Saturday, December 15, 2018

Book Review: 'Declutter Your Mind' by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

Authors handsome S.J. (Steve) Scott (who runs the blog Develop Good Habits) and beautiful Barrie Davenport (a personal coach, personal development blogger, teacher, and author from North Carolina0 serve as our coaches in this very worthwhile guide to decluttering – not just our live space, but also our thinking space. They represent the concept of mindfulness, so popular among social coaches at the moment, and to get to that plane they discuss how to stop worrying, relieve anxiety and eliminate negative thoughts In this Book 1 of their series The Mindfulness Book Series.
The accessible yet sophisticated writing of the book and the encouragement they offer is evident in the first few words – about how thoughts determine our outcomes – ‘Ever feel overwhelmed by your thoughts? Do you struggle with stress or anxiety about the tasks you need to complete on a weekly basis? Do you want to simply stop worrying about life in general? We all experience negative thinking from time to time. But if you often feel overwhelmed by these thoughts, then you should closely examine what you’re thinking and how your thoughts impact your mental well-being. This inner monologue is a natural part of your mental landscape. It’s there all the time, night and day, reminding you about the groceries you need to pick up, shaming you about missing your sister’s birthday, or making you feel anxious about current headlines (like politics, the environment, or the current state of the economy).’ Hit home? If it does, this is the book to study.

In a very user friendly manner (but one with stern seriousness about encouraging us to follow in their concepts) these two bright young writers divides their path as follows: DECLUTTERING YOUR THOUGHTS (Four Causes of Mental Clutter, Mental Declutter - Focused Deep Breathing, Meditation, Reframe ALL Negative Thoughts, Teach Your Old Mind New Tricks); DECLUTTERING YOUR LIFE OBLIGATIONS (The Importance of Core Values, Strategies -Identify YOUR Core Values, Clarify Your Life Priorities, Focus on Mindful Goal Setting, Create Quarterly S.M.A.R.T. Goals, Connect Goals to Your Passions); DECLUTTERING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS (The Negative Impact of Bad Relationships, Relationship Strategies - Be More Present, Getting Unstuck from the Past, Mindfulness with Your Partner, Let Go of Certain People); DECLUTTERING YOUR SURROUNDINGS (The Value of Decluttering Your Surroundings, Simplify Your Home, Simplify Your Digital Life, Simplify Your Activities, Simplify Your Distractions (to Overcome Procrastination), Simplify Your Actions).

In closing they offer that ‘Training your mind is the mental equivalent of tidying your house. It’s a habit you must repeat daily in order to stay on top of it. But training your mind is not as straightforward or simple as housekeeping. Managing your thoughts takes commitment and practice. It also requires daily— even moment-by-moment— awareness of your mental state and the shenanigans of your monkey mind.’ Feel tidier, more organized and cleaner after just looking at the content list? The this is definitely a book to read and re-read and share. Grady Harp, September 16

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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