What’s your reaction when you see clutter all around you? It is negative, isn’t it?Curiously enough, a house or workplace that is too cluttered can speak volumes about your mental health. But that does not mean that all those people who keep their house and workplace spick and span are mentally healthy. On the contrary, many of those who have the most singular attitude about cleanliness and hygiene suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is because it isn’t what’s outside you that matters the most, but what’s inside you i.e. your brain. If you clutter it up then that would have far reaching consequences and might ultimately manifest itself into one or more of the following 10 sings of a cluttered brain.
10 – Signs that your brain is cluttered
Stress is absolutely natural. It is impossible not to experience it, especially when you are working on something complex and intricate. No wonder most of the people ascribe stress to their work. But ideally, stress should come and go. If it stays, then it means that either you aredoing too much of stressful work for too long or that you are unnecessarily hanging to cluttering thoughts that are stressing you out.
Just like stress anxiety is a part of our being. If our ancestors didn’t feel anxious when they were approaching danger, humanity wouldn’t have made it so far. But there’s a fine line between being anxious and having anxiety disorders. Being anxious in situations where you aren’t supposed to be anxious or being too anxious could be the signs of a cluttered mind, which doesn’t let you see things clearly.
3. Weird Dreams
The chaos inside your brain manifests not only in your waking life, but in your dreams as well. In fact, you can see its work much more clearly in your dreams, as in them you are alone with your thoughts. If you experience weird dreams every once in a while, it is fine. But, if weird dreams are all you have, then that could mean that your waking thoughts aren’t all that sorted and your brain needs a cleanup.
4. Mood swings
Mood swings are common and you shouldn’t take them all that seriously, unless your mood swings themselves are serious. If your emotions are running pell-mell all the time, without your wanting them to, you need to look a little deeper. At times it is the thoughts and experiences that you accumulate throughout the day that make you feel unstable and restless.
Nobody likes to be alone. At least not all the time. So, when you are isolated, most of the times it is involuntary. Moreover, when you are in isolation, thoughts start cluttering inside your head, as they don’t find any way to escape outside. This alters your personality significantly, and thus the few social interactions that you might carry out become increasingly awkward.
6. Weight Fluctuations
Constant weight fluctuations might be the results of an unstable mind. They could be the result of eating disorders, which many times have a distorted unhealthy body image as the reason behind them. Also, apart from an unnatural fear of obesity, stress eating could also be the reason behind weight fluctuations. Both of these have a lot to do with a lack of self-awareness, which is part and parcel of a cluttered brain.
7. Unusual Fatigue
Your thoughts, when they have been going around in circle for too long, could tire you up. At the time when you are starting to feel tired, you might perceive it, but later on, you might start taking fatigue for granted as if it were natural for you. Therefore, you should diagnose the problem early and shouldn’t let it go that far.
8. Compulsive Behavior
There are millions of people all around the world who suffer from some sort of compulsive behavior. These could have anything ranging from eating, gambling, shopping to just washing your hands or brushing your teeth. However, it is the underlying negative emotions that generally result in such behaviors.
Too much preoccupation with what’s inside your head would surely lead to forgetfulness. Having a cluttered brain makes it difficult to concentrate on your thoughts. This makes your head feel as if it is muddled up and thus remembering even the simplest of things might become quite a task for you.
10. Bad Temper
The negative thoughts that stay in your head, don’t just stay there, in the form of negative emotions, they make you angry and restless. If too much anger is what you are suffering from, maybe it is the time you deep clean your brain.
What’s cluttering your brain?
1. Bad routine
Did you know that our body too has its clock? It is called circadian rhythm.All of our bodies tend to have a similar circadian rhythm by default i.e. we ought to feel active during the daytime and drowsy during the night. But if we maintain a routine that counters our natural rhythm then it has drastic impact on both our physical and mental health.
2. Lack of sleep
We, as humans, require at least 6 hours of sleep every day. There’s no trespassing it. Sleep not only relaxes the body, but cleanses the mind as well.If you don’t give it, your brain would keep holding on the clutter from the previous day.
3. Unhealthy food
It is a universally known fact that both junk and processed foods can be toxic for your physical health, but generally we tend to ignore its impact on our mental health. A recent study published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutritionhave linked junk food to both moderate and severe psychological distress.
Our brain can effectively focus on only one thing at a time. Therefore, when you look at the complete picture, multitasking decreases efficiency and performance of the brain. That’s not all. Recent researches suggest that multitasking also lowers IQ and might also lead to a lower brain density.
