Those who can deal with a cluttered mind when under pressure have a better chance of making progress.
Knowing how to have a clear mind is necessary if we want to operate at a high level. Whenever we feel we have a cluttered mind, it affects our ability to make good decisions.
What is a Cluttered Mind?
A cluttered mind is the opposite of a calm, focused mind. When we have a cluttered mind, we’ll:
- Experience confusion and uncertainty.
- Have a lot of mental chatter.
- Be indecisive.
- Make poor choices affecting our health and relationships.
- Not keep our agreements and break our commitments.
Causes of a Cluttered Mind
Things that can cause us to have a cluttered mind include:
- Influenced by the opinions of other people.
- Stress or pressure.
- Bad diet.
- Lack of sleep.
- Too many things going on with no prioritisation criteria.
- Lack of exercise and self-care.
- Having a medical condition.
- Being on medication.
Having ways to deal with a cluttered mind will help us ease stress or pressure and handle our responsibilities well.
Recently, a top priority has been my health and well-being. The changes I made initially included exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep every night.
In three years, I reduced my body weight and felt a lot better than I had in recent years. However, my weight plateaued. Not matter how much I exercised, I couldn’t reduce my weight.
This caused a lot of frustration because I was putting in a lot of effort for no reward. I researched online and learned about diets or lifestyle choices people had made. The more I researched, the more confused I became because there were a lot of conflicting ideas.
It overloaded my mind with information and resulted in mental clutter. I found everything so confusing that I changed nothing about what I was already doing. I continued with the same exercises and eating habits. My weight and fitness level did not change.
A few months later, I read an article from a mentor of mine, who shared changes he had made to his lifestyle. He shared a plan he followed and also recommended two resources.
I decided to do something similar for three months and if I saw improvements, I would continue with it. The changes I made were:
- Reduce my intake of carbs.
- Eliminate as much sugar as I could.
- Reduce the amount of dairy I was having.
- Not eat anything between meals.
- Make sleep a priority again.
- Add more intensity when exercising.
The first couple of weeks were challenging as I had to create a meal plan, which I hadn’t done previously. I got hungry easily and wanted to eat between meals. However, I maintained my commitment and struggled my way through it.
In the first three months, my body weight reduced more than it had done in the previous 12-18 months. That was a big surprise! Seeing the changes I had experienced spurred me on to maintain the changes I had made.
Now, in just over five months, my body weight has reduced by an additional 10%. I’m on track to reach my goal within three months.
By clearing my mind and not having mental clutter, I made a better, informed decision.
5 Things You Can Do to Deal With a Cluttered Mind
There are things that will help us have a clear mind and be at our best. Here are five things you can do to deal with a cluttered mind whenever you’re under pressure or experiencing stress.
- Monitor your current inputs. If we have a cluttered mind, we have to stop first before we can make changes. We have to know where the source of the clutter is. One action we can take is to reduce our digital consumption. We should only take in input that will get us closer to where we want to be.
- Remove clutter from your physical environment. A cluttered mind will usually cause a messy environment. Removing clutter from our environment is one quick way to have a clear mind. Clutter is usually blocked energy. When we eliminate clutter, we allow energy to flow easily again.
- Systematise or automate things. If we’re doing a lot of things, it uses up energy. The more things we have to do, the more energy will be required. If we systematise or automate things, that means we’re not doing as many things ourselves. This also frees up energy, which we can redirect to different things.
- Stop taking on new obligations without clearing the slate. Most of us have busy lives. This means we already have many things to do. We don’t need more things to do. If we will take on more things, we have to reduce or eliminate things first. Learning how to say “no” and being comfortable with our decisions will help us a lot.
- Process your emotions. Sometimes, we have to laugh at ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. If we allow ourselves to be tense, that will generate more stress. We have to process our emotions and release them. We can notice what’s coming up for us and the meaning we’re giving to it.
Knowing the causes of mental clutter and having ways to clear our minds is beneficial. If we can deal with a cluttered mind, we’ll continue making progress towards what we want. If we don’t, it will lead to chaos, which will show up as bad choices and decisions.
Action Step: Review your goals and identify your inputs regarding achieving those goals. Evaluate whether your inputs are causing you to have a clear or cluttered mind. Make any changes required to get you to where you want to be.
Question: What are more ways to deal with a cluttered mind when under pressure?