Declutter your mind for control, productivity and happiness. Our mind and thoughts play a massive role in how we live our lives. Sometimes our minds run at 100mph, pushing us into a state of reduced productivity and instability. The environment around us, our situations and stresses push the mind into states that are not always the healthiest. Our mind is a storage box of our dreams, feelings, nightmares and difficulties; a mosaic of polarised emotions.
If we stop to analyse what we are thinking, we often will find the content makes little sense or was pretty much insignificant to your own life. For me, the ideal mind is one which is highly focused, highly driven, highly productive rarely affected by the whispers of gossip, laziness and idleness. This is a state that is difficult to reach however it is not impossible but is one we should aim to achieve.
As Muslims, we should work hard to develop a mind that is clutter-free, to the best of our abilities. Why? A cluttered mind interferes with our Salah and maintaining focus in our prayer. A clouded mind also affects our personalities and make it a real challenge to implement the behaviour of a kind, considerate person. As stated by Ibn Al Qayyim in his book Al Fawaid:
“You should repulse a thought. If you do not do so, it will develop into a desire. You should therefore wage war against it. If you do not do so, it will become a resolution and firm intention. If you do not repulse this, it will develop into a deed. If you do not make up for it by doing the opposite thereof [the opposite of that evil deed], it will become a habit. It will then be very difficult for you to give it up.”
A thought can progress into much more.
There are a few, key tips on how to declutter your mind which we can all work towards helping us to remain in a calm, collected state. With Ramadhan shortly falling upon us, use the month to help cleanse your body and declutter your mind.
Turn to Allah
This is by far the most important and effective way of dealing with this, and every other, problem. A very profound and relevant dua’a is taught by the Prophet Muhammed :
Anas Ibn Malik reported: “… I often heard him say: ‘Allahumma, inni a’udhu bika min al-harami, wal-huzni, wal-‘ajzi, wal-kasali, wal-bukhli, wal-jubni, wa dala’id-dain, wa ghalabatir-rijal (O Allah, I seek refuge in You from old age, grief, incapacity, laziness, miserliness, cowardice, the burden of debt and being overpowered by men.)'” (An Nasa’i)
Focus in your Salah
Salah is a time for yourself to connect with Allah and seek help for all your difficulties. Even if in the rest of the day your mind is cluttered, practise keeping your focus in Salah. This is the best starting point and you will find if your Salah’s focus is correct this ability will spill into the rest of your life.
Read also: Salah at work
Catch your thoughts
Not all thoughts are bad, however many come to us at the wrong time. If you find yourself unable to focus on one task because you constantly get distracted by the remembrance of other things you need to do – write it down. This will help you keep remain focused on the task at hand because that thought is safely written down.
Bat the bad ones away
When a thought comes in your mind that makes you feel uncomfortable or you know this is not something that should be thought about, actively fight it. We have the correct tools to do so – make istighfar by simply saying “Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness from Allah”.
Often we have a million worries that form the petrol that keeps the brain engine running at fast speed. Sometimes, it really helps to write down what you are thinking. Visualising your thoughts helps to box them into “necessarily” and “unnecessary”. Those that are necessary can be dealt with logically by thinking of what you can do to solve the problem. This is a great way to keep anxiety to a minimum.
Often the reason you may need to declutter your mind is because you are simply doing too much. We are creatures who often forget that there is a maximum we are able to do; we are not superhumans. Slow down and say no to projects when you have enough on your plate. Take care of yourself because by failing to do so, you effect the one thing you should grasp firmly on to – you imaan.
The nature is a great way to declutter your mind. It is has been shown in research that those who are in contact with nature are less likely to fall into depression and suffer from anxiety. Make it a habit to take a short walk every day, allowing yourself to reflect upon the simple beauty of Allah’s creation and the purpose of life.
Read also: Benefits of nature