Kamilah MS

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How to Declutter our Minds?

Kamilah MS

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When we chance upon the word decluttering, we thought of the hit Netflix series of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. We would have imagined the unwanted clutter that we typically see at homes or workplaces.

Mental decluttering is no different except that we do not declutter tangible things.

So what do we declutter when it comes to our minds?

Negative Thoughts

Can we get rid of our thoughts? No. We can’t get rid of our thoughts because our thoughts have their purpose and one of which is to keep us alive! How do we then declutter negative thoughts? Imagine in your mind’s eye that you have a special compartment for negative thoughts, place it there and observe those thoughts. Journal it down and notice how it’s affecting your emotions, physiology and behaviour.

Negative thoughts can be the conversations that you have about yourself, others and your situation.


Thoughts that Triggers Unpleasant Memories

Sometimes we may be going through a rough patch in our lives and that you may be healing from it. Identify the triggers and again compartmentalise them into a special bin in your head. Notice the triggers and how it’s affecting you and your behaviour and how it’s affecting your life. Again, you can try journaling it down or talking to someone about it if this is something that you tend to think about a lot.

Thoughts that Made No Sense

Sometimes, we think about a lot of things and our thoughts can overwhelm us when it’s passing by like a bullet train. In this situation, observe the train as it passes by as a chain of thoughts. Create a special compartment or a railway track for it in your mind. There is no need to make sense of it because it’s impossible to chase a bullet train. Deal with it when it’s slowed down and when you have clarity. Otherwise, you might be throwing darts at it and aiming at nothing.

What would support you is to focus on your breathing as you compartmentalise these unresourceful thoughts. Instead of resisting these thoughts and trying to make them go away, you can learn to identify them and set them aside.

Does that mean you ignore those thoughts? If a real danger is present, it is normal and healthy to have these thoughts of course this step does not apply in a situation where a real threat is present.

This technique applies if you want to begin identifying and processing your thoughts so that you have conscious awareness of what’s on your mind and not be at the mercy of your thoughts. With awareness, you will be able to at least regulate those thoughts and in turn, control your behaviour and action as a result.

What’s Next?

Focus on your tasks at hand, if you are working, channel your thoughts towards work, if you are with your children, channel your thoughts by interacting with them or playing with them, if you are watching TV focus on the show, if you are relaxing, wind down and listen to good music. You get the idea.


Clutters are clutters, they could cause mental fatigue, worry, stress and unproductive behaviour. Learn to declutter our mind and bring our focus to matters that are worthy of our time, energy and our life and learn to reach out if you have been struggling with your thoughts!

Reach out if you need to talk about your thoughts.


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