5. Gadgets and too much screen time
The information age has given us sources that prove to be infinite sources of information and entertainment. But our brains are not mean to absorb so much of information. This information overload can lead to insomnia and might increase the chances of depression. In addition, long exposure to the harmful rays emitted by the screen of computer, phones, and television is also very unhealthy.
6. Cluttered house
Our brain by its nature tends to like order and beauty. Exposing it to the complete opposite tends to produce unnecessary emotions. A cluttered house could prove to be a constant source of anxiety and stress for you and everyone else living with you.
7. Poor work management
Just like house, a disorder in the office space is also bound to lead to unnecessary negative impressions. However, the work environment involves much more than your work desk. Little things like cluttered files and folders on your PC or an unorganized mailbox could also prove to be constant sources of anxiety.
8. Bad work life balance
Bringing work into your home (or vice versa) would make it hard for you to pay attention to either. It would make your brain carry extra baggage, which isn’t good at all.
9. Toxic people
For many of us, this might be the major reason behind most of the clutter inside our brain. Thanks to innovations like smartphones and apps like WhatsApp, you can’t even escape from them. They would call/message you at the most inopportune time making you feel that they have ruined your entire day.
10. Unhealthy body
In the form of aches, pains and other similar unpleasant feelings our body keeps on reminding us that it is not healthy. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people with poor physical health are also at a significantly higher risk of suffering from a poor mental health.
How to deep clean your brain
1. Have a good routine
Routine is the mould inside which your fit your entire day. If it isn’t good enough, your whole day might fall apart. Waking up early, eating breakfast, exercising and showering every day are few things that can help you carry positive mindset throughout the day.
2. Give special priority to sleep
A recent study by neuroscientist Laura Lewis of Boston University proved how a deep sleep gives our brain a thorough cleaning. In addition, a good sleep has myriad other health benefits as well. To get it, the best thing you can do is you can give top priority to it. Optimize your daily routine in a way that makes it easier to get a deep sleep.
3. Be mindful about what you eat
What you eat has an immediate impact on your state of mind. So, one of the first steps towards cleansing your brain is cleansing your diet. You shouldn’t just focus on what you eat, but also how you eat. Have a diet that centers around fruits, grains, and vegetables is very good for mental health. In addition, you should also try to avoid fried or sugary food as much as you can.
4. Do one thing at a time
Multitasking has become so natural nowadays that if you are an avid multitasker then you might have to make a conscious effort to turn yourself into a monotasker. By prioritizing your tasks and eliminating all the distractions, you can easily make the switch. Just remember to always keep a pen and pad near you, so as to remind yourself about what you need to do next.
5. Go for digital detoxification
There’s no dearth of destinations where you can go for a perfect digital detox. Nevertheless, if you don’t have time for a vacation, that’s no problem at all. There are two simple steps that you can take for perfect digital detoxification at home. First, turn off push notifications for all the apps. Second, commit yourself to activities that take you away from your phone. Something like a dance or yoga class won’t be a bad idea at all.
6. Declutter your surroundings
Research says that decluttering is good for both physical and mental health. You don’t have to do much. Rather than doing all the decluttering at once, you can do five to ten minutes of decluttering every day. Giving up even a single item everyday would help you remove 365 items of trash each year.
7. Learn work management skills
First of all, declutter your computer as well as your work desk. This would provide you with plenty of peace of mind. After decluttering, shift your focus to the work. Set realistic goals and pay special attention to prioritizing your work. Set time limits for the completion of the tasks at hand. If possible, try to learn a work management strategy, and go according to that. For example, The 3D Method is one of the effective work management approaches.
8. Stay away from toxic people
At times you can choose to stay away from toxic people, at times you can’t. When the toxic person is a casual friend, minor acquaintance or a distant relative, simply saying no or ignoring them would do. However, when that person is your boss or a close relative, you have to deal with it. For that, you can have hobbies that give you plenty of the precious me time to help cope up with the problem. In addition, you can also try discussing the problem with the person concerned and see if you can arrive at a workable solution.
9. Exercise (or simply go for a walk)
Physical activity is a must. You don’t have to do anything too vigorous or tiring, even something as simple as going for a walk would do. The only thing you have to make sure is that you do it on a regular basis. To add to the fun, you can also select a quiet place for the activity. Furthermore, the time when you do the activity is also important. Exercising or going for a walk early in the morning is the best to clean up your brain.
Once you’ve learned how to do it, mindfulness meditation can prove to be your perfect tool for decluttering your brain. It’s best if you find a teacher to learn the technique. Otherwise, there are also plenty of online guided meditation that work surprisingly well.