De-cluttering my Brain

IMG_1083This month of June, I am participating in a de-cluttering challenge. Started by my friend Prati, in Mumbai, this is a 30 day challenge to achieve a simpler life. Everyone that accepted the invite is going to follow a cleansing effort to empty our lives of clutter and let positive energy come in. Now, you know this is one of my pet tasks, a never-ending process I started a while ago. This idea, though, is fabulous…we are doing it together, challenging and  encouraging each other and working together to meet our goal.

Prati provided us with a to-do list, with specific parts of our home for each day. She didn’t forget to let us know that emotional baggage needs weeding out as well. Another important part of this exercise, but not as easy as the rest…I should know, have tried and struggled with it. Still these two area are at least on their way.

Today, after just a few hectic days, I was exhausted. Getting rid of your clutter is hard physical work. Since I had started already, I needed new ideas, new ways of tossing the old and listening to the new. New ideas to help good energy flow into my life and allow Magic to happen!! Thinking and thinking, lo and behold, it was all in my head: I need to de-clutter my brain!!! Brilliant, some of you will say….what? would be the response of others. Totally understand, I am known for my strange ideas and my peculiar ways. Let me walk you through this necessary exercise.

Our brain is the most complex organ we have. This is not a biology class so I would not go into boring details; even if I wanted to, I don’t know enough!!! Suffice to say that without it we cannot think, make decisions, plan, reason or remember. It allows us to have self-control, abstract thought and perception. These are only a small part of the functions of this marvel and this marvel is a huge storage space!!! I know, this is not scientific thought, but then, I am not a scientist……

Aside from knowledge, all our worries and our fears, all the nonsense we pick up from our daily life are stored in our brain. We cannot control this, so in time, this space fills up. We cannot sleep, we are tense and on edge, we cannot let go of a thought, we turn ideas and possibilities in our mind. I know this is true for me, how about you? Don’t you feel some times as if you need to just delete everything and start anew?

Well, there might be a possibility. As everything else we put in storage, everything we accumulate, everything we do not need anymore, the brain should be de-cluttered. To do this, it’s necessary to accept the need to do it and to start throwing out the useless stuff in our brains. Sherlock Holmes said that he didn’t need to keep certain information in his brain…either it was useless to him or it was irrelevant to his work. There are things, he said, we cannot used for anything, so once we learned them we should discard them. In our case, if we cannot do anything about it, discard it. If we cannot use the information to carry out something relevant to our lives, discard it. I wish it was that easy. So today, I sat and devised a way to de-clutter my brain.

We are not a computer, things cannot be deleted. Our worries and fears will still be there, our amazing collection of useless information will still be there, but we will be able to go around that and bring forward other things that will calm us, give us peace and let us enjoy what is important.

Here are some ideas I came up with. I will repeat one or another on a regular basis:

Breathe: yes, again we have come to this simple solution. While we do that properly and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, our brain relaxes and our thoughts become more peaceful. While we are talking about this, how about a little yoga? or stretching?This really works for me.

Create beauty around you: put flowers around your home, surround yourself with beautiful things. A pleasant environment will relax you and your mind will have something else to concentrate on. How about gardening? My orchids give me a lot of pleasure and distract me. Believe me…….

Laugh or cry: vent your emotions so you can clear your brain in a crisis. Haven’t you felt better after a good cry? Somehow you feel spent and relaxed. Or after a good laugh, haven’t you felt just light-headed and happy? I know this is effective, I just need to do it more often. Do it as a matter of course, as an exercise.

Have a mantra: repeating a phrase is something that has been used for centuries to calm down. Find one that speaks to you. I try to get my brain to repeat mantras….not always the same because it depends on the crisis, the occasion, the need to concentrate or to let go. “There is a way and I have found it…..” was the one I used today!!!

Keep a journal: all those thoughts that keep your brain in turmoil, all those conflicts that you try to work around, the fear that you cannot control, the useless knowledge that keeps popping up, write them down. Take a notebook and a pen, more effective that way, and pour your brain out. Simple, you can get back to them, but you don’t need to keep bring them up and ruminating them. If you cannot let go of a thought, write it down. The worst it can happen is that you can find a solution!! I have kept a journal for years.

Be silly: I love this one. Sing out loud and dance without care around your house. It is liberating and will not allow you to keep thinking or worrying. Besides, it is wonderful fun!!!

Accomplish small tasks: This is a great way of gaining control. Take time to tidy your work area, clean you keyboard, your computer screen, change the flowers, water your plants. Plan your weekend, arranging things ahead of time means you can anticipate the pleasure.

Make small changes in your routine: listen to different music, brush your teeth with your left/right hand, walk on a different place, have breakfast for dinner. Change challenges the brain and forces it to revise negative thoughts. Besides, it would make you think differently dispelling other nonsense!!

I did try some of these today. I even had time to take a nap and read for a while, other two wonderful things to keep in mind. It was a productive day and I feel relaxed. It was just a matter of paying attention to my most important storage space: MY BRAIN!!!

Declutter Projekt

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6 Comments

  1. Betty says:

    What a very timely article for me. As I am nearing total retirement, there are several upcoming events that I need to take care of now and I feel frustrated with how many other things are on the back burner. I do most of the things you have listed but have never done journaling as I feel I could use that time to do something I need to get done. So perhaps my brain is where I should start to declutter and reorganize. Thanks Mercedies!

    • Mercedes Mercedes says:

      You are welcome, Betty!! Yes, we have too many things going at the same time. We need to step back and breathe. Do try journaling, it is an excellent way to just get the annoying and worrisome thoughts off your mind. Sometimes, just seeing them in writing makes them look smaller or not so important……sometimes I even laugh about what was worrying me.

  2. Lots of useful info here Mercedes; many of your suggestions are already a part of my daily life. I often use the mantra: I am only human, I am only human…

    Physically here in Lucca there is little of the materialistic to declutter but the brain needs a thorough cleansing

    • Mercedes Mercedes says:

      I am trying to start a new simpler life….never easy, but necessary. It’s liberating, but as you say, the brain needs a thorough cleaning first.

  3. Catharina says:

    sounds within my reach, I might follow your advice. brasa Kitty

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