Five Ways to Create Mental Space
Do you ever feel the tug of life? I do. I know that every day there are any number of things that often feel like the most important thing. It’s almost like every scene I’m a part of (work, sports, non-profits, home, etc.) is the most important role I will play in any given day.
Well, in a recent conversation I had with Army Chaplain Terri Jones she names something that I think is pretty mind-blowing: Everything being important makes decision making super stressful!
To listen to my conversation with Chaplain Jones click here.
In her reflection, being deployed with the Army almost seemed easier. Why? Because when you are deployed everyone is working towards the same thing, everyone has the same mission, everyone is really clear about what needs to get done.
The competition for attention is what adds to the stress to the life we live. Chaplain Jones goes on to talk about margin being key to de-stressing our lives. She recalled her mile walks to work as a way to get her mind right about the day’s tasks that loomed before her. As I processed her words I began to wonder: What do I do to ensure that I am making margin in my life? How do I engage in the process of creating space to think?
After thinking about my conversation with Chaplain Jones here are five things we all can do to create more space:
1. Take care of your body through physical exercise. I know that may sound like you are adding something to your plate, but working out really helps. I saw something on Instagram that said, “The gym is my therapy.” And I think for a lot of us it’s true. Having time to work out gives you time to think differently.
2. Get up earlier or stop hitting the snooze. Fifteen minutes really makes a difference, and whether you want to admit it or not sometimes waiting to the last minute to move in the morning is going to have an impact on your day. You don’t have to get up monumentally early to make a big difference.
3. Read something life-giving. I love to read Scripture daily because it gives my brain something else to focus on, and I don’t know about you – but I need it! Whatever we take in will eventually be what we spit out.
4. Put down your phone. I’ll say it again for the people in the back… PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE. The stress of feeling like you have to respond to whatever notification pops up only adds to the weight of the world you might be carrying. Adding a tech free night is a gift to your brain! Try it and see what happens to your margins.
5. Say no. Simple, but not easy for us people pleasers. Saying no is the most freedom giving thing you can say, yet so often we don’t say it. A small no can lead to big space!