Book – Declutter Your Mind (How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking) (Summary)
Author – S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport
Genre – Self-help Book
Published in – 2016
“Training your mind is the mental equivalent of tidying your house. It’s a habit you must repeat daily to stay on top of it. Even though training your mind is not as simple as housekeeping”.
This is the 2nd book I picked from S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport after receiving enormous value from their book 10 Minute Mindfulness.
Declutter Your Mind will significantly help if you recognize any or all of the hurdles below.
1) If you constantly worry about things you can’t control and lose precious time overthinking them.
2) If you have experienced high stress, agitation, anxiety, and even depression due to mental overwhelm.
3) If you struggle to change your priorities, learn to manage and understand your thoughts so they don’t rule your life.
About The Book –
Though we can’t keep our mental house free from clutter at all times, we can impact our thoughts enough to improve the quality of our life and happiness with the help of strategies shared in Declutter Your Mind.
The author claims to teach us the habits, actions, and mindsets we can use to clean up the mental clutter that might be holding us back from being more focused and mindful.
The book is divided into four parts and shares ideas of decluttering thoughts, life obligations, relationships, and surroundings.
Excerpts From Each Section –
Part I – Decluttering Your Thoughts
They understand why behind habits helps immensely in eliminating or changing them. Thoughts are no exception.
The authors share a couple of causes responsible for cluttered thoughts.
- Daily Stress – We live in a highly competitive world. There is too much competition; it is more about proving ourselves to others than accomplishing things that matter.
- Paradox of Choices – This is a big one. Though having choices has benefits, with more and more options in almost all aspects of life, even seemingly trivial things make things difficult.
The best thing about Declutter Your Mind is that it gives you many possible solutions to combat thought clutter, and we can choose which suits us best.
Mental Declutter Habit # 1 Focused Deep Breathing–
One of the ideal ways to break the worry train, the negative thought pattern, is to bring back attention to breathing, which is Mindfulness. As you focus on breathing, you will realize, over time, how easy it is to get down from the worry train.
Mental Declutter Habit # 2 Meditation – Meditation is not only reserved for monks anymore or seen as a religious ritual alone. It has way too much mainstream acceptance nowadays. There are numerous types of research out there supporting Meditation.
Part II – Declutter Your Life Obligations
One of the main reasons for having so much stress is not able to differentiate between what matters and whatnot.
With this section, the authors help us identify things that matter, set goals, and eliminate rest to free up time and energy to focus on our goals.
Strategy #1 – Identify Your Core Values –
Once set right, This is one thing that can put things in their perspective. Make lots of decisions much more accessible. Remember that it may not happen in one sitting, and you may want to take your time with this exercise.
Ideas and tools in the book will help you with guidelines to set this right.
Strategy #2 – Create Quarterly S.M.A.R. T Goals –
If you are like me, who looks for actionable in every book I read, This point can be your biggest takeaway. I always struggled with this, but not anymore.
According to Steve, lengthy goals (i.e., anything over six months) are often demotivating. When you know an outcome is months away, it’s easy to procrastinate on taking consistent action.
You keep putting off your goals, promising to work on them next week. Next thing you know, it’s a year later, and nothing has been accomplished.
Part III – Decluttering Your Relationships
Our relations are one of the most significant sources of happiness in our lives, and so are the source of pain. Be it parents, spouses, children, friends, and our professional relations.
As we progress in our journey, these relations create many good memories. However, it also makes lots of clutter, which we hang on to and let affect ourselves adversely.
Relationship Strategy #1: Be More Present –
In times of enormous distraction, being present in our relationship and the conversation is our most significant positive contribution. You may consider the below tips to be more present in a relationship.
- Practice emphatic listening – Listen to empathize and don’t prepare a response while listening. Just Listen.
- Mindful speaking – Inculcate mindful speaking. Refrain from taunting or criticizing, and use your words carefully.
Relationship Strategy# 2: Getting Unstuck From The Past –
Because relationships are so integral to our lives, it’s unsurprising that people from our pasts continue to cause us pain weeks, months, or even years after an encounter or relationship has ended.
Here are a few suggestions one may consider letting go of the past –
- Resolve what you can.
- Challenge your story.
- Offer forgiveness.
Part IV – Decluttering Your Surroundings
Whether we like it or not, our physical surroundings significantly affect our mood, thoughts, feelings, actions, and what we will accomplish.
This section is filled with excellent tips to boost productivity and happiness in your personal life.
I loved the example given regarding procrastination –
Think about this: You likely procrastinate at least one hour a day. That’s seven hours a week—nearly an entire workday.
So you lose 52 full workdays a year to procrastination. What could you do with an extra 52 workdays?
I have created a video of a few quotes from the book – I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Myread4change.
Declutter Your Mind must be considered a guide rather than a book.
This summary encourages you to pick this book and implement its lessons.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy reading Think Straight By Darius Foroux.
Please share your thoughts in the Comment Section. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading. I wish you a clutter-free life.