The 5 Ways Mental Clutter Affects Your Life

Woman stressing, overthinking events alone at home.

Many struggle with maintaining composure and grace during challenging moments, and impatience can be a significant roadblock to personal growth and success. (Image: Eldar Nurkovic via Dreamstime)

Mental clutter refers to times when our mind has too many thoughts, making it difficult to process and focus. Experiencing phases of a cluttered mind is not only disrupting while attempting to carry out daily tasks, but it is also unbalancing and detrimental to mental health.  

In December 2017, Prevention published Is Your Mind Cluttered? Here’s How To Tell And What To Do. Unfortunately, for some, focus and organization can prove to be a struggle. 

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For these people, it may be due to medical disorders, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or manic phases of bipolar disorder, to name a few. However, experts are witnessing a rise in mental clutter in otherwise healthy people who haven’t previously had any diagnosis of a mental disorder.  

Craig Travis, Ph.D., director of behavioral sciences at the Ohio Health Grant Medical Center, says: “Anything that goes on in the mind is ripe to be clutter if you haven’t learned how to focus and organize internally.” (Prevention)  

The word "brain" written on a window that has condensation on it. Concept for mental health, mental clutter.
According to one expert: ‘anything that goes on in the mind is ripe to be clutter if you haven’t learned how to focus and organize internally.’ (Image: Zzz1b via Dreamstime)

De-cluttering one’s life is an initiative to help with stress management and boost overall health. This is achieved through learning the principles of banishing clutter and restoring a sense of order. However, before attaining progression, one must first come to realize if the mind is cluttered. 

5 signs of mental clutter 

1. Inability to make decisions  

2. Loss of focus  

3. Loss of creativity  

4. Holding onto things deemed unnecessary  

5. Always exhausted  

Silence is the medicine for the mind, but the essential nature is silence. Silence is said to be the reason why so many benefit from regular meditation. The silence allows you to sit with yourself, even if only for a little while, and it is a breath of fresh air.  

Block letters spelling out "quiet time", an essential tool for managing mental clutter.
Silence is the medicine for the mind. (Image: David Burke via Dreamstime)

To most, the importance of life affects our daily choices, such as, what we eat, how much we work, and how much we socialize. The constant need for choice can cause the mind to become cluttered because the desire for the right decisions becomes a heavy burden. When we are always on the go, we become foggy and move too fast from one point to the next, and it gradually becomes an overwhelming cycle of living.  

In May 2017, Acuity magazine published Eight Simple Ways To Clear Mental Clutter. These are as follows: 

1. Tame your to-do list  

2. Clean up your actual clutter 

3. Rethink your way of thinking  

4. Eat, sleep, and live well  

5. Less screen time  

6. Stop trying to please everyone  

7. Start living in the present  

8. Create your sanctuary  

Clearing mental clutter welcomes peace and a sense of calm back into everyday living. Without mental clutter, you can be more productive, happier, and healthier within your body and mind.

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