The human mind is pretty fickle. It jumps from one thought to the next without any care. If you allow your mind to wander freely, you will get caught up in the numerous thoughts and anxieties that arise from it. Your mind will be cluttered by so many things that you will waste time on unnecessary thoughts and feel stressed all day long. Fortunately, there are some simple ways that can help you free up your mind from such unnecessary thoughts.
4 ways to avoid unnecessary thoughts
1. Avoid constant judging
Many people spend a lot of time judging. They judge themselves, the people they love, the people they hate, the strangers they meet on the street, and so on. Every activity, whether it turns out to be good, within expectations, or bad, is analyzed. If faults are found, the mind once again dwells on them. This is largely a wasteful activity. Avoid being a judge of everything around you. Focus on your task and do it without letting the mind wander to unnecessary thoughts.
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If you offer your co-worker a coffee and they do not respond to you, don’t waste time on unnecessary thoughts about whether they don’t like you or whether you did something wrong. Maybe the co-worker was busy with something and missed saying “thank you.” As simple as that. Thinking about the incident and deriving wild conclusions from it will simply eat up your mental energy and will distract you from doing your job. By not thinking unnecessary thoughts, you will feel lighter, less stressful, and more focused.
2. Suppression and substitution of unnecessary thoughts
Sometimes, you might experience a traumatic incident that disturbs you. The memories can keep haunting you, taking up most of your free time and causing a disturbance in your life. A few people might be able to suppress such thoughts, eliminating them from their minds completely. But if that is not possible, try substituting the memories for good ones. Use your imagination and create a fantastical alternative to the incident where nothing goes “wrong.” Repeating such imagined scenarios can help substitute real memories with pleasant ones, thereby enabling you to free your mind from such depressing thoughts.
Try to meditate daily. Look for mindfulness or yoga classes nearby and sign up for them. “Mindfulness meditation isn’t the same as trying to achieve a certain state, like relaxation. Instead, it’s simply about noticing and accepting experiences in the present moment, whether that is an intense emotion, sensations in the body, the rhythm of your breath or floating thoughts,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Once you learn the basics and can keep your mind still for a few minutes, you’ll be able to do it by yourself every day. After a few weeks of practice, you should be able to meditate with a calm mind for 30 minutes or more, which is good enough to help you maintain focus for the day.
4. Take trips
If you keep yourself busy for too long, your mind will inevitably be filled with a thousand different thoughts. A good way to de-clutter is to go on a trip. Pack your bags and head to the mountains or forest, or go to the beach for a few days. Switch off your phones and live a frugal life. Listen to some good music or read an inspiring book during this period. By the time you get back to your home, you will feel fresh and ready to take on anything at work.