Purging Mental Clutter
“The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself and the most significant things you say all day are those things you say to yourself.”
I’ve been on a kick for a couple of weeks now. Purging, minimizing, getting rid of clutter. The whole thought process began as we emptied the outbuildings at my husband’s boyhood home. His folks had lived there for over 68 years. Do you know what happens when you combine many years of accumulating with ample storage? Too much stuff. Sedimentary layers of stuff. Stuff that seemed worth hanging on to at the time. And who put a bunch of the stuff there? Right. We did.
The value of stuff is revealed when it needs to be moved. It would be so smart if we would stop and think about that before we add another thing to storage. Too often we let things accumulate until we are forced to take action. The result is the very things we hung on to have now become a millstone around our neck. Ugh.
Our brain, the ultimate spot for storing junk
I called it being slapped by a metaphor. I realized it’s exactly the same thing with our mind. Junk accumulates. We hold onto thoughts that are not only worthless but harmful. Toxic. Just like we haul off trash when we clean up a garage or storage shed, we need to dejunk our thinking and get rid of mental clutter. We put those thoughts into our mind and we can start removing them as well.
Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some great resources for simplifying life and creating more peace in your inner thought world. There are so many schools of thought on this process but I promise it is worth the effort to try some different techniques.
Three simple steps to purging mental clutter
Stop. Learn to spot when a thought is toxic and false. This can be as simple as a tiny pause to ask yourself if it is true. So you forgot to make your credit card payment on the due date. Does that really mean you are stupid and irresponsible? Will you really end up with your credit destroyed and end up homeless? Beating yourself up over something like that can escalate into a volcano of poisonous internal self-talk. The right answer is you forgot. You are human.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love” ~Brene Brown
Teach yourself a healing phrase or mantra to repeat. Before you go off the deep end, stop and talk to yourself like you would if you were trying to calm someone else. Tell yourself something like “it’s going to be ok” or “things usually end up better than I fear” or “wait a minute, this is just a toxic thought, I need to think again.” Again, learn to insert a space between what happens to you and what you do next.
Breathe. Take a deep cleansing breath. When we get upset with ourself, the natural tendency is to take shallow breaths and sometimes even unconsciously hold our breath. Deep breaths will calm and slow you down. Notice your breath the next time you’re upset or angry. Breathe! The difference will surprise you.
Peace and calm is an inside (your head) job
The process of de-toxing our thoughts is the work of a lifetime. Happily, there is a huge movement toward self-kindness and there is an abundance of resources! Bullying is a hot topic and sometimes the worst bully in our life is the man or woman in our mirror. I’ll be talking about this more over the next several posts. I’d love to hear about the positive self-talk that works for you!
See you Monday!!