Uncluttering the Mind: Finding Stillness Amidst Anxiety and Overwhelm
In this intriguing and thought-provoking episode, Steven Webb takes us on a deep dive into the concept of 'Mind Space' and its pivotal role in our mental well-being. If you enjoy this episode and want to show your support, consider treating Steven to a coffee. Your support helps continue these enlightening conversations.
- The Reality of a Cluttered Mind – Steven opens up about the mental clutter and the constant running around that came with his mayoral role. It's a universal experience, which many can relate to.
- The Power of a Mind Dump - He shares a simple yet powerful strategy: the 'Mind Dump.' Write down everything that's crowding your mind, and then burn it. This provides a sense of closure, relieving stress.
- To-Do Lists: A Double-Edged Sword - He delves into his personal relationship with to-do lists. Writing tasks down can trick the mind into believing they're already done, which can be both a curse and a blessing.
- Embrace Mindfulness - Stop. Look around. Notice the leaves, the colors, the small details. Webb talks about how mindfulness can help clear your mind and make space for calmness.
- Gratitude Practice - It's not just saying 'thank you,' it's feeling deeply grateful. Webb discusses how gratitude helps clear your mind and bring positivity into your life.
- Prioritize and Simplify - According to Webb, the key to effective mind space management is learning to prioritize your goals and tasks and keep them simple.
- The Importance of Sleep - Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep! Webb explains the concept of 'memory consolidation' and how it helps improve cognitive functions and mental clarity.
- Visual Noise and Its Impact - A cluttered room equals a cluttered mind. Reducing 'visual noise' in your surroundings can do wonders for your mental space.
- Inner Peace Practices - Webb offers his resource, "The Five Simple Practices for Inner Peace," for those who need more tools for cultivating mental calm.
This episode is a treasure trove of tips and techniques for managing mental clutter and embracing a more peaceful, present state of mind. Tune in, learn, and discover how you can create more space in your mind today!
You. Welcome to stillness in the storms. I'm Steven Webb, your host, and I want to talk about uncluttering the mind, finding some stillness amidst all the anxiety and the overwhelm. And this mind space came to me in a meeting with doctors and other professionals, which I felt really out of my depth with. But I'll explain a bit more about that in a minute. Welcome to this week's podcast. I'm Stephen Webb, the host, and I just want to say thank you to a few of you that have bought me a coffee this week. And one of you has put $30 into my wish list of an Insta 360 camera.Steven Webb:
I did say last week about how crazy expensive this is, but it's just awesome. It's going to be like especially in the summer when I can get out and about and just film everything around me and you won't miss anything. I'll take you along for the ride when I'm out in my wheelchair and visiting places of Cornwall. So, yeah. Thank you so much, guys. I'm just going to go through the little list now. It really does make a difference. Thank you, Mia.Steven Webb:
Thank you. You're up there as anonymous, but could I just say Jack. Thank you, Jack. Rosemary and Jack again, see you're there twice. Deep bow to you. Thank you, Tricia. And thank you, Blackwell. You guys are awesome.Steven Webb:
And so many of you that support and you share my podcast and you do reviews. It really is. I do really appreciate it. But anyway, let's get on with the show because that's what you're here for and you want to know about how to find a little more inner peace in life in amongst all the chaos. So this week we're looking about mind clutter. And this concept came to me when I was at the doctor surgery. Normally when I get a doctor surgery, it's because there's something wrong with me. But this time it wasn't.Steven Webb:
I found myself on the other side. I found myself on the, dare I say it, the professional side. So as I put the surgery and there's a room full of about 20 people and we were talking about what we can do in the community and how we can reach the people that we really need to reach. There's so many people that are just going unnoticed or there is services and things out there to help them, but how do you reach these people that think the services aren't there, but yet really need the services? So we're having this discussion and all that. And one of the doctors, which I've seen him as a doctor a few times, so it was strange, been in that professional room with them, one of the doctors looked up and goes, well, we just haven't got the mind space to be doing all these other things. And I was like, mind space. What's that? And then it just clicked me. Mind space? Yeah.Steven Webb:
