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Decluttering – What’s at the back of your brain?

| 3 Minute Read |

Visit any recycling centre at the weekend just now, and you’ll see a line of cars snaking around the corner. Online village notice boards have never had so many “free, but must collect” postings for everything from toddlers’ toys to king-size beds!

The decluttering is real. In line with my recent comparison article (Comparison – the arch-enemy of self-compassion), I’m not beating myself up for the lack of cupboard perfection … even Monica from Friends had her clutter!  

What I’ve been much more focused on is decluttering my brain. There has always been so much “busyness” and noise in my head that I’ve got a lot of lost thoughts and insights in there.  

One of the BEST things my mindfulness class gave me last year was the power of “noticing”. Instead of getting stuck on a thought going over and over, I’ve learned how to ‘notice and then move on’. The things this has been able to let me find!

You know the moment when you’re cleaning out a cupboard, and you find exactly the item you need but had forgotten you had? From badminton racquets through yoga mats… Most recently, for me, was a wonderful guided-journal that I completed one page three years ago, then forgot all about it. I was actually about to buy it “again” having forgotten I even had it in the first place!!. Love those moments. And I’m sure we’ll return to that journal in the weeks ahead. 

Just as we find “stuff” we can also find thoughts. A lesson learned or an insight that maybe didn’t make sense at the time but suddenly is the very lightbulb moment you need that week. 

Our brain can hold A LOT of information – but to access it, you need to be in a specific brain and body state, relaxed and alert at the same time. Imagine you are trying to open some stuck drawers on a large dresser; the more frantically you try to yank at them and attack them, the more stuck they become. But if you relax and instead gently coax the drawers open, you can access what’s in there. Our brains are a lot like that – and sometimes even sleeping on something then trying to access it in the morning is an even better idea. 

I’ve found something very energising and exciting about having the chance to get access to more corners of my brain. Revisiting experiences – good and bad – and taking the time to learn from them, look at them through the benefit of more experience to make sense of them. I’m lucky to have many close friends – some with incredible coaching and psychology experience – to unpack a lot of this with. They help me make sense of what I’m finding at the back of the “brain cupboard”.

This is where I put in a word of caution – you never quite know what will come up when you start noticing more and going back into the corners of your brain. Always make sure you have someone to talk to. If you have trauma in your past, which may resurface, I would always recommend seeking professional support – it’s always best to keep yourself safe!

When you can declutter enough to see what’s at the back of your “brain cupboard” it can be a very beneficial experience. Some of it you will want to “recycle” as it may no longer serve you – even thoughts go out of style! Some may be just the ideal memories and insights to help you at that very moment. Either way, you will hopefully feel lighter and brighter along the way and maybe very pleasantly surprised by the treasures you’ve simply not had the time to notice!

Let me know what you find! 

Next Steps

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