This week is National Simplicity Week founded in honour of Henry David Thoreau, an advocate of living as simply as possible.

The modern age is filled with all manors of gadgets and gizmos constantly beeping at us for our attention. Couple that with the myriad of thoughts floating around our head and you have a recipe for disaster.

How often do you feel overwhelmed? Probably more often than you should. The rational, logical side of our brain that helps us to plan things out and look at things stripped to their core meaning can often be pushed to the side in favour of panic – something favoured by the less rational side of the brain.

The less rational side of the brain feeds on instant satisfaction. Anything positive it wants to do immediately, and anything negative it leaves for the future. And this way of thinking is purported by having too many things going on at once. When our lives are full of clutter and mess, the less rational side of our brain cuts through as a way to help. Yet, it actually just makes us more stressed.

Minimal living is a new trend that is starting to sweep the nation as people get rid of things they no longer need in order to live a more peaceful life. The trend boasts advantages such as more room for what’s important, more freedom both mentally and physically, better focus, less attachment to material possessions, and an increased feeling of happiness. A clean home leads to a clean mind, but not always vice versa.

I’m more focused on helping you develop a clean mind, and we can do that through several methods. As mentioned, we can de-clutter our living space, but we can also meditate. Meditation is a form of mental cleaning. You can locate the thoughts that are causing you trouble and throw them out. Meditation isn’t just sitting in a a candle-lit room saying ‘ommmm’ on repeat, it’s a way to anchor you to the present moment and take out all the rubbish that’s clouding your thoughts.

Other ways to simplify your mind is by writing in a notebook or keeping a diary. Sometimes in order for our thoughts to stop bouncing around our heads, we need to release them into the outside world. We can do this by talking to others, but we can also do this by writing them down. Simply expressing your thoughts into written or spoken word can be a really cathartic experience.

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