When we think about minimalism and how we can apply it to our lives, we usually focus on how to simplify our physical belongings.
We take steps to declutter our homes, from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom.
We go through everything including sentimental items and stacks of paper.
But we sometimes forget that minimalism isn’t only about decluttering our homes.
It goes far beyond that, which makes it such a wonderful and life-changing lifestyle!
You can apply it to your relationships, your finances, your schedule, and many more.
One of my favorite ways to practice minimalist living is through mental minimalism.
Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to simplify everything in my life, and this has included decluttering my mind whenever I can.
Even though I cannot say that I never feel sad, overwhelmed or stressed, mental minimalism has greatly improved my mental health.
It has helped me have a clearer, calmer mind.
In this blog post, I’m sharing with you my best 14 tips you can use to declutter your mind!
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What is mental minimalism & why you should regularly declutter your mind
For me, mental minimalism is all about being intentional and selective with our thoughts and what we allow into our minds.
Just like we love curating our physical belongings in our homes, we can choose which thoughts and memories to keep in our minds.
We can decide which thoughts are useful and contribute to our goals and happiness, and eliminate (or limit) all the others.
We can also find ways to worry less, structure our ideas, protect our mental space from external stimuli, and get rid of intrusive thoughts.
If we do not voluntarily take steps to declutter our minds, our negative thoughts, emotions and memories can take over and prevent us from living a happy life.
Even though we don’t physically see them, they can be a big source of clutter in our lives.
They can make us feel incredibly tired, sad, and overwhelmed.
Getting rid of them is not as easy as taking them and putting them in the trash can or driving them to the donation center.
But there are certain rituals, habits and things we can do to achieve mental minimalism and declutter our minds.
The following tips will help you find more peace and calm in your mind!
14 brilliant tips to declutter your mind & achieve mental minimalism
1. Spend time offline
In our modern world, most of us spend at least a few hours a day online, whether that’s because we work on a computer or relax scrolling on social media.
However, constantly being on the internet can make us feel disconnected and lonely, and impact our mental health.
It can also negatively affect our mood and increase the likelihood of suffering from depression.
Spending too much time online also takes us away from doing things that matter more to us.
So try to limit your internet usage and make sure to live in the real world as much as you can.
To learn more, make sure to check my best digital minimalism tips!
2. Do the things you’ve been putting off
One of the things that clutter up my mind the most are things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while but somehow have not managed to do yet.
These tasks are a true burden; they’re always on our minds and we know we should be doing them instead of putting them off.
To declutter your mind, stop procrastinating and schedule some time to finally do the things that have been bothering you.
You’ll feel amazing and a lot lighter afterward!
3. Limit your commitments
If you often feel overwhelmed, avoid having too many commitments and try to limit them as much as possible.
For instance, if you’re invited to an event you don’t particularly want to attend, politely decline.
There is no point in adding things to your already long list of obligations if you can avoid some of them.
If your kids want to try a new sport but are already enrolled in a few classes, this might be too much for them (and you).
You’ll have less time and will feel more stressed.
4. Declutter your physical space
I cannot write about mental minimalism and how you can declutter your mind without mentioning the benefits of decluttering and owning less!
Unused and unloved things in our homes are a heavy burden.
They take up a lot of space, and we consume a lot of time and energy to maintain and manage them on a daily basis.
As Fumio Sasaki explains in his book Goodbye Things, stuff in our homes sends out silent messages, adding tasks to our to-do lists.
For instance, unworn clothes in your closet are silently telling you to wear them.
Unused games remind you of the fact that you should be playing with them.
Having too many things in our homes adds to our mental clutter, so declutter anything you don’t need, like or use.
Lighten your load and free yourself from the chaos!
Check my blog post about my best decluttering hacks to get you started.
You can also follow my decluttering checklist if you want to create a minimalist home this year.
5. Stop multitasking
Whenever we want to be productive and spend time wisely, we are tempted to do several things at once.
Nevertheless, whenever I am multitasking, I find that it takes longer to complete a given task, and the final result is often worse.
Plus, doing several things at once can take more energy and makes it hard to focus.
So try to do things, one at a time.
I sometimes listen to music while working. But in the end, I’m usually frustrated that I wasted time, and the whole task was more complicated to complete.
I’m still working on it, but I’ve made progress and have been loving how much more productive and clear-minded I feel!
6. Make lists
If you want to declutter your mind, get into the habit of making lists of everything you want to do.
Write lists of things you need to do today, this week, this month, and this year.
You can also list all the books you’d like to read, the movies and series you plan on watching, and the courses you want to take.
I also find it useful to have a list of your go-to recipes for when you don’t know what to cook.
If you are very busy, consider making a list of all the commitments you have so you don’t forget about them (and maybe eliminate some of them!).
