How-To

How to Declutter Your Neural Networks: The Declutter Series: with Style Whisperer Aleksandra Olenska

Have you ever considered that your brain could do with a bit of decluttering? Today I’m talking about how to declutter your neural networks, after-all they take quite a hammering in this modern life of always on, fast news, instant gratification, noise.

This is a thought provoking angle to take as part of a whole of your decluttering exercise, this is more than mindset, it’s taking action to give you a balanced calm mind, actionable ideas to transform how to manage your everyday life. It’s time to take your decluttering to the next level.

At 40 – at midlife and beyond, we’ve often been through big life changes, and have a lot on our minds…especially if like me you spend the majority of your day in your head… Of course, a big part of your inner self is your brain, and all of those juicy neural networks in there! 

The problem is that when our mind is too cluttered, the insignificant compound anxieties and irritations can leak out and disrupt our thoughts. Couple that with menopausal brain fog, and it can leave you feeling not like yourself. 

It’s a bit like when you’re on your phone trying to do something specific, and then a random notification comes up, and you check the message, and then suddenly you don’t remember why you’d picked up the phone in the first place, or what you were trying to achieve! 

It’s not only the inner thoughts and limiting beliefs  that we spoke about in the previous video, it’s also about external factors (like technology!) that are largely within our control, that influence the way we think – the things that hijack our brains and neural networks.

Neuroscientists such as Ramachandran, have proved that the brain has plasticity, and the good news is, that that continues throughout your life – in other words, it has been scientifically proven that it’s never too late to change- if you want to! 

In this video, I’m going to give you a few ways that we can rewire our brains to feel calmer more confident and in control.

1. Firstly, I urge you to Stop Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking IS mental clutter

It’s about doing things in quick succession, and spinning your brain from subject to subject, and trying to keep it all in your head at once – and what with already trying to juggle motherhood, work, charity activities, friends and family – it’s a LOT. 

Make sure that if something is rattling around your head, that you get it out onto paper, a note, or whatever you prefer to use…I’m sure you all know that soothing and liberating feeling of writing something down! 

Make a rule that if something takes less than 3 minutes to do it immediately…with focus, and establish a system to deal with the rest. You can try time blocking, or the Pomodoro method where you focus on one thing for a set amount of timed time (25 minutes is recommended) without distractions such as looking at your phone, making tea, or going to the bathroom or opening more tabs on your laptop… before taking a five minute break when the timer rings, to do as you please. 

Just like bringing stylish clothes and accessories into you home to create a beautiful harmonious and calm scheme, it’s about intentionality, and the same is true here – what are you intentionally bringing into your head at a given moment for a calmer, more beautiful mind!

There’s also a FREE style reset guide in the notes under the video, 
and… 

Stay tuned to the end for some easily actionable tips if you’re someone who secretly takes your phone to the bathroom! 

2. Limiting Inner Beliefs

In the last video, we spoke about limiting inner beliefs that are no longer serving you, and of course, you can change your beliefs about yourself by rewiring your neural connections. You can do this by spinning your script on your limiting beliefs. Now that you’ve identified some of the beliefs stories that you tell yourself, it’s time to look at them objectively and find a positive light – what can you incrementally change (because in my methodology, it’s all about the incremental upgrade,) in order to change your narrative.

So maybe you hate your thighs – hate is such a strong word right, though I hear it used a lot, and it’s true that hormones can play a big part at mid-life in settling weight on the waist, hips and thighs, so you hate your thighs…there’s no point in just flipping that script completely to ‘I love my thighs’ if you don’t…it can be hard to believe…so think about how you can incrementally spin that script so that you are kinder to yourself…have you secretly got STRONG thighs (like Beyonce?!) are you grateful that they support you, keep you standing or sitting? Practice spinning that script to kindness, so that you feel better and better about yourself! 

It can be easy to over-complicate life and feel overwhelmed with a whirring head, when what we really need is simplicity and clarity and compassion.

Writing out your intentions can be powerful – Are you ready to lose the overwhelm and feel calmer. 

3. As we said at the beginning, today we live in a whirl of overstimulation and information – it’s amazing that we have access to so much, and yet we need to be intentional about this too, so that it doesn’t overwhelm us…

I love that song Slave to the rhythm by Grace Jones with its incredible video by Jean-Paul Goude. And I adore that liberating feeling of captivated by music where you just cant help but move your body or dance – something that many of us could do with more of in our lives – including myself! Dancing like nobody’s watching! 

But today we are slaves to our cell phones – addicted to the relentless  rhythm of the cell phone – with its chirps and tweets and brings and dings ushering in a new era of mental clutter…it’s endless –and all  in the discomfort of your back pocket! 

To calm the mental clutter, and that feeling of being an unwitting being a slave to technology, requires a tech declutter…

In my video on decluttering your social life, I know many of you will have already got rid of apps you don’t use that are pre-designed to keep you hanging on…

And changed Chirping pinging notifications that keep you distracted and create those dopamine highs that keep you addicted…you’ve unsubscribed from all those emails that don’t add value to your inbox and Deleted any old contacts that no longer have a place in your life…so now how do you use and abuse technology throughout the day…

Consider a Tech detox in the mornings so that set yourself up properly for the day, 

This means your mind is free of phone clutter – such as the doom and gloom of the news, or immediate pressure of work emails for example, so that you’re in control of your day, rather than the phone – because you don’t want the first thing you see, being the first thing you think about or are influenced by without having a few moments to check in with yourself first – how do you feel today, what does the air around you feel like as you breathe, how did you sleep, what can you hear…

I remember when I had my operation recently, and I was coming out of the anaesthetic, and it was this strange slow motion feeling of coming back into the conscious world. It’s similar to a daily morning awakening…only we consciously have to give ourselves that few moments of calm of coming back into awakening…

You can also practice being still in yourself without that automatic reaction – the addiction many of us have for reaching for our cell phones to distract us when we have a spare moment – even in the toilet! Whilst I’m partial to Instagram, I’m also aware that I can all to easily fall into the trap of mindlessly reaching for my phone and scrolling through the horrors of the news without even thinking about it. 

I’m practicing becoming more aware of this, so that I limit all of that negativity and that knee jerk reaction to the phone. You can use breathing exercises like the one in my previous video to centre yourself, or have a keyword to distract yourself when you feel like you’re reaching for your phone (mine is pamplemousse, it also helps me when bad night time thoughts creep in…I say pamplemousse to distract my mind from them!) The problem with tech addiction is that it unwittingly takes us away from ourselves, and keeps us in busy busy busy mode – when really we’ve already got enough of that in our lives! So it’s time to give ourselves permission to be still, to rediscover the pleasures of just being, of gazing out of a window, or calmly taking a breath and feeling the smells, sounds and sights around us – we are human beings after all, not human doings…

Just like decluttering your physical possessions – your stuff, it’s not about throwing away all your stuff, or radically deleting Instagram if you don’t want to…it’s like nature – there’s a lot going on out there, but it’s about a harmony within the daily clutter… so you can can still have a lot of stuff or or be surrounded by less things, but you want to be intentional about what you are letting in to your home, wardrobe AND mindset for lasting change – like nature you want what you let in to sing in harmony, whilst representing and being true your different dimensions so that you feel like your best self! 

And if you’re ready for a simple way to declutter your wardrobe so that you feel calmer and lighter and more like yourself again, then watch my next video!  

Lots of Love xoxo Aleksandra

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