There are plenty of things that we have to think about these days—the money to buy all the things we need, our work responsibilities, our kids and families . . . you name it. There are many things to worry about. We also have an endless to-do list to be completed this week with deadlines every day that we may or may not be able to meet. The thing is, we are now busier than ever with many more responsibilities than we used to have. Previous generations also had plenty of things to do, but they still had some downtime.
Now, no way, We are in a situation where our schedules are packed to the brim, and we are unable to sit down and rest after a while. Our bodies and minds are filled with stress and mental clutter, which are causing us anxiety and depression. Therefore, we are unable to concentrate on what we need to get done, and because of that, we become even more concerned and worried. So think of it as a stress mountain that is developing.
You may think that the entire world allows you to worry and that it is socially responsible and ethical to be worried all the time. Let me tell you. That is not the way to live your life. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, how about throwing those cares out the window? Use a bit of humor to get you perked up. Stop worrying about the useless things that pile up and infuse your life with more positive energy. Only then will you experience greater happiness and meaning in your life. It starts with looking on the bright side and believing that you can achieve your goals.
In This Article
In this article, we will go over the causes of mental clutter. We will talk about how to have a positive mindset, how to be proactive about your life, and how to live a life that is going to get you on the right track again. It is easy to think that your life is spiraling out of control and that you have a lot to think about, but hold your horses. You need to stop letting your emotions take control of you and give yourself a break. That is the only way that you are going to feel free.
Don’t allow the chains of oppression to cause you to go down a dark and unsustainable path. Instead, experience the joy of knowing that tomorrow is going to be okay and that you are going to get better. Every day will become better than the previous one, and once you know it, you’ll be freer and happier than ever before knowing that you can do your best to live a healthy life. Let’s go on this journey together to defeat our worst fears, to worry less, and to live in a fruitful and peaceful tomorrow. Read on to find out how to slay the dragon of your worries and achieve the unthinkable.
What Is Mental Clutter?
Mental clutter includes anything that enters into our lives that causes us to feel burdened by the list of things to do. It includes the things on our to-do list, regrets over things that we have done in the past, unfinished work, including messages to send, bills to pay, among other things. We also worry about a lot of things, even if we don’t know whether or not they will happen. Additionally, grumbling and complaining can be a source of mental clutter. Finally, perfectionism affects our ability to move forward because we worry about the things that we cannot control. We try to do our best but fear that we will fail to achieve it.
Causes of Mental Clutter
You’re thinking about your to-do list, which is racking up a lot of tasks: Your son’s soccer practice is at 7: 00 p.m. You have to finish up your latest project and might have to stay up until 2: 00 a.m. to do it. There’s a ton of laundry to do because no one has done it in two weeks, and the dishes are piling up. Now, you have a lot of things that are cluttering your life.
A lot of us have things to do that cause mental clutter. Every day, we have some fire drills that we have to address within our minds, making it easy for us to push the panic button, as we worry about what we’re going to do. Worrying, however, does not help things but rather makes them worse. The important thing we need to focus on is how we can deal with our mental clutter because that is the way we need to go forward with our lives. But before we do that, we need to discover what it is that causes us to worry and have mental clutter in our lives (Scott and Davenport, 2016).
Cause #1: Procrastination
This one is a big one because many people do it all the time, and it only contributes to a lot of pain and heartache. More than a few of us tend to wait until the very last minute to do something, and then we feel overwhelmed by the task because we think it is too difficult to accomplish within a short amount of time, which causes a great amount of stress and anxiety.
Then we start to worry about how in the world we are going to get it done. Procrastination is continually one of the worst things that we face every day, but it is something that can definitely be avoided with the proper planning and organization. But then again, many people struggle to prioritize tasks or put together a schedule. As a result, they don’t know what to do when they have a lot of things to do. One of the ways you can deal with this is by writing down all the things that need to be done and then doing everything in the order that it should be done. This will help you deal with it well (Scott and Davenport, 2016).
Cause #2: Doing Too Much, Staying Too Busy
Much of modern life is busy and hectic with people doing more than they can take on, and as a result, they are stressed. When we add too much to our to-do list, we often stress more because we wonder how everything is going to get done. But when we lighten our loads and try to do less, it can help our overall psychology and how we think about various situations. You should try easing the burden of your life by taking on fewer tasks. This will enable you to do a lot more and be more efficient.
