Tidying up our homes has been proven to reduce stress and boost well-being. It gives us a sense of accomplishment (“yes - I did it!”) and a chance to breathe and focus on what’s important.
The newest trend, the KonMari method, uses a simple guiding principle. For each item in your home, ask yourself: Does it spark joy? If it doesn’t, thank the item for its presence in your life, and discard it.
Does this thought spark joy?
Just like the clutter in our homes, we can also apply this philosophy to the clutter in our minds. Damaging thoughts can linger in our minds for years if we don’t take the time to re-assess their presence in our life. KonMari your mind. You can start by asking yourself: Does this thought bring me joy? Is this thought useful to me? Does this thought add value to my life?
Your thoughts might not change in that instant, but the intention of redirecting your thoughts will make a world of difference in your life over time.
How can I de-clutter my mind?
Envision what your ideal mind would look and feel like. What elements of your thinking do you want to keep? What would make you feel “at home” at the end of a long day? Before you think of what you want to change, think about what you love and cherish.
For example, do you love how caring you are for others? Maybe you can apply that same compassion for yourself. Are you really good at thinking creatively? Do you wish you could be as non-judgmental for yourself as you are for everyone else? Thinking about all the ways you could be is a great springboard for change.
Now that you know what frame of mind would feel good, it’s time to take stock of your thoughts. What passes through your mind throughout the day? What about when you’re alone? Observing your thoughts can be just as simple as observing the clutter on your desk. Through the practice of mindfulness, we can tune into all the thoughts, quiet or loud, that pass through our minds.
The important thing to remember is to be gentle with yourself. Instead of thinking, “Why am I having that thought? I’m such an idiot…”, you can ask yourself, “How interesting - how does this thought serve me? Where did this thought come from?”
Part of being gentle with yourself includes feeling grateful for your thoughts. Practice thinking: “Thank you. You were here for a reason and you served a purpose.” Acknowledge the place each thought was holding, and then make room for more harmonious thinking.
It is common to think, If I’m having this thought, it must be true. We can become very attached to our thoughts, especially when they have been keeping us company for months or years. But as we grow as people, some pruning is needed. Ask yourself: “Does this thought spark joy?” Let’s help ourselves reach our full potential.