Mental clutter is nothing but anything that keeps you away from thinking to the point. It can likewise be triggered by overstimulation, which negatively affects our mental as well as physical health.
You will likely be slowed down with a major situation of brain drain unless you regularly take the effort and purposely clear your mind of non-productive thoughts. Sticking around thoughts that are hanging around develops a depressive atmosphere.
In this write-up, we will try to uncover different kinds of mental clutter that negatively impact productivity.
What is the Mental Clutter?
Many people feel that their minds are never at peace. There is a constant commotion that never stops, with an out of control banging of thoughts that can leave them feeling nervous, worried, sad, or troubled.
They are never at peace with themselves and can never seem to get out of their ruts and move forward to accomplish their goals. Often, they feel unfocused and disoriented.
Mental clutter is the stuff that takes up space in our brain, and/or grow until we feed it, which leads us to a road that goes nowhere. All that stuff takes up so much space that there’s hardly room left over for the work you’re meant to do.
It can leave you feeling anxious, stressed, or even depressed. And, it can make you less productive by reducing the ability to focus (1).
There are six kinds of mental clutter that consume your mind and can end up causing you to lose focus in your daily life.
Today, the vast majority of us multitask and it has become such a regular part of our lives that most of us believe we do it well—and few imagine it could actually be dangerous.
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
Various studies have shown that multitasking actually made participants less efficient and productive. Hence, less productivity may likely to report symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
The negative self-talk can create a significant amount of mental clutter in our heads. When you tell yourself that a specific goal that you’re trying to accomplish is impossible, it can end up actualizing a situation where you end up failing.
Negative self-talk ends up creating a negative mental environment that impacts every aspect of our lives.
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Some common signs of this kind of negative mental environment include feelings of inadequacy, feelings of self-doubt, and feelings of ugliness. If you can relate to these feelings, you’re not alone.
This is a common type of mental clutter that many people deal with, and many don’t even realize that it is occurring until they stop and think about it.
On the other hand, if you can cultivate positive self-talk, the results are much more likely to end up being the opposite. Instead of failing, you succeed.
Another kind of mental clutter that many people deal with involves worrying. For some people, this worrying can be chronic.
While it is fine to worry about certain things every once in a while when the worry starts to take over your life it becomes chronic and can even become addictive or compulsive.
For example, those who worry excessively it might be challenging for them to recognize that certain situations are out of their control. This results in a cluttered, worried mind.
Another reason why worrying can take up a lot of valuable mental space is that unpredictability means the future is uncertain.
Worrying is a prime example of the fact that mental clutter is often caused by anxieties that are beyond your control.
By shifting the focus of your mind onto more positive aspects of life, it is possible to evade and eliminate a large portion of mental clutter that has built up.
If you have ever experienced the feeling of dread in regard to a situation that you’ve never dealt with before, then you’re aware of the fact that fear can stop you in your tracks.
Fear can also clutter your mind and prevent it from effectively processing information. It can prevent you from being able to accomplish what should or needs to be performed while also being able to manipulate your brain in the process.
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If you allow fear to penetrate your mind to the point that it’s preventing you from doing something to move you closer to your goals, then it should be clear that fear is an important kind of mental clutter that you need to eliminate from your life.
Guilt or shame typically manifests in the mind when we’re not happy with the decisions that we’ve made that we aren’t excited about. This becomes twofold when the choices that we’ve made in the past end up hurting people we care about or people who have trusted us in some way.
Guilt can end up taking a lot of mental space up in your mind when you aren’t able to let go of your poor choices (2).
Instead of letting these poor decisions go and allowing them to become a learning experience, people can sometimes cling to their feelings out of guilt, or even shame.
This kind of clinging fuels a situation where the individual allows their self-worth to become tarnished and allows low self-esteem to develop.
Additionally, guilt and shame can end up opening up your mind and letting negative self-talk through. For example, if you feel guilt or shame about a situation from your past, you can start to become resentful or angry toward yourself.
Once you become angry and resentful, negative thoughts can start to form and take hold of your mind.
Being able to acknowledge feelings of guilt and shame is the first step toward relinquishing your mind from the grasp of guilt.
Once you can recognize these kinds of emotions in yourself, you can then start to work on forgiving yourself and forming a more positive relationship with your mind.
The final kind of mental clutter is regret. It is essential to realize that every single, self-defined, happy person in this world has more than likely done something that they regret.
Making a bad decision is just one of the unfortunate realities of being human. It is not about the decision itself, but rather it is more about how you deal with the decision when the outcome isn’t what you expected.
It’s common for people to focus more on the result of a situation and less on what was learned from a single experience.
Being human involves being able to objectively look at what went wrong and where you can improve, however, it is entirely possible to become caught up in the past, rather than being optimistic about your future.
If you feel like your mind is racing faster than you can keep up, it is essential that you take care of yourself and find a way to declutter your mind so that you can gain mental clarity and enhance your productivity and focus.