“When enlightened Zen masters set up teachings for a spiritual path, the only concern is to clarify the mind to arrive at its source. It is complete in everyone, yet people turn away from this basic mind because of their illusions.”

Unclutter Your Mind

Foundation of all spiritual teaching is to unclutter your mind.

Your mind has a mind of its own and races around at one hundred miles an hour jumping from one thing to the next. Sometimes, the random thoughts that pop into your head are quite amusing. Sometimes, they send you straight into a panic. Most of the time, they’re of the negative and not-very-nice-to-me variety.

Four Causes of Mental Clutter

Everyday Stress

As you know all too well, modern life includes all kinds of built-in stressors. We’re all on information overload. You now receive five times as much information every day as a person did in 1986.  Most of the news coming at you is negative because those are the headlines that get attention. The cost of living is up. Employment is down. Cancer rates are skyrocketing along with the global temperatures. The list goes on and on. When all of this mind sweat is coupled with the specific worries and concerns of your own life, sleep problems, health issues, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression show up.

Too Many Choices

While the ability to choose is equated with freedom and power, it’s a paradox. Having a choice can have diminishing returns when it comes to your mental health. With stores as big as football fields and millions of options at our fingertips, we’re drowning in too many choices. Psychologist, Barry Schwartz, found that increased choice leads to greater anxiety, paralysis, indecision, and dissatisfaction. More choice does not necessarily mean more happiness.

Too Much Stuff

Our closets are full of clothes we don’t wear. Kids have to add the latest toy to their collections and then don’t touch it. The media tells us every day that we have to have this detergent or that moisturizer to make our lives better. And we buy it. Literally. We fill our homes with things we don’t need and fill our time with tweets, feeds, and updates. About every minute something is dinging or beeping at you. Science has determined that more stuff equals more stress and unhappiness and that clutter causes stress. No surprise there.

Your Brain’s Natural Negativity Bias

Your brain evolved with a prickly hypervigilance — always on the lookout, ready to sound the alarm – because it kept your ancestors alive. Your brain still has this hair-trigger reactivity, but it doesn’t do you any favors today. This negativity bias causes your brain to look for, spot, react more strongly to, and remember negative stimuli more than positive. This means that your brain is wired to worry, overthink, and have a negative slant.

Learning from the story Basic Mind: Unclutter Your Mind

Experience Learning

Clutter doesn’t have to be just physical items in your environment. A cluttered mind can include:

  • Ruminating
  • Focusing on the negative
  • Worrying about things outside of your control
  • Holding onto negative emotions and experiences, including resentment, past hurt, anger, and sadness
  • Keeping a mental to-do list, including incomplete dreams and goals
  • Having external distractions and constant sensory input

When your mind is cluttered, it wastes your time and mental energy. It also creates mental confusion, distraction, and disorganization that prevents you from creating clear priorities, making decisions, having focus, and being productive. When your mind is cluttered, you are not present, which causes you to lose connection to yourself, your environment, your relationships, and the moment you are in.

It’s time to let go of the mental habits that are keeping you from reaching your full potential. In order to build mental muscles and declutter your mind, you need to become intentional about where you place your attention and how you spend your time and energy. Only then can you unravel unhealthy thinking patterns that are keeping you stuck and your mind cluttered.

Few things will help us to declutter our mind.

Get Some Sleep

Sleep has numerous benefits, including helping with your mental state. If you are not getting enough sleep, the most common effect is sleepiness, of course, but also brain “fog” – the general inability to think straight or remember anything. According to researchers, sleep deprivation disrupts your brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other, leading to temporary mental lapses. If you want to start decluttering your mind and creating healthy habits, start by getting some restful sleep.


You’ll never be able to declutter your mind if you don’t make the time to meditate on what is actually keeping you stuck. By committing to a practice of meditation, you’ll take your mind to a place where clarity is natural and effortless. When you meditate, you’ll help reduce confusion by getting clear on your priorities, and you’ll get better at focusing your attention and reducing distraction. Take some time to practice meditation and build it into your daily routine to help you declutter your mind.

Reduce Multitasking

Humans are not multitaskers by nature. Multitasking may seem efficient on the surface, but studies have shown that multitasking actually reduces productivity and fills your mind with too much activity. Instead, go down your list of priorities and focus on one task at a time to avoid mental overload. To avoid getting lost in time, you can set a timer for how long you want to spend on any given task, to ensure you manage your time well.


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