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Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene — Cluttered Minds Cause Stress

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 1:38 PM

Dr. Arlene Barro

Is your mind like a cluttered closet? If so, pause and focus on your mind. If you experience a wide array of ideas popping in and out, organize the flow and retrieval of the information. By doing that, you will avoid cognitive dissonance— ideas colliding— which can cause confusion, anxiety and stress.

Visualize Your Computer

Our minds are the original computers. Desktops, laptops, and smart phones are recent creations. We can systematically organize our minds, even though we cannot see the inner workings. Here is how. Visualize your computer. When you receive your email, you can decide what to read, ignore, delete and save. You can ignore and read later or just delete. You can categorize and file saved emails or leave them in the inbox, creating clutter.

Imagine storing and filing critical information in your mind. Delete the trash. What constitutes trash? A colleague of mine commented that I thought differently and asked me what I do. I explained that I consciously delete that which I do not want to remember or need to remember. Why? I want an unencumbered mind that is free to be creative. She took my advice and transformed her life.

When I meet with clients who have challenging business, career or personal issues I  gradually give them the strategies based on my Right Fit Method, to do what I would do. They reduce their stress, stop dwelling on the past, and focus on the present to achieve their goals. Anxiety, stress and fear are no longer dominant.

Unsure about what needs to be deleted from your mind? Focus immediately on erroneous assumptions, negative self-talk and trivial details. Train your mind to store concepts. Some individuals stuff their minds with details and cannot define or articulate the concepts. Do not fall into that trap. Avoid clogging your mind with minutiae.

Examine Your Environment

Your mind needs environmental order to maintain low stress. Remove the clutter from that which you frequently use including: home, office and car. Remember to look in closets, drawers and garages. As you restore environmental order, your mind and body will become more relaxed. Whether you restore the order yourself or others do it for you, it is important to be involved in the planning. Why? Your mind will benefit from the planning which forces you to organize information, relieving stress.

Set in motion an ongoing process to maintain environmental tranquility.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Loose ends— the unfinished— cause stress. Whether you are finalizing the time for a lunch date or finishing a large project, the number of loose ends can increase. Finish simple loose ends quickly. Do not let them hang on to distract and disrupt your focus. For projects, exquisite planning with built-in contingency plans is the right solution. Tying up loose ends will have a relaxing effect. Begin decluttering your mind now, and let me know the impact of my strategies on your stress.

Share your decluttering stories with Dr. Arlene. Email: Responses could appear in her next column.

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of WIN Without Competing!, a business, career, and personal strategist and founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. on 10940 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Episodes of her radio show are available

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