If you haven’t heard, minimalism is the new wellbeing diet. But what about mental minimalism? Sure, reducing clutter, narrowing down unwanted household items and strategizing your furniture can relieve tension, but your brain might contain unhealthy items, too. Mental minimalism is here—and it works. Check out the five best mental minimalism strategies below.
Strategy One: Simplify Your Past
As the saying goes: If you live in the past, you live in depression. If you live in the future, you live in anxiety. To get comfortable with the present, you’ll need to take a judgement-free outlook on your past. More importantly, you’ll need to reduce regret. It might sound cliché, but focusing on the past diverts present focus. In fact, expert Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Yale University psychologist and professor, states that rumination is responsible for negative framing—which, in turn, tarnishes your current problem-solving processes.
Strategy Two: Learn to Task Switch
You needn’t strike out entire mental processes to be a mental minimalist. Instead, you simply need to exchange them upon command. Sure, it’s hard to change gears. That said, experts believe you lose 40 percent of your productivity when multi-tasking. Learn to task switch, and practice doing one thing at a time. Be careful, however, because rapid task switching, at the end of the day, is just multitasking again.
Strategy Three: Prioritize Relationship Value, not Abundance
Sometimes, relationships need to be cut. They shouldn’t be cut needlessly, however, and you should take care in discerning valuable relationships. In the same way a low amount of possessions increases the value of said possessions, reducing toxic relationships can be healthy. No, it doesn’t mean you should cut people out left and right. It does mean you should consider de-weeding negative influences which are strangle-holding your creativity and expression.
Strategy Four: Prioritize Discipline, not Motivation
Motivation is fleeting. If your actions are conditional upon feelings, you’ll find yourself susceptible to your own clutter. Reduce the amount of decisions you make per day, and make several absolutely unconditional. By training discipline, you can effectively create “ghost tasks.” These ghost tasks don’t need effort to conduct. Your mind—and body—are already established to complete them seamlessly.
Strategy Five: Drink Coffee, but in Moderation
This last strategy is a tricky one. In a study containing 50,000 older women, experts found those drinking one cup or less of caffeinated coffee per week experienced a 15-percent decrease in depression and anxiety risks. Those drinking four or more caffeinated coffees experienced a 20-percent decreased risk.
Understandably, drinking too much coffee can spike anxiety, but coffee in moderation actually helps the mind sort thoughts, complete tasks and engage critical thinking abilities. Like the other tips, coffee should be taken decisively and carefully. It’s all about minimalism, remember?