Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The baffling solution to clearing mental clutter

We all tend to always have something going on in our minds. Many of us even have voices inside our heads constantly telling us we should do this or that, reminding us of failures or setbacks, and building up clutter in our minds.

There is a bafflingly simple solution to dealing with mental clutter

In our everyday lives, we are bombarded with information, news items, photos, emails, text messages and social media notifications. We’re incessantly haunted by must-do’s, ideas, plans, decisions, thoughts flitting back to past experiences, interactions with other people. We are constantly having to respond to requests.

I’ve found a baffling solution to dealing with such “mental clutter”: it consists in implementing “stateless practice”. It’s a fascinating concept that I’ve come across in one of Leo Babauta’s blog posts, which you can read here. A stateless protocol in computer programming is a communications protocol that treats each request as an independent transaction that is unrelated to any previous request (source: Wikipedia).

Leo Babauta suggests applying this concept of statelessness to our everyday lives: rather than constantly responding to a million requests, must-do’s and thoughts running around our heads, imagine they simply faded away into the ether... Imagine that no requests, must-do’s or thoughts were weighing down on your mind right now.

Statelessness involves letting go of all previous moments and instead focusing on what’s happening now: the task at hand; the activity you’re enjoying right now; the person in front of you. Imagine there’s nothing else pulling at your attention, nothing negative weighing you down, nothing draining energy out of you.

Try it! It really works!