This is the time of year when we do a little spring cleaning to sweep away the dirt that collects over the winter months. With the sun higher in the sky, it’s easier to see the grime on the windows that we didn’t notice with overcast skies. Until we stop for a minute and take a look around we don’t see what’s piled up.
Now’s a good time to give your mind a clean sweep too.
Just like your house, your mind gets cluttered up with the grime of daily living. It needs a clearing out too. Unlike spring cleaning your house, it doesn’t take a lot to refresh your mind. It only takes a few minutes to perk yourself up.
Give these simple strategies a try:
Take a break
Your mind is cluttered up with to-do lists, problems to solve and general information overload. Take a five minute break from all of it. This is not a break so you can check your phone or email. I’m talking about a total pause from everything. It might be harder than it sounds.We’ve become so accustomed to filling every moment of our day that doing nothing feels uncomfortable. Go on...take a “do nothing” pause for a few minutes. Click To Tweet
We’ve become so accustomed to filling every moment of our day that doing nothing feels uncomfortable. But taking a “do nothing” pause actually lets your brain power down for a few moments and that’s a good thing.
Allow yourself to sit or walk without having to think about the next thing you have to do. The trick to this is simply giving yourself permission to do it. Think of it as a temporary “no info zone”.
Do a mini meditation
There’s nothing mystical about meditation. While there are many meditation techniques, one simple way is to just be present in the moment and notice the thoughts that are crossing your mind and then let them go. It’s a great tool for discovering exactly how cluttered up your mind is.
Thoughts are not facts or instructions. They are simply thoughts. If you don’t focus on them, they actually pass on by like clouds in the sky.
Sit in a comfortable position and notice the chatter in your head and how your body is feeling. With each thought, breathe out and say to yourself, “Just a thought. Let it pass on by.” Try it for five minutes.
Breathing is like opening the windows and letting the fresh air in. Try it right now by pausing and taking 3 conscious breaths. Just bring your attention to the fact that you are breathing. Notice the air flowing into your nostrils as you inhale. Notice the pause that happens before you feel ready to exhale. Then notice the air flowing out of your nostrils as you exhale. Notice that there is another little pause before you inhale again. That’s one conscious breath. Try 3 in a row.
You can use a cue like entering a room, or getting into your car, or waiting for an elevator as your signal to stop for a minute and take 3 conscious breaths. It’s a great tool. While you are focusing on your breathing, you can’t be focusing on a bunch of other stuff. As an added bonus, it sends a signal to your body to relax.
If you stay on top of cleaning your house all year long, it makes spring cleaning much less of an ordeal. The same is true for decluttering your mind.
Just curious…what is your favourite way to give your mind a clean sweep? Post a comment and share your best strategy.