How much mind space do we have, how much mind space do you have? And do we fill the mind space with stuff that we really don't need to fill it with? Is there always room to keep growing the mind or has it got so much of a capacity and then we stop to function? So this concept really sat with me the past twelve months and dare I say, I was the only non professional one in the room. I was the politician and they did say a very nice thing to me at the end, actually. One of them looks up and says, to be honest, it's nice to see a politician here because they're the ones that make all the decisions and we're the ones that have to deliver them or not deliver or do the bad news, things like that. So it was nice to be appreciated. The fact that I was brave or stupid enough to be there, I don't know which. But I'm going to just tell you bit of news. I'm no longer mayor of Truro, so I'm going to be stepping up my game of podcasting and I've got some real exciting things in the wings for the next four weeks and I'll be sharing them with you over the next four weeks. But don't forget I've got this podcast and I've got another podcast, Inner Peace Meditations, which is just meditations.Steven Webb:
And after about three years I've released another new Sleep meditation the other day, journey to Deep Sleep. So you can check that out. I'll put a link in the show notes. But let's really dive a little deeper into what is this mind space and how much mind space should we have. And I like the analogy that your mind space is like a river. If the river has got plenty of room to flow and it's relatively deep and it's relatively healthy, it can just flow and it's comfortable. But the more things are thrown into it, the more it's in turbulence, the less effective that river becomes and the muddier it gets and the shallower it gets and it's having to go around corners and the river just becomes less effective. And I think that's the same of our mind.Steven Webb:
And when I sit down and watch 24 now, because if you're part of my newsletter, I put it out last week and I told everybody that I'm rewatching season three of 24, one of my favorite, favorite all time TV series. And I use it just as downtime. But have you ever watched, have you ever binged watch something so much that you end up with their voices in your head? It's like as if I did it once years ago with Stargate Atlantis, one of my other favorite series, and I ended up like on the way down the hill and all and I could hear the characters in my head, I was having conversations with them. The TV program was taking up room in my head, isn't it mental? Have you ever done that? Have you ever read a character of a book or something like that and you end up, even when the book is not in your hand, you're still living it. And that's because we've only got so much room in our heads and if we declutter it a little bit, a it gives more room for more cool stuff to go in, but B, it gives us room to think, it gives us room to just relax and be mindful. And I think that's the key part of meditation. I think if we're more relaxed and we got a little bit more mind space, a little bit more room to think, I think we feel a lot more inner peace, a lot more at peace, a lot more chilled. So maybe that's the answer.Steven Webb:
It's not so much relaxing. Our body is what do we fill our minds with on a daily basis? And that is really on my mind at the moment, now that I'm no longer mayor. On Monday I stepped down, I say step down, I couldn't do another year anyway. But it was a beautiful, a peaceful transition of power. I handed it over lovely to Councillor Swain and she'll do an absolutely brilliant job, absolutely brilliant job. So I hope everybody's behind her and I hope everybody enjoys her year as mayor. I know Truro is in safe hands, and if it's not, you got all us other counselors here to nurture Truro. Anyway, it's fine, truro is cool, it's all right.Steven Webb:
Since Monday I've had more room in my head. I'm not thinking about chairing council meetings, I'm not thinking about what councilors are doing. I've got more room in my head and it's beautiful, it's so cool. It's literally beautiful and cool. It's like I'm a teenager again. It almost feels like it, although it's a little sad in some respects, it's also really, really exciting because suddenly I slept last night for 7 hours. I wasn't worried about someone breaking in and nicking the chain. I didn't even know I was worried about that.Steven Webb:
But I woke up yesterday morning like I don't have to worry about anybody breaking in. I didn't know I was worried about that, but obviously it was taking up some mind space. But it's really interesting, this mind space, once now that I've put it into your awareness, you're going to be aware of what's taken up all your mind space. It's like people complain. No, they don't complain. That age old question are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person? And you missed the point. You've got a glass that you could refill, the key to it is what you put in it. Do you put water in it? Do you put wine in it? Do you put what you enjoy in it? Do you put what nourishes, you in it? Or are you just putting up with what everybody else is putting up with and you're just going, Well, I'm grateful, I've got a glass.Steven Webb:
