Tips for mental decluttering

mental decluttering

With her series on Netflix, tidying-up expert Marie Kondo has inspired many people to tackle their own clutter. What many of us don’t realize, is that you could declutter your mind too. Flow’s Alice van Essen shared a few of her tips and tricks with, related to the release of our The Big Book of Less.

Let go of control

It’s only logical to want to have some control over things, after all, this is how we get things done. But we often only allow ourselves to relax after everything is done, and these days you can’t ever be finished with everything. So why not let things take their own course more often? It is worth exploring what happens when you stop ticking off lists and loosen your grip on the reins a little. Having less control is good for your brain, and you might even experience more fun, energy and creativity.

Focus your attention

Every day you encounter hundreds of thousands of things that you could respond to. They distract you from your environment, from the things you had planned on doing and from yourself. According to neuropsychologist Margriet Sitskoorn, we can take charge of our lives again by learning to direct our attention where we want it. If we fully focus on things, we’ll have less trouble completing tasks and won’t waste so much time on things that don’t really matter.

A read a day

Did you know that a bit of reading every day can help reduce stress? A British study has shown that just six minutes of reading can lower stress, more than taking a walk or listening to music can. It offers a counterbalance to the continuous beeps from your phone and it helps to empathize with others. So reading isn’t just about passing time, it also serves as an amazing form of medicine.

Screen time-out

Imagine the things you might do without your smartphone: staring out of the train window, really paying attention to the people around you, seeing what the weather is like. If you constantly reach for your phone, these kinds of moments will gradually disappear. Moreover, smartphones encourage us to multitask, which research increasingly shows is quite bad for your mind. One thing at a time is the way to go.

Take a stroll

As far back as antiquity, the ancient Greeks knew the benefits of walking in nature. Today, in a society where sitting down has become more common than moving, taking a stroll is more important than ever. According to scientists, walking has wonderful benefits since it is a way to slow life down, to think things over, to give your creativity a boost and to stay in shape physically. And the good thing is, anyone with a pair of legs can do it, and it won’t cost a thing.

Text Alice van Essen  Photography Marten Bjork/