7. Let go of perfectionism
I have always been a perfectionist.
While it may have some benefits, it has often increased my stress levels and left me feeling overwhelmed.
Perfectionism also takes a lot of energy out of us and makes us waste time on details that are not that important.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve not done something because I wanted it to be perfect.
I often ended up not achieving it at all because I was too overwhelmed by the task!
Whenever I fall back into my perfectionist tendencies, I always tell myself “done is better than perfect”.
If something is good enough, let it be.
Yes, it’s great to improve things, but sometimes, there are far more important tasks on our to-do lists.
If you’re like me, also know that you cannot do everything, and you don’t even have to.
We all have never-ending to-do lists, and we cannot always be disappointed when we don’t finish them.
We are human. You are human. You’re not a robot, so give yourself some grace.
8. Move your body
Our bodies and minds are connected, more than most of us realize.
Many studies have found that moving our bodies and doing some exercise has a positive impact on our mental health.
It can even alleviate depressive symptoms!
So to achieve mental minimalism and declutter your mind, find a way to incorporate some movement into your daily routines.
It does not have to be an intensive workout.
You could do some yoga, go cycling in nature, swim in the ocean, or dance in your bathroom.
If you don’t have much time, try to at least take a walk in your neighborhood every morning or evening.
It’s one of my favorite ways to practice self-care!
9. Do one-minute tasks immediately
When I look at my to-do list, I sometimes realize that many tasks can be done in a few minutes. Some of them even in a minute.
Why do I take the time to write them down instead of actually completing them?
This is silly, but we often postpone tiny tasks that could be out of our minds in just a minute.
Instead, we choose to have them clutter our minds for days, sometimes even weeks.
So the next time you realize you have to do something and it only takes one minute, do it immediately.
10. Consume information mindfully
Nowadays, more than ever before, we are constantly bombarded with countless pieces of information everywhere.
We hear about all kinds of negative events, from accidents and natural catastrophes to wars and inflation.
While it’s important to stay informed and know what is happening in the world, we should give our brains some rest from time to time.
If you feel that watching the news on TV leaves you feeling depressed or sad, limit your media consumption or stop watching the news altogether.
I promise that if something important happens, you will learn about it somehow.
Also, if you have FOMO and start comparing yourself to others after you’ve scrolled through social media, do something about it.
Unfollow people, and set a time limit to how long you can be on Facebook or Instagram.
Make your mental health a priority by consuming information mindfully.
11. Schedule time to relax each week
When your mind is tired, stop pushing yourself too hard.
We all have good intentions and goals we want to achieve, but we don’t perform as well if we never take the time to relax and recharge.
We often neglect rest, but it is an essential part of a balanced, healthy life.
Each week, we need to schedule some downtime to let our minds and bodies properly recover.
Have at the very least one day a week off, and try to spend a couple of hours a day relaxing and doing what gives you energy and makes you happy.
12. Brain dump
One of the best ways to declutter your mind and practice mental minimalism is to write everything that’s on your mind onto paper.
Whatever is bothering or stressing you, write it down on a piece of paper or in your journal, and let it leave your brain.
Writing it down gives your mind some rest and helps you focus and organize your thoughts.
Doing so is freeing and gives you so much peace of mind!
You’ll be able to tackle your problems one at a time, knowing you won’t forget about anything.
13. Do nothing
Sometimes, our brains need to process events and things in silence and without doing anything.
It is important to regularly give your mind space and let it wander without constantly doing something.
This meditative practice will help release stress and calm your mind.
It’s a tiny yet powerful way to declutter your mind!
So even if it’s just one minute here and there, sit in silence, do nothing, and enjoy the stillness.
14. Eliminate distractions
When you’re doing something, whatever it is, try to limit distractions as much as possible.
Set up your desk and computer so that nothing is bothering you while working or studying.
Turn off the notifications on your phone and computer.
Log off social media accounts to make it harder to scroll mindlessly during the day.
You may also turn off the TV when you want to play a game with your kids.
Stop the music when you take your book to read.
You’ll see that, when there are no distractions, your mind can focus on what you’re doing a lot more easily.
This is essential for decluttering your mind and practicing mental minimalism!
Final thoughts on mental minimalism and how to declutter your mind
I hope this list of 14 tips to declutter your mind and achieve mental minimalism helped you find peace and have a clearer, calmer mind!
Decluttering our minds is not always easy, but it is so worth it!
You don’t have to do everything on this list to reap the benefits of mental minimalism.
Even if you only incorporate a few of these tips and rituals into your life, you will definitely feel that your mind is calmer and less overwhelmed by clutter and unwanted thoughts.
How have you started applying mental minimalism to your life?
What are your best tips to declutter your mind?
Share them in the comment section!
And don’t forget to share this article with your friends to help them discover all the benefits of having a clutter-free mind.