The whole idea is to go, hey, I've got a glass and I'm going to fill it with what I want. But do you want to fill it up all the time or do you want to leave it partly empty so when something comes up, you can go, hey, I got room for that in my life. And it really is that kind of thing with the mind. Do you have room for a little more thinking, a little more relaxing? And you imagine like a garden, someone comes along and says, I've got some lovely plants for you. Do you want them? No, my garden is so full I cannot move. I can't do anything. It's just you can't think. And what's interesting, I listened to a podcast by Stephen Fry, and in this podcast they studied sleep, or they studied the mind and they found in deep sleep, there was like this wave rushing through this sound like, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.Steven Webb:
Was that part of the equipment? Was it partly failure and they couldn't work out what it was? And then they studied several other people and all that. And then they realized when they asked questions and when they studied it a little bit further I may get this a little wrong, but the gist of the story and what they found out will be right. Just how they found it out, I might get a little wrong, but they realized that what was happening from the front of your brain to the back of your brain, your information was flowing. It was being stored away. So if you had a good night's sleep after that happened, the person was able to absorb more information. So it's almost like the front of the mind had to empty out. Have you ever noticed that you have terrible short term memory when your mind is so full of everything? It's like, I can't hold that. I've got so much on my mind at the moment.Steven Webb:
Please don't tell me because I'm going to forget. We've all said that. We all think it it's to do with this mind space. You literally only have so much and you feel overwhelmed, you feel tired, you're anxious and stressed. So it's a simple concept of just consider what you're putting in that mind. Just imagine your brain's just opened up and someone's pouring drinks into it. You choose what drinks go in it. You choose what information goes in.Steven Webb:
So if you're watching programs, reading books, going out, whatever you're doing, whatever part of your life you're doing, you're choosing what to put in it, then granted, if you work and things like that, you cannot overly just change that. But there's a lot of stuff like reading newspapers and media. Do you really need to do that? I'm a terrible news junkie. I love my news. I read newspapers I don't agree with and everything. And I got so obsessed with Trump when he got elected. Not because I'm a fan of him, because I'm the complete opposite. It reminds me of a story I heard years ago about Howard Stern, the radio host in America that is really, really controversial.Steven Webb:
And they turn around and they polled loads of people and they said, Why do you listen to him? And lots of the people that really liked him said, because we never know what he's going to say next. And then they asked the people that said they can't stand him, they don't like him or anything. They said, Why do you listen to him all the time? And they said, Because you never know what he's going to say next. Just the same reason it's the same reason why I was obsessed with Trump. I wasn't a fan of him, completely the opposite. But I was so fascinated by the craziness of it all, I never knew what he was going to say next. It was almost like years ago. You used to wait until the news come on in the evening or a couple of days later, whereas it got that bad that literally an hour goes by and there's ten new stories.Steven Webb: when you go to bed at Apostle: Steven Webb:
Truro it all off. Just get a book out. Get an old Haynes manual, car manual, get something that you're not going to be that interested in. Or just get a nice book, just listen to music or do something else. Because the idea is just put something in your mind that you don't have to think about too much. Journaling is brilliant. Just do a mind dump. I heard the concept of doing a mind dump a few years ago.Steven Webb:
I said to my partner at a time it was KEMRA's mom. I said, look, you got a lot on your mind and you're really stressed and all that. Just do a mind dump and then set a light to it and burn it. And primarily the setting a light to it and burn it so nobody else reads it. So the mind dump, you can literally get anything on your mind out and just everything and satellite burn it. You got no worries of anybody reading it or anything like that. But the mind thinks that it's kind of dealt with. If you write it down, it has this strange feeling that, oh, it's done.Steven Webb:
