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12 Ways to Declutter Your Mind & Reduce Stress

It's easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of our lives, and all too often we don't take time for ourselves. But it's important that this step is taken because when there are thoughts running rampant through your mind or too many things on your daily task list, you may not be able to function as well – which can lead to stress or anxiety. Properly managing your mental health leads you on a happier path!

It’s so easy these days with how many things life throws at us from work deadlines, family obligations etc., but sometimes taking some time out just for yourself could really help clear away those distracting thoughts before they overwhelm you – leading towards an even more stressful day ahead if left unchecked. Stress is the most common form of mind clutter and, just like physical or digital clutter, it's got to go!

Stress reduction has many benefits, including improving concentration and focus, getting better sleep, reducing the chance of heart disease or other illnesses like anxiety or depression. Here are some tips to help you declutter your mind!

Get active.

Exercise is actually one of the best ways to relieve stress because of its benefits on your body—regular exercise is best, but even if you don’t have time for a midday run, going for a walk anytime you feel stressed can be helpful.

You can reduce stress with a short walk outside every day. The fresh air helps you calm down, and the physical activity releases endorphins in your body that improve moods.

Just breathe.

One way to alleviate stress is to focus on your breathing. Here are some breathing techniques you can try: take slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale them through mouth; count up to 10 while inhaling and counting down from 10 when exhaling; breathe in for 4 seconds and then out for 6 seconds. Take 5 deep breaths the next time you are feeling stressed and you’ll be surprised how much it can help calm your mind and help you regroup your emotions and focus.

 While this won’t necessarily eliminate your stress or avert a crisis, deep breathing does have physical and mental benefits – especially when done on a regular basis.

Listen to music.

Music can help you de-stress by separating your attention from potential stressors and distracting you from your day. This is useful at night when trying to fall asleep as well because being distracted helps reduce the body's natural response to stress.

music to reduce stress

Any time you feel overwhelmed and feeling like your day cannot proceed as planned, turn on some easy listening tunes to help relax. Be mindful that the music you listen to can add to the stress if it is not chosen carefully; try sticking with calm instrumental music so you reap the maximum benefits of this hack.

On the other hand, sometimes you just need to rage for a bit to get it out of your system. If that’s the case, go for it! Just keep in mind that what we put in our brains (negative or positive) is what we output as well. 

Use aromatherapy.

Fight stress by bringing aromatherapy to the table. Using scents such as lavender, frankincense, rose – or any scent of your choice – can be a great way to relax with some peace and quiet.

aromatherapy to declutter your mind
Aromatherapy is helpful in decluttering your mind

Aromatherapy has several different mediums. You can use Aromatherapy treatment via an aromatherapy machine, burning incense, using them in perfumes or by adding them to a bath. Scents can also be used by keeping it around as candles!

Aromatherapy is found to decrease the level of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in our mind, which can help us relax and be more content with how we feel in the moment.

Additionally, other stress-relieving techniques can be combined with aromatherapy. For instance, you might light a candle in your office to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while you work or dab some calming scents on yourself before heading out in the morning.

Look at the bright side.

It can be difficult to remain positive when the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but focusing your attention on building a healthy mindset and adding some positivity into your life will help you feel better.

When it comes to stress, how we perceive its effects can differ from how others react. It’s been proved that people with a positive mindset on life are able to better deal with stress then those constantly thinking negatively.

 Make your future seem better by adopting a positive attitude and having an optimistic outlook.

Put down the coffee.

Yikes, I know. But here’s the thing. Studies show that people who drink a lot of coffee each day are more likely to be stressed and anxious than those who don’t drink coffee at all. Of course you should never give up your daily cup of joe entirely, but most caffeine consumption is through things like coffee and energy drinks.

If you consume more than one cup of coffee or one can of an energy drink, it might be time to cut back. Consistently consuming less caffeine can help improve your stress levels and overall physical health.

This is a big one for me. I can drink coffee all day but I know I shouldn't. If you drink a lot of coffee, like me, cut back slowly. Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing and we want to reduce stress, not add to it by changing this too fast.

Evaluate your life

Understanding the root causes of stress will help you decrease its negative impact on your mind and body. Your job, your relationships, and even your daily routines are excellent places to start when assessing factors that might be adding to your stress load.

Although it is normal to experience stress, feeling constantly overwhelmed by it can be harmful. It may be time to make a change in one or more facets of your life in order to lessen the amount of stress you have to deal with. These changes can range from small, balanced adjustments to large, drastic shift. If they do not bring joy and happiness, it's time to bid them adieu.

Learn to say “no”.

Busy schedules are very overwhelming and can have a significant impact on your stress levels. If you're already busy, it is difficult to handle an unexpected event.

One way to ensure that you are more productive is to know your priorities. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with tasks or requests, start removing those things that aren’t vital to your life and won't add joy. Learn to prioritize what matters most by saying “yes” when it makes sense and telling people “no” when you just can't do it.

Setting boundaries takes practice, but the more you do it, the better at it you'll get. Saying no isn't a bad thing and can definitely reduce stress in your day to day life.

Chew some gum.

This de-stressing tip may seem a little farfetched, but chewing gum everyday can actually reduce your stress. Some believe that the act of chewing stimulates brainwaves found in people who are calm and relaxed.

It’s still being studied as to why gum can help with stress relief, but keeping some in your purse or pocket doesn’t hurt. And the added bonus? Keeping a pack of gum on hand ensures you always have fresh breath!

Laugh more.

Although many people already know that laughter can help improve your mood, it also helps when dealing with stress or physical tension.

Make time for laughing, so you are harnessing the Power of Laughter every day. For example, watch a comedy show on TV or spend more time with friends that make you laugh. Add humor to your life where possible; it improves the quality of your life.

Don’t procrastinate.

Putting off things you don’t want to do is no way of living, as it may temporarily relieve some stress but often leads to greater stress. Rather than postponing your problems, deal with them head on and get back that peace of mind.

Anything you procrastinate about is still there, just put off until later. So, the stress has just been added to another time in the day/week/month. It's better to just get the task done. Then, there's nothing to worry about later.

Make sure you prioritize your day so you’re able to accomplish what needs taking care of, even if it feels like a big task in the moment.

Practice self care

When taking care of responsibilities and other people, it is easy to neglect your own personal wellbeing. However, not placing yourself first can have a drastic effect on your mental health in the long run.

Make time to put effort into your personal wants and needs every single day. This could be in the form of a 15 minute walk in the park, a nightly bubble bath, or reading before bed. Remember, you deserve it!

How will you reduce stress?

Destressing each day isn’t as difficult as you may think. It does take some planning and action on your part, but most of the techniques mentioned here don’t require a ton of time or money to execute. Small steps to lower stress and declutter your mind so you will be happier and in a better mood will pay off in the long run.

Which tips do you find yourself using the most? Share your destressing tips with me in the comments, too!

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