Just how much time do people spend cleaning their body, hair, teeth, etc and for those of us into a healthier lifestyle time spent on a clean diet and lifestyle (exercise, sport, fitness, etc)?
What if you didn’t wash your body for a week? For most people this would be unbearable if not for themselves then for their colleagues, friends and family. YUCK
How good do you feel after a (in my case a lava bath) wash? Like they say cleanliness is next to godliness!
But what is amazing is not many people dedicate even a small amount of time each day to cleaning their minds and this accumulates just as much dirt and clutter as our bodies if not more!
A clean mind gives better focus, more energy, enthusiasm, happiness, is infinitely more creative and productive, and definitely allows for deeper better sleep.
Just like a filing cabinet (or messy desk or cluttered handbag or backpack) we accumulate thoughts, feelings and information on a daily basis. If allowed it can really get to overload causing stress, irritability and sometimes physiological responses like illness or disease. Even for the most peaceful, upbeat people, if you think about the amount of “stuff” that goes through your head not being addressed or cleared out regularly can become a veritable breeding ground for anger and other difficult emotions; a cess-pit.
Sport or healthy hobbies and activities, especially yoga can temporarily clear the mind as it is focussed on other things or even help with anger or irritability, also boosting feel good endorphins but that’s kind of like putting deodorant on an unwashed body, it’s a cover up if you haven’t had a good scrub.
Even meditation gives your mind a break but it doesn’t make decisions or wash away the things that have accumulated.
The truth is resourceful people make decisions about what they focus on and this requires dedicated thought!
If your mind MOT is overdue, you’ll find there are lots of STICKY situations or thoughts or emotions that won’t go away. A STICKY thing could be a long standing dispute with someone, something you’ve avoided (even like going to the doctor for a check up can cause worry if its not done) or just an thought that keeps going around and around in your head.
We all know how long it takes to clean something if you leave it for ages so be prepared to possibly uncover some nasty stuff (eg like “How Clean is your House”). It might be better to have a BIG spring clean using some of the following techniques and then embark on a daily mind washing routine.
This doesn’t have to be a big drama, but it does require rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in and probably getting some help from an NLP coach. It’s like someone who does a detox diet, what comes out at first? Lots of rubbish but then the person feels lighter, more healthy and most importantly has improved their long term health.
If you don’t want to “delve” then the daily routines are still effective but you are going to be surface polishing rather than deep cleansing!
Emotional connections may be harder to sort out but the key is to get to the underlying problem (root cause) and find anything practical you can do to resolve it. If it’s about a feeling then allow expression of the feeling but if there is nothing you can do to resolve or make it better then you have to allow it to go. Things like NLP and reframes and Time Line Therapy™ are extremely effective at seeing situations in a different light which then allows the emotion to be transformed, often from one of helplessness or sadness to one of strength and resourcefulness. I’m trained in both and don’t be put off by the therapy tag, they are really very simple but incredibly effective processes.
Guided visualisations are also a very useful way of both going through a mind cleaning exercise and allowing new perspectives into a situation that has become reoccurring or stale.
DAILY MIND WASH
Why not practise this in the shower when you’re cleaning your body?
You could adopt the MIND TRAY method.
This is not about creating a to-do list of practical things that we all have to get done, organise and complete. It’s about sifting through things causing us irritation, anger, or bother or any other emotion or thought that is occupying too much time.
Quickly sift through the key thoughts or feelings, possibly giving them a label so you have a list of items. eg Worry about work, fight with friend, need more money, etc
Then put them in one of the following virtual mind trays. Don’t spend ages deciding where to put them, use your first reaction, your instinct, it’s usually right!
IN TRAY – new stuff that’s come in yet to be processed, needs more thinking time
OUT TRAY – Stuff that has no resolution or stuff that is resolved, over and needs getting rid of.
PENDING – re-occurring situations or things that need further info to be dealt with or need better timing. This is not a JUNK BOX for stuff you don’t want to deal with!! DECIDE that you’ve made a decision to put it in pending and leave it there until the next “wash”. Put it on the back burner so to speak.
ACTION – as in today, over and done (and OUT)
For example say you had an ongoing dispute or misunderstanding with a colleague but it really wasn’t the best timing to deal with it. So you put it into PENDING
Doing this is threefold:
1) less worry as you have made a decision to deal with it and it will be dealt with.
2) putting it on the back burner can actually allow the situation to be seen with a fresh look or attitude which can transform your behaviour and possible the outcome.
3) by clearing the decks your mind will help you find the best course of action.
FRESH AND PRODUCTIVE
So if you have done a spring clean and follow this method the only things you have to deal with that day is your REAL to do list, eg the things that are going to make you productive. Also the new stuff which needs processing and allowed time to breathe and sift through.
Nothing so complicated as human behaviour and of course nothing is as simple as it looks, but I have used these methods and taught them to many people with good results.