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Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking Kindle Edition
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In their third book in this series, Steve [Scott] and Barrie [Davenport] have written a book that targets one of the most critical areas we all struggle with: a life full of clutter. As they point out from the intro, your thoughts create reality, from stress and productivity to feeding into emotions, we can control and direct our thoughts to work for us instead of against us.
The book kicks off with the 4 causes of mental clutter:
• The Paradox of Choice
• Too Much Stuff
• The Negativity Bias
The next section gives us four mental declutter habits that add serious weight to both physical and mental health. The first is "Focused Deep Breathing" where we learn the full value of focusing on deep breathing on a regular basis. The second is "Meditation" and the authors say "we suggest meditation as a tool to help you train your mind and control your thoughts." Steve and Barrie introduce the simple 11-step process to use for building the mediation habit. Next is the "Reframe All Negative Thoughts" habit. Here you will learn the "six strategies you can use throughout your day to break the pattern and begin taming your mind." Finally we have the "Teach Your Old Mind New Tricks" habit. Here we have four great strategies for gaining greater control of your thoughts instead of being a slave to them.
Honestly, I was sold on this book after the first chapter. The 4 Mental Habits are enough to add incredible value to your life. But there are three more sections that add more weight:
Part 2 is about "Decluttering Your Obligations" and determining the Core Values as, according to the authors, “one of the simplest ways to eliminate mental clutter and live a more fulfilling life is to define your values and guiding principles for your life." In this section we learn four awesome strategies for nailing your life values, clarifying priorities, Mindful Goal Setting with Quarterly Smart Goals, and Connecting Goals to Passions.
Part 3, Decluttering Your Relationships, is the section of this book I needed the most. Because relationships are largely responsible for driving many people into stressful fits of rage, from kids to parents to friends, you don't want to miss this part. Declutter Your Relationships introduces 4 Relationship Strategies guaranteed to improve, empower and strengthen your communication with people. On every level you can have relationships that function in a healthier way. Steve and Barrie show us that by being mindful of others, we develop deeper levels of empathy and emotional control.
Part 4 is about simplifying your surroundings. Where you spend the most time has a huge impact on your happiness and state of mind. This section has enough juice in it to make your living space a business powerhouse if you clean it up. As the authors state: "When your environment is cluttered, the visual chaos restricts your ability to focus."
This section will show you step-by-step how to
• clean up your home
• minimalize your digital life
• spend more quality time with friends and family
• learn to relax more and avoid a life a busy-ness all the time
• simplify your distractions to avoid procrastination
• simplify your daily actions
Declutter Your Mind has a strong focus on Mindfulness, and how we can tap into our greater selves to create a life of relaxation, peace, serenity and freedom. In a world of increasing complexities, schedules stacked up, and distractions controlling our lives, there has never been a better time than now to start "decluttering" your mind [and your life].
-- An added bonus to the book at the end are is a 400-word list of values so you can choose the values for evaluating your current quality of life.--
**So what's the final word on Declutter Your Mind?**
The book is, as expected, written in a way that readers can start implementing the strategies and habits right away. The language is concise and clear and, both authors, drawing from their extensive experience discussing self-improvement and habit strategies have provided us with a timeless book chock full of actionable content. This is a definite recommend for people looking to have a simplified and calmer lifestyle.
1. The author doesn’t mention using exercise as a technique against mind clutter.
I know that exercising isn't a method to declutter your mind per se, but neither is gratitude journaling. And that was indicated as one of the ways you can deal with clutter in your head.
I was surprised by this "omission", because I know that S.J. is a fitness nut (compared with to the majority of the population); this maniac runs marathons.
Two advantages of exercising that come to mind off the top of my head: it reduces stress, and it provides you the time to think through your issues.
Exercises were mentioned many times throughout the book, but never as a one of the main remedies against mind clutter.
2. Divorcing to reduce mind clutter.
I guess it's a cultural thing. My worldview doesn't include the possibility of divorce. Period. For me, this section of the book equated to the planning of murder in cold blood, while considering its pros and cons.
Barrie and Steve were first to admit that "Letting go of any relationship is not a quick proposition", but they included this section in the book anyway. It sent some cold shivers down my spine.
That’s a very short list of “shortcoming.” The list of benefits this book offers is much longer.
Here’s a few I’ve highlighted:
1. A wide range of ways to tackle "voices in your head" are described.
Having now read about organizing your space to reduce "digital clutter", I agree it is a very sensible approach to reduce the number of impulses that stimulate your monkey brain. When the authors systematically explain how those things contribute to your mind clutter, it's obvious. However, I wouldn't have thought about this on my own.
In addition, other sections made immediate perfect sense, like improving one's self-talk.
2. There is detailed and methodical advice about the “voices in your head.”
This topic does seem a little woo doesn’t it? Voices in Your Head. Yet I'm amazed how down-to-earth this book was for me. It's hard to explain without reading the content.
To aptly illustrate the ease of applying the book's content: the day after reading it, I performed the "loving meditation" technique described inside.
3. You can easily identify the parts which will be useful.
I think this is the biggest strength of "Declutter Your Mind".
Each piece of advice stands alone; a small part that can be taken and applied without reference to the rest. Each piece of instruction is clear and to the point. You will find little to no fluff in this book.
Because of how separate parts of the book are organized, you can read the Table of Contents, open only the part that refers to your situation (e.g. you have problems with self-talk or relationships) take a few pearls from that part and immediately implement them.
I've read the whole book only because I was interested how the authors tackled such a big and seemingly mysterious subject. But I could have had major benefit from reading only the part about relationships, as that is an area in which I experience some troubles.
4. This book is written for the overwhelmed.
I'm astounded how well "Declutter Your Mind" is organized. The instructions are highly detailed too.
Considering the wide range of techniques and suggestions offered, it might be thought that a ‘cluttered mind’ would go into overload. Not so. At each step you receive detailed step-by-step advice on how to clean up untidiness in your head.
You’ll find this book a treasure if you struggle with in-your-head noise. You’ll be armed with a whole arsenal of loaded anti-clutter weapons.
5. There are many personal stories.
This is why I love self-publishing. This book doesn’t preach theory, it illuminates good practice.
Barrie and Steve struggled with these issues like any of us (and they still struggle occasionally), and they’ve shared their experience in a relatable way. Their stories make it easier to retain their lessons
6. I identify with their methods.
Mind clutter is an issue that spills into all areas of life. As an author and coach, I regularly prescribe many of the methods indicated in this book: gratitude journaling, writing things down, journaling and more. I know that they work; I’ve experienced this firsthand, and confidently vote for their approach.
In summary: This book is a gem for people overwhelmed by the number of things they have to juggle on a daily basis (which seems like everyone on this whole crazy planet).
You can take "Declutter Your Mind", target your problem areas and immediately apply the solutions given.
Grab this book now: alleviate internal noise and stress in your life.