That's why I've got about half a million to do lists. When I do my to do list, the minute it's wrote down, I think that I've already done it, it's already sorted. So I literally have loads and loads of lists that are just not done, not complete, because my brain thinks I've already done it. I'd literally go to bed at night and bring up my to do list and go, There you go, I got this to do, this to do, and I add ten things to it, and then I don't even open it up again. So the act of writing something down is really important, but of course you got to do it if it's a zoo list. But journaling is really, really effective way of getting stuff out of your mind. The other thing is, mindfulness everything around you. Just stop and look at the leaf and all the different color greens or colors it is, or look at the leaves on the ground and wonder how they got there, and look at the clouds.Steven Webb:
And it just gives your mind a little bit of moment just to resort itself out, settle down, and it's like a big lake that you're always stirring it around and just that little bit of moment clears the water, settles it just a little bit. It makes a real big difference. And practice gratitude. That's another thing. Not just the art of being thankful, the actual art of being grateful. When you're grateful, you've got to clear your mind, because you got to feel it deeply. When you're grateful for something, it's not just a thank you, it's a do you know what? I'm really grateful for that. And you think about what it'll do for you, which is really, really important.Steven Webb:
Engage in physical activity. Go for a run. Run up and down the stairs. If it's my stairs, don't do it, because you'll annoy your neighbors, because they hear every step that goes up and down there. I can remember when I was able bodied, I used to run up and down my stairs and my neighbor would say to me, I heard you going up and down the stairs last night. So anyway, I go off topic slightly. There are just a few ways. Practice mindfulness, practice journaling, prioritize and simplify.Steven Webb:
That's when I missed out. Prioritize what you got. Write down all of your goals and all the things you want to get done, all ten things, 20 things right now, and scribble off five of them because they've been there on your list. You've wanted to do them for ages and you haven't bothered doing them. Don't bother doing them if they're not that important to you now, don't do them. Simplify it down to about four things, plus cleaning the house and all the other daily things you need to do, but your main things that take up most of your mind space. Just clear them out. One of the other practices that is really, really important, and I mentioned this in The Five Simple Practices for Inner Peace.Steven Webb:
If you head over to thank you, Steven.com. You will find a link to download the five simple practices for inner peace. And one of those practices is sleep. Sleep is so important and clear in your mind. It's about memory consolidation, they call it. Didn't quite understand it when I read about it earlier doing the research for this show, but I think it's something to do with the waves going from the front of the head to the back and it clears out your prefrontal neocortex or something. I just know you feel better when you've had a good night's. Sleep improves your cognitive functions, all those kind of things.Steven Webb:
We know that apparently if you miss out on 2 hours of sleep two nights in a row, that's the equivalent of drinking under three or four pints of beer. That is how much sleep is important to your mental clarity. For me, this mind space this week, I just feel so relieved. Not relieved that I'm not mayor, not relieved that I've not been in contact with lots of amazing, wonderful people, and I had the most amazing two years of my life is incredible. But what is really important is the fact that I just have more mind space. I'm not thinking about chairing the meetings, I'm not thinking about the problems on the council. All those other things, they're on my mind because I care. Mind space.Steven Webb:
Find some room in your mind. Stop doing all the different things. Be really aware of what you're filling it up with. If you're filling it up with movies and rubbish and stuff that you don't really all these arguments you're having with people or opinions and all these gossiping things, it's no wonder you ain't got no room to think. It's no wonder you're so tired. I get tired when my mind is so full of everything. I'm so tired. And another concept is like visual noise.Steven Webb:
Do you ever wonder why you feel better in a home that's a lot less visual noise? If you go into a really cluttered room and you look around, I got to close the door. It's just too many colors, too much stuff. It's because the brain has to do so much more work than when it's just looking at a nice peaceful picture on a wall. The brain doesn't have to do much work when it's looking out over a field, but when it's looking at a cluttered room, it's got to do loads of work. So it's just a matter of freeing up your mind. It I'm going to say thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for anybody treating me to a coffee.Steven Webb:
You're awesome. Above all, if I help you to think in any way, just enjoy it. Have more inner peace and remember, you're awesome and I love.