It’s time for the annual spring cleaning of the home, office and any other space that is cluttered. But what about the mind? After all, it takes in tons of information and has to remember important details every single day. If you don’t clear the mind, you won’t be able to function at optimal performance.
How can you best spring clean the mind?
Dr. Alok Trivedi is an expert in human behavior and psychological performance. He is the founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success' and he's got some tips we should consider if our mental state needs a good dusting.
His 8 tips for spring cleaning the mind:
-Get quiet with your thoughts: Our minds are continuously cluttered with tons of information. From everyday events happening around us to important details at work and at home that we have to remember, most people usually feel overwhelmed. To free your mind and give it a break, you have to get quiet with your thoughts. Find somewhere with no distractions to sit and relax and do absolutely nothing that makes you think. Just sit still and focus on the quiet. Do this at least once a day.
-Say no to electronics and other distractions: Playing on your phone or tablet might sound fun and like a great way to forget about things, but it’s not going to free up your mind or give your brain a rest. Neither is reading, doing a word search, or anything at all that involves focus. The idea is to not do anything that involves thinking, strategizing, comprehending, comparing or the like. Take time to tune out and shutoff your brain each day.
-Practice making better decisions: One of the ways we get mentally bogged down is by sitting on decisions for too long. Make an effort to become faster when making decisions. Certain things do require thought, so give yourself a deadline so you don’t overthink it. Once the deadline comes, make your decision and move on. Hint: your gut instinct is usually correct. Another hint: if you do make the wrong choice, most things can be corrected.
-Seek more enjoyment: Most people are constantly stressed out and take their careers and other responsibilities very serious. That’s not a bad thing but you need to find time to have fun and enjoy life. If you don’t find any enjoyment in your career, perhaps it’s time to find a new line of work. If you don’t have any fun with the activities you engage in, it might be time to find some new interests. Finding enjoyment is so important to spring cleaning the mind.
-Avoid multitasking: We are a society that loves to multitask. The result: mental overwhelm, stress and anxiety. Instead, focus on doing one task at a time. You’ll see better quality results and you’ll feel more relaxed and in control.
-Forgive and forget: Are you holding any grudges against anyone who did you wrong? It might be time to make amends and put it in the past. Holding onto resentment and anger is one of the best ways to bring on mental anguish and overwhelm. Make a decision to let go of the past, even if you believe you did nothing wrong. This is such a freeing experience and your mental and physical health will thank you.
-Get more excited: Do you wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead? Or, are you getting out of bed pumped up about the day and weeks ahead? Studies have proved that those who look forward to the future are more mentally healthy. As part of your mental spring-cleaning ritual, start to have things you are genuinely excited about.
-Focus on better time management: People love to say they wish there was more time in the day. The reality is we all have the same 24-hours each day. The secret is becoming a master of time management. Plan out your day ahead of time and leave a cushion for any appointments that run later than expected. Prioritize things from most important to least important. Learn to delegate. The best mental Spring-cleaning time management strategy: learn to say ‘no’ and stop over-committing
Want to read even more? Check out this link below for all of Dr. Trivedi's findings:
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