Spring is here, so you know that means: Spring cleaning.
I’m not going to give you tips on how to clean out your closet or go through the piles of paperwork on your desk.
Let’s talk about mental clutter and then, how we create it with our self talk.
Just like the saying goes for our bodies- our minds are our temples; they are our personal space among a big and busying world full of distractions. With advertisements and new technology and constant social settings, it’s so important to really worship that mental space. Our headspace can be whatever we create it to be.
Therefore, when we’re negative, we create mind clutter.
Picture stacks of bills, ceiling to floor, that represent taxing emotions.
Picture walls stamped with old pictures of memories harbored, hung crooked and crammed together.
Picture dusty furniture and bookcases overflowing with the phrases you repeat to yourself, shaming yourself.
How can you get anything done in that kind of setting? How do you let the sunlight in again? How do you clear out the room and breathe?
Mental clutter is all of that. The negativity breeds toxic habitual thoughts. The thoughts become negative self talk. The self talk feeds the worry and clouds any view of the future. No wonder you can’t focus on anything; you’re forgetful and filled with memorized to do lists.
You need to get more done, look better, buy more, get better deals, be smarter, work harder, work faster, get promoted, be a better human, be a better friend, take care of your responsibilities. The mental clutter becomes worse when we internalize it.
It’s so easy to look at yourself and pinch any excess skin and call yourself fat. It’s easy to second guess your ideas and opinions. It’s easy to self loathe and throw pity parties. It’s second nature for most of us to put ourselves down.
Anxiety feasts on these hams of heartlessness and self hatred. However, this isn’t a death sentence. We can make things better for our brains.
Switching up our self talk.
Gas yourself up, compliment yourself, be a little selfish with your self talk. You really are great, you really are a bad ass.
Positive affirmations are helpful but tend to fall under the umbrella of a future tense with the usage of verbs.
For example you may find yourself saying-
“I will be successful. I will lose weight. I will be happy.”
Change that kind of language into-
“I’m perfect as I am right now. My body is beautiful right now. I am able to be happy and content right now.”
Even if you achieve all those goals and look perfect, you still won’t be able to enjoy it if you aren’t happy with what you’re already working with. And by the way, happiness is fleeting. It isn’t a 24/7 emotion like everyone wants you to think.
Genuine contentment is what you should be trying to attain, its much more reasonable.
Be reasonable with yourself. The harder you you are on yourself, and the higher your expectations are, the more disappointed in yourself you will be when you don’t get everything exactly right. You are a human; you cannot achieve every perfect task in every perfect way every single day. It’s great to hold yourself to higher standards and have goals, but be reasonable about them. You know your limits, enforce them with yourself.
Stop throwing pity parties.
If you have time to self loathe and feel bad about yourself, you have enough time to turn it around.
You have to choose not to sit in that stagnant pile of shit-pity.
Seriously, you will reek of it.
Your peers can sense when you are constantly downing yourself and feeling sorry for yourself. That isn’t going to gain you any kind of sympathy or change any situation you are currently in. Instead, those feelings will flood your mind with worry and sadness and prevent that beautiful light of positivity from radiating all over you!
Try this: Give yourself 5 minutes to feel down about whatever it is, and then shift your mentality. Turn on some music and focus on something totally separate. By changing your mind from this negative state, you will be able to control your emotions and still understand them, rather than letting them control you.
Utilize your imagination wisely.
Your imagination is a powerful tool. When misused, it can hoard negative what-if scenarios in the spacious place among your brilliant mind. Instead, utilize your imagination and exercise it positively.
Make shapes out of the clouds or daydream for a bit.
Read a book full of magic and mystery.
I actually just finished reading “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert and it stimulated my mind by taking me away to a landscape of fairytales, mystery and action.
Check out the novel here!>> The Hazel Wood
These things put us in a favorable headspace and keep us from being caught up in the chaos of our surroundings. Mental clutter is a constant project and requires daily maintenance. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and putting yourself down, stop and ask if you would speak to your very best friend in such a manner. If you did, you probably wouldn’t have any friends at all.
So why is it that we think it’s totally fine to tell ourselves such harsh fantasies?
That’s what they are: fantasies.
Quite often, we are much greater than we give ourselves credit.
Change your phrasing.
Every time you find yourself insulting yourself, tell yourself two good things right away. Not bullshit things either. Really dig in and indulge yourself. If your really feel like you should be working harder at something, change your vocabulary when you think about it.
Rather than saying-
“Wow I really suck at cooking, why should I even bother?”
“I’m decent at cooking but the more I do it, the better I’ll get.”
Essentially the messages are similar and yes it seems like common sense, but how often do we really choose to alter our personal thoughts and vocabulary? You just went from sucking to being decent. I bet your mom would simply be impressed that you were cooking at all!
Choose and surround yourself with your role models.
Instead of mindlessly scrolling through airbrushed and face-tuned pictures of instagram models and Pinterest lists of how to be crafty-er, pick a select few people that truly inspire your positive mindset.
Right now these are my personal role models:
(Click their names to see their instagrams!)
- Actress/HRC representative Ellen Page
- Business owner/Author/ex-actress/Lgbtq ally Lisa Vanderpump
- Actress/activist/Brown University graduate Emma Watson
- Multi-instrumentalist/Musician/Producer Tash Sultana
These women are driven, successful, smart, openminded, claim their personal style and assert their presence. I’d rather see what they’re posting than some random chick promoting a tea drink to make your stomach resemble a washboard.
Nothing wrong with tea or fitness, but do you catch my drift? The thoughts we produce become our actions. Our self talk decides our next move. Our mindset is our precursor for whether we will attain positive contentment or the latter. With spring blossoming on your calendar, I wish you the best on your mental decluttering journey. I send you all the good vibes for a more positive self speaking ability and hope that you found this article enlightening.
As always, much love.