Mental Minimalism: Decluttering Your Mind

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There are countless blog posts, articles, listicles, and videos on the internet extolling the virtues of the minimalist life and how everyone should try downsizing. Regardless of what you think about this whole minimalism movement, it’s some pretty good advice, but it’s not why we’re here.

I don’t want to bombard you with another recycled post about why getting rid of some of stuff you don’t need is a good move. Instead, I want to focus on something similar but potentially more important. I want to talk about decluttering your mind.

You know how bad things can feel when your inbox floods with unwanted emails? Imagine how bad things can get when it’s your mind being cluttered, not your email account.

FROM TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS

Romantic or otherwise, relationships are the cornerstone of life, but they are volatile all the same. They can give you the feeling of acceptance and bring you joy, or they can isolate you and drag you down to unfathomable depths.

The nature of building a relationship with another human is that it’s not always going to be pretty. There are ups and downs but if in the uglier times both parties are willing to work together to find a solution, things will usually work out. If, however, you have a relationship that isn’t serving you, that takes more than it gives, or just flat out makes you feel lousy, it’s high time you got rid of it.

This is maybe one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but it’s also necessary. Sometimes you have to sit down across from the person you share this relationship with and tell them it isn’t working for you anymore. Will there be tears, or anger, or shock? Probably, but it’s all in the name of personal growth.

FROM STRESSES

No matter where it comes from, stress sucks. It changes the way you think, the way you act, and the way you feel, both physically and emotionally. I know it’s not so easy to just rid yourself of whatever is stressing you out, but it’s important to try to understand the cause so you can work towards mitigating it.

If work is stressing you out and disrupting your mood, it might be time to reevaluate your current work situation. That doesn’t mean you should get up and quit tomorrow, but you should try to speak to your boss to see if there is anything that can be done to lessen the stress.

If you are stressed by your current financial situation, it’s probably time to sit down and reevaluate your budget (if you don’t have a budget, maybe start there). This’ll mean cutting back on things you’ve grown accustomed to but if doing that will improve things, I think you’ll be ok not buying lunch every day.

It won’t be easy, but doing the right thing rarely is. Lean into the vulnerability and think about how this action will benefit you, not how it makes you feel.

BUT WHY?

Life is full of things that can clutter your mind and get you in a less-than-ideal headspace. There is the perception of others and social pressures, internal and external expectations, and the reality that sometimes life doesn’t play out the way you’d hoped. The fact of the matter is that all of these, combined with potentially toxic relationships and stresses fill your head with things that aren’t serving you.

Ridding yourself, and your mind, of the clutter that accumulates is vital to maintaining your happiness. It’ll be hard and it’ll be uncomfortable, but it’ll be worth it.

Until next time – what’s best for you?

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Arye

When Arye isn't helping optimize your time, he is doing his part to ensure life is full of shenanigans.