Decluttering the mind. 3 Simple techniques to break “focused” distraction.

above the fog. Incredible view at the top of a peak in Switzerland.

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.

Barbara Hemphill

What do you think of when asked to define clutter? Do you automatically think of minimalism? Being environmentally-friendly and organized? But what about our minds? What’s so friendly about clutter here? And, adding more clutter aka “distraction” to manage stress?

Do you think internet-surfing is a natural escape response to being over-loaded with information? Are there just too many choices? Or is this war really about energy being stolen from you at that moment? Energy, that could have been poured into something creative that contributes positively to others or something that makes you feel happy or at peace.

We can be mis-directed by our own thoughts. Especially, the ones that tell us that entertainment is “therapy” and healing and that it is supporting us. But sometimes it isn’t. It’s toxic and addictive and justifies itself with the perception we are relieving stress by wandering through social media, emails, posts and videos. When, in truth, what we are really creating is a focused habit that doesn’t support us.

Aren’t we escaping distraction by reinforcing it? This is ridiculously obvious. But how can you break free? What if you aren’t aware of yourself being caught in your own spin cycle?

It is possible to break through “focused” distraction by moving your attention, slightly, each day toward something that is positive. One small shift can break the strongholds on the mind. Even when there is a dopamine addiction that rewards likes and clicks with small hits of recognition.

Take back control over your time and your own mental clutter. Use your own attention that can lock you in, to set you free. Meditation is a powerful tool for encouraging you to be present in the moment by placing your attention on your breath, your body awareness, your energy and on your thoughts. Mindfulness that engages the heart and the mind sharpens your ability to pay attention and to powerfully decide what to pay attention to.

One of the most empowering tools to learn is how to declutter the mind. This doesn’t mean that when you meditate you will not have any negative thoughts or experience mind-chatter. You will instead observe the busy-ness of the mind and allow thoughts to pass through you without any attachment or charged emotional response. Letting go of anger, frustration, resistance, fear and anxiety, meditation even for short periods of time will heal you.

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there—buried”
― S.J. Scott, Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking

Here are three steps for decluttering the mind.

  • Recognizing patterns and outgrowing them.
  • Using breath and energy techniques to clear resistance and negative patterns.
  • Learning to sharpen your focus. Strengthen your ability to observe and pay attention.

Clutter is not just the stuff on the floor, it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.

Peter Walsh

Declutter your mind, your heart, your home. Let go of the heaviness that is weighing you down. Make your life simple, but significant.

Maria Defillo

Decluttering your “locked” mindset

If we spend time troubleshooting what is getting in our way, we are placing our attention on it and amplifying its existence. Wouldn’t you agree?

Why waste anymore of your life rolling around in old garbage when it is possible to totally change your mindset by creating a new and supportive one? This revelation was incredible for me personally because reinvention transforms your energy, your mind and your outlook on life. Being grateful and appreciating things on a deep level elevates your emotional state and places an emphasis on positive contribution. It tosses out destructive thinking and limiting beliefs and places a protective lock on your mind. You decide what kind of thoughts you want to you occupy your time with.

Meditation is just one tool you can use to your advantage. Prayer is another. Faith and your own belief in yourself will challenge old ways and make room for you to thrive in what were once old battlefields.

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”- Romans 13:12

Recognizing patterns that get in our own way.

Once a negative habit or pattern is recognized, we begin to outgrow it. We are now able to see how that pattern operates in our life. What is does to our quality of life, the time wasted and the impact it might have on other things we could have created. But step beyond remorse and loss. Refuse to waste any more time pondering the loss and being angry with yourself. Use it to empower yourself to take more aggressive action in your own life. If you are seeing something that is slowing you down and blocking you from progressing, then choose to focus on what it is you want to create. Letting this “thing” go will free up energy you can use on something that is more positive.

Clearing techniques.

There are many different approaches to placing the body in a relaxed and receptive state to meditation. Most will invite you to sit or lay down and shift your attention toward your body and your own breath.


Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Pay attention to the movement of the air in and out of your body. Use counting to pace the inhale and exhalation of the breath. Cover one nostril with your finger and inhale and exhale through the other. Alternate sides of the nose.

There are many breathing patterns to explore. You will find some will sharpen your focus like the BOX method, deep and slow breaths will deeply relax you and others will amplify your energy by quickening it with rapid “fire” breathing techniques.

But whatever breathing technique you choose allow your body to clear out and adjust its energy. Shifts can happen quickly with breath work.


Visualize breathing in light and exhaling negative energy. Fill every cell in your body with light. Glow will radiant health and bring your mind to a place of peaceful, mindfulness in the present moment.

This clearing technique is an energy meditation. Use the imagery of light to energize your body and clear out mental cobwebs.

Listen to a sound sample of a visual meditation for Mental Clarity and Enhanced Memory.

Grounding your energy.

Being grounded is about anchoring your energy so that you are not knocked off balance by events and people and the energy where you are.

Envision energy pouring through you from the top of your head and out through the bottom of your feet. Visualize roots growing out of the bottom of your feet like a tree and extending those roots deep into the Earth. As these roots extend deeper into the ground imagine letting the gravitational pull, the force of nature draw out negative energy and declutter your mindset. Breathing in fresh air is an energy equivalent to this technique. You should feel revitalized and clearer in your mind after you ground your energy.

Focus. How to shift it with meditation practice.

Allowing yourself to be present, focusing on the moment with your senses, expands the experience of being alive. NOW.

But what if you suffer from distraction sickness? What if you can’t spend time on anything without being called to move into something else, another image, another video, a message or a phone call, or internet search for something that just happened to pop into your mind?

The same short bursts of “attention” that brought you into distraction, can also be used to get you out. Try this simple idea. If you can’t sit still and find yourself wasting too much time. Do this….

Set a timer for one minute. Turn it over and close your eyes. Imagine a blue sky. You might even remember a day that was very happy that had a blue sky. Maybe you learned to water-ski? or spent time in the orchard with your parents? Focus on that one happy thought.

You are strengthening your “focus” muscles.

One small step at a time. It is possible to become more comfortable with meditation and gradually increase your meditation sessions. Learned mindfulness will make your radar for being present stronger and your focus laser sharp. It will help you to concentrate for longer periods of time. Use short sessions to capture your wandering attention. This will break the stronghold of distraction even if you are an impatient meditator.

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