Physically, decluttering involves getting rid of unnecessary things, such as unused clothes crowding a closet, to tidying up a room or area. However, mental decluterring is a whole other mission. Even though you can’t see the effects of decluttering your mind as quickly as you can with a room or space, you can feel the change within.
Working on the stuff around you is less challenging than working on the stuff within you. That said, to reduce stress and live healthier, happier lives, working on both the outside and the inside are important.
We are really good at holding on to things. We hold on to our thoughts, to what other people have said to us, to what’s happened to us and to our fear and concern about what may happen to us, or what other people may think of us. These thoughts get layered with emotions of guilt, failed expectations, disappointments and a whole lot of sadness. And we continue to store these emotions within us.
Eventually, it adds to a lot of weight that we carry around with us all the time.
Here’s one simple way to declutter your mind and heart. It’s not the only way but it is a good place to start. Try this right before you go to sleep. Write down what’s on your mind and heart. It can be happy things, sad things, heavy things or light things. Write them all down and promise to revisit the list when you wake up. This promise gives your mind permission to let go overnight.
When you wake up, honor your promise and review your list. Is there an action you can take to resolve anything on the list? If there is, take it. If there isn’t, let go. Symbolically let go of everything on the list when you let go of the list itself.
Each night, make a new list. You might repeat something from the night before and that’s okay. Continue the process of writing everything down, making a promise to revisit in the morning, and then taking action when you wake up.
Over time, you’ll notice that some of your worries begin to fade, or you take action to resolve them or forget about them completely. You’ll begin to notice that it’s not worth holding on to things you have no control over.