1. Make a “to worry about” list.
Often we don’t worry about things because we think ruminating is productive, we worry because it’s a way to ensure that we don’t forget to deal with something, especially if it poses a risk or threat. Take that out of the equation by writing a “to worry about” list. Jot down everything that bothers you throughout the day, and set aside a time to review it. You’ll either find that the fears were unfounded, or you can make a plan for action to address them.
2. Take up “junk journaling.”
Get a notebook solely devoted to this, and keep it in a safe and private place. Anytime you feel totally pretzeled up by your emotions or your mind is spinning in 7 different directions, write down everything and anything that comes to mind. Release whatever thoughts you’re harboring, even if it doesn’t make sense or you don’t really believe it.
3. Spend more time outside.
Research shows that people who spend time in nature reap significant health and wellness benefits. It’s also the easiest way to gain clarity and relax – something that’s important when you need to put things into perspective.
4. Unfollow anyone who doesn’t add anything positive to your life.
If you’re going to spend time online, make it a productive and positive experience. Regularly clean out who you’re following, and make sure that every account you do subscribe to is actively adding something to help make your life better.
5. Clean out the old phone numbers of people you don’t talk to, and shouldn’t ever again.
This is less about avoiding the temptation to call someone again, and more about the feeling it will give you to remove these contacts from your life. It will remind you how far you’ve really come, and will help offer a sense of closure.
6. Get to inbox 0, and keep it there.
Your inbox should function like a “to do” list. What’s in there each day should tell you what your tasks are. There’s nothing more stressful than thinking you’ve lost important messages pages back in your account just because you haven’t cleaned it out.
7. Unsubscribe from any unnecessary emails and promotional information.
If you know you’re prone to scrolling on your favorite clothing website every time you get an email that there’s a sale, unsubscribe. It will help you maintain your inbox, but it will also help you to not waste more time or money mindlessly scrolling for things you probably don’t want or actually need. (If you did, you wouldn’t need a promo email to remind you.)
8. Record how much time you’re spending online.
Download an extension that records how much time you’re spending on certain sites, and take an honest look at what that number is. There are apps you can also download to your phone that will record how many times you open Facebook or Twitter. That number might just shock you into wanting to change.
9. Take a day for yourself, and don’t photograph it at all.
Yes, it’s amazing that we can document and share every part of our lives online, but it can also pressure you to feel as though you are constantly “performing” for others. This can create undue stress, especially when you start to make decisions based on how they would look to other people as opposed to how they would feel to you.
10. Reflect on how your life would feel if you didn’t know how it looked.
This will help you identify what parts of your life you genuinely appreciate, and what parts you enjoy only because of how you think it will would look to other people.
11. Make it more difficult to sign into social media.
A lot of mindless scrolling is… just that, mindless. Make it more difficult for yourself to access these accounts, either by not autosaving your passwords on your computer, or deleting the apps on your phone. Either way, just making it less accessible will actually help you stay on it a lot less.
12. Become selectively social.
The classic trait of an ambivert is that they are outgoing and social in certain settings, which is an important habit to develop, no matter where you fall on the scale of intro- to extraversion. Being mindful about who you share your time with, connect with and even vent to can have a huge impact on your life and wellbeing. You become who you spend time with, or so they say.
13. Remember the big picture.
Write down a list of your long-term goals, and call it your vision for your life. Reference it often. Keep it in your mind as you’re cycling through your day-to-day tasks. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of living when you forget your why.
14. Commit to protecting your mental space as much as you do anything else that matters.
If you have a certain friend who always likes to gossip, either ask to shift the conversation, or stop seeing that person if they can’t stop. If you know that watching the news for 3 hours/day stresses you out, don’t do it. Make a serious commitment to being the most grounded, peaceful person you can be… and stop letting just anything grab, and keep, your precious, limited attention.