Every week I see posts and advertisements about decluttering our homes
Marie Kondo’s book ‘Spark joy’ guides us to get rid of items that don’t.
Josh Becker ‘The more of less: finding the life you want under everything you own’ inspires us to clear the clutter.
It’s a good idea to get rid of unwanted items & sort the mess in our homes. But what about our minds?
My introverted mind is never quiet. There’s constant mental chatter. My mind rarely feels tidy or sorted.
Thoughts collide & merge like black scribbles in my brain.
There’s just so much to take in ..that I don’t actually have to!
‘Information overload keeps us mired in noise…. This saps us of not only willpower (of which we have a limited store) but creativity as well.’
‘We don’t have the capacity to handle all the input that’s catapulted at us day in and day out.’ (Marian Vischer)
Before long, distracted thinking leads to distorted thinking. Emotions like anxiety anger, resentment, regret compound the issue.
There’s so much mental clutter. I may resolve to sort things but it’s like I’m still carrying things around in mind. Like how black bags of charity shop donations stockpile in the corner- or in the boot of my car.
Worry & overthinking just adds more overflowing bin bags to the pile.
Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism says: ‘We need space to escape in order to discern the essential few from the trivial many. Unfortunately, in our time-starved era we don’t get that space by default—only by design.’
We don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with everything. We have a choice & we need to curate our thoughts. We need room in our minds to think clearly.
‘The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or breaking of my identity’
We need to focus on our thoughts.
‘We should start choosing our thoughts like we choose our clothes for the day.’
We always have a choice & we must choose wisely:
‘The soul becomes dyed by the colour of its thoughts’
‘Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.’
(Proverbs 4:23 NCV)
That’s too true.
Peter Pan urged ‘Think happy thoughts!’
If only it was as simple as that. Banish the bad thoughts & usher in bright ones!
We need to move from the mind candy of distractions & screen scrolling to nourishing brain food.
‘Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’
(Philippians 4:8 NLT)
We need to renew our minds:
‘Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.’
While it is God who can change our way of thinking, we can play our part:
‘You can be the air traffic controller of your mental airport. You occupy the control tower and can direct the mental traffic of your world!’
(Max Lucado- Anxious for Nothing!)
We can create mind space by shifting worrying thoughts- turning our cares into prayers:
‘Don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.’
(Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)
I love that image of Christ displacing worry in our life. He can settle our minds & calm our thoughts when we trust Him.
How can we declutter our minds?
*Create mind space- allow your thoughts to marinate- when it’s just you & your thoughts- no music/podcasts/radio/TV. Maybe go for a walk unplugged!
*Have a thought download -clear your mind by listing what thoughts are consuming it now. Write it down.
*Reduce input -unsubscribe & limit scrolling
*Anchor your distracted mind by reading truth- like the verses mentioned above.