One way to ensure optimum performance of your computer is to perform a regular disk clean-up. When was the last time you did the same favour for your very own hard disk, your brain? We take a look at how to declutter your brain.
Why you should declutter your brain
What started me thinking about this was a computer joke. They say a computer is female because ‘even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval’. When I was done laughing, I suddenly realised that the joke described me. In arguments, I would bring up old wrongs to buttress my case. That often caused the relationship to hang.
So I decided to declutter my brain. I wanted to clear out obsolete files and harmful programmes that are holding me back from living freely and joyfully. I invite you to do the same.
How to declutter your brain
1. Delete old memory files
Some memories bring joy, and you should keep these forever: cherished moments with family, childhood pictures, friends. All these make you who you are today and should be kept safely. I’d even recommend backing these files up in a journal.
The files to delete are the ones that cause strife in your life. You find these when you perform a search to find ammunition for your arguments. Information stored in these files typically include times when your birthday or anniversary was forgotten, when you were kept waiting, and when your favours were not noticed or appreciated.
Delete these files without a second thought. They serve no useful function but take up space and prevent you from storing other types of memory files that are more useful.
2. Un-install malicious programmes
Malicious programmes are viruses that make you negative, cynical, and generally a pain to have around. They prevent other useful programmes from functioning properly.
This programme evaluates other people in close proximity to point out their flaws. It sends a report to the other human so that he can start work on fixing himself.
Keeping score tracks the nice things you have done for someone else. It compare this with the number of times that person has done nice things for you. If the numbers don’t match, the programme updates your behaviour from resentment to anger.
Expectations generates a list of actions you would like another person to perform for you. You will know such programmes by checking their code: all of them involve actions by other people and not yourself. Since you have no control over the actions of other people, these programmes leave you unfulfilled and make others miserable.
3. Disable unnecessary applications
Unlike malicious viruses, these programmes aren’t harmful in themselves but take up unnecessary resources. They run in the background without you noticing, slowing down other applications and preventing you from performing as well as you’d like to.
Worry is a time-consuming function which causes you to go through every possible outcome a dozen times. Multiplied by the number of possible outcomes, the sheer memory size required by this file slows down all other applications. Most of these outcomes never happen.
Suspicion causes you to screen every word and deed. It refuses to process them until they have been proven without a doubt to be trustworthy. While some people are willing to stick around long enough to pass the screening procedure, most will simply leave.
Procrastination takes every task at the front of the queue and moves it to the back. Sometimes it simply holds up the entire queue while it goes to check out the games applications.
Declutter your brain today
If you have not cleaned up your hard disk in a while, the first attempt can take a long time. Just be patient. The good news is that subsequent clean-ups are much faster and easier. Changing our thinking habits is the same. It can be very hard the first time but becomes easier.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this light-hearted post! For a more serious approach to decluttering your brain, read Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking.