's really our goal and there is nothing more to it and part of time here is to be compassionate and love each other.

    1. Alex,

      When I was a kid adults would ask, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" It was hard for me to articulate my feelings back then, but basically all I wanted to do was "grow, live, then return to the earth". I wondered why that was never enough for them.

  2. Procrastination causes an open tab. Once you actually accomplish something you realize you were wasting time and energy just putting it off. Emotional clutter is a kind of mental clutter that tends to build up. Getting out of a work situation where I felt I was being treated unfairly reduced my anger level. You can waste a lot of time and energy being angry. A simple life style gives you time to deal honestly with emotions. Otherwise, people caught up in the rat race will shop, drink or eat to dull their feelings.

    1. Annie,

      Congratulations on figuring things out. Life is too short to remain in anger for longer than a few fleeting moments. Forgiveness is therefore the practice of freeing ourselves from our destructive tendencies. These are all difficult realizations to come to while preoccupied with trying to survive in The System.

  3. Anonymous4/26/2017

    Yoga is my go-to for clearing mental clutter. It also blows out the physical cobwebs and that seems to make the mind freer and happier too.


    1. Madeleine,

      There is nothing quite like starting a new day with a few Sun Salutations. Always feels great.

  4. Mindfulness practice is what keeps me calm and clear. When I get caught up in the chatter in my head, I remind myself to come back to the moment. What's happening right now in this moment? Not allowing myself to worry about what happened in the past, or what might happen in the future keeps me grounded.

    1. Marla,

      You are a sage. This is it, because there is beauty in every moment. If only we are aware enough to notice and uncover what is always waiting for us.

  5. Anonymous4/27/2017

    PS I really loved seeing Linda's painting - beautiful :-)

    Madeleine. X

    1. Madeleine,

      Linda says thank you. She has not been able to add to her portfolio for a while now, but hopes that she will be physically able to get back at it in the future.

  6. Anonymous4/27/2017

    This is one of your best posts yet, Gregg! What a wonderful way to start my Thursday. Thank you. -Erin

    1. Erin,

      You have been with us for a long time, so that is saying a lot. To date we have published 1288 posts. Thank you for your feedback. This was a fun one to write since it is so important to keep clutter cleared from the mind. One can not be free with a cluttered cranium.


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