Cause #3: Daily Tasks
From getting on the subway in the morning with a crowd of people who are so close that you are out of your comfort zone to the demands of your job and family life, daily stress can contribute to our mental clutter and stress. Therefore, it is crucial to know ways that we can deal with them. Some negative effects of our daily stress are trouble sleeping, muscle aches, chest pain, and headaches. The physical signs of our stress can cause us deep anxiety, which is something we have to watch out for. At its worst, mental stress can cause us relationship problems, panic attacks, and depression.
Cause #4: Too Many Choices
You know the feeling of dread when you have to make a decision when at the grocery store or at a restaurant. There are too many choices on the menu or in the store, and it easily becomes overwhelming so that you don’t know what to choose. The freedom of choice can do damage to our mental health as we can experience greater anxiety, paralysis, and dissatisfaction with our lives. More choices give us more options, but these things do nothing to guarantee our happiness.
Think about when you go to the supermarket. In 2014, the Food Marketing Institute found out that there were 42,214 items in the average supermarket (Scott and Davenport, 2016). What used to take only a maximum of fifteen minutes has forced customers to spend more time deciding what they want. Therefore, it takes about thirty minutes or longer to go through the supermarket. Not to mention, it can take even longer to check out when you consider how many people go to the store on a given day.
Go to a store and try to buy a pair of khaki pants, which is a common type of clothes for the average guy. There are so many choices. Do you want a baggy fit, straight fit, skinny fit, wide leg, zipper? It makes it difficult for you to make up your mind.
Cause #5: Too Many Things in Your Closet
Nowadays, our homes are filled with things that we never use, including books we don’t read, DVDs we won’t watch, gadgets that are picking up more dust, and clothes that we never wear. Our email inboxes are filled with more clutter than ever before, and our phones continually give us messages that we need more storage.
As we fill our homes with more things than we need, we clutter our minds with more stress. And then we don’t know what to do with it all. Information is all around us, but we don’t know how to handle all the input in our lives. With the click of a mouse, we can order anything we want from a bicycle to cleaning supplies. We don’t even have to leave the house. But then, once we acquire more, we get more boxes, and we find the need to amass even more storage because we have too many supplies. It is a never-ending cycle.
Furthermore, we must get rid of the things that are cluttering our lives so that we can make room for more stuff. You can see how emotionally and mentally exhausting all this is for you and your family. Therefore, it is crucial for you to get rid of the junk that is causing you a lot of hassle.
Cause #6: Every Message Must Be Answered
As we live a cluttered life, we realize that every text or email must be answered. With our latest devices, we constantly feel busy with our lives. We’re constantly consuming new information that keeps us on our toes so that we cannot rest from our hectic lifestyle. However, this busyness is going to lead us into a place where we are completely and utterly exhausted and cannot keep going. Then we start to break down and worry about every little thing, keeping us up at night and leaving us in a continual state of unhappiness because we’re trying to keep up with our challenging life.
Cause #7: The Tendency to React Negatively to Situations
As humans, we tend to react negatively to situations, whether or not we consciously realize it. Negative reactions are common because they stir up the negative emotions within us, which cause us the stress and anxiety that make us depressed, angry, and unhappy. Think about it. Look on social media. See how much negativity that spreads on the grapevine. People love to talk about other people and then make a stink about what other people are doing wrong. That is no way to live your life.
It is such a waste of time when you constantly focus on what other people do and not enough on what you are doing. Yet many people do this every day, and they don’t realize how much it affects them personally and causes them to act out negatively on their feelings. It causes a lot of emotional and mental clutter to accumulate in your mind, which is not healthy, and it puts a rift in your relationship with other people.
Cause #8: Emotional and Mental Baggage
Every day, we may become victims of our own emotional heartaches and baggage that come creeping back to us from the past. Often, this is past hurts, anxieties, and relationship struggles that we had to walk through that cause us great stress. Sometimes, you are not even looking for it, but it comes back to haunt you, and then you suddenly feel like you cannot handle it anymore. It creates a hard time for you. You struggle to do the things you want to do because you are dwelling so much on the past things that you have done, which were not good.
This can be a challenge that you must surmount for you to be able to accomplish things in your life. The only way to do that is to let go of everything that is holding you back. You have to release the stress of the past, forgive people who have wronged you, and move on. That’s easier said than done, but when you can do that, it will help you improve your overall mental state and contribute to your overall happiness.