“Being challenged in life is inevitable,
being defeated is optional.”
― Roger Crawford
I think you will agree that present times are challenging: we are over-stressed at work, at home, and out in the world. There are financial, family, and societal stressors. There are so many things, issues, and people poking at us, it can be too much to handle at times and can affect us physically as well as psychologically.
What can we do when life takes a turn for the worst? We can curl up in the fetal position and be nothing more than a victim of circumstance. Or we can try to remain positive and remind ourselves that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know about you, but I choose option #2.
Most of us want to be kept up to date on major news developments. However, you may decide you want to limit your exposure to the news and social media. Decide how much you can take in without having it make you feel stressed or sad. Then when you’ve had enough, do something that diverts your attention away from what is going on in the world.
Doing things that use a lot of energy and keep you busy help block outside stressors. Maybe it’s a good time to do your spring cleaning, declutter and organize, or tackle some big projects you have been putting off. Or you could go for a run or a fast walk. Not only will it allow you to focus on something else, but it will make you feel virtuous at the same time.
Let’s take a look at our home environment. Is it cluttered? Often clutter is a physical indicator of stress. Your current surroundings represent your level of consciousness at the time. You may think you can block it out, but overall it has a subconscious effect on how we’re living. Understanding this helps us start to make changes.
Let’s face it, clutter is distracting and can affect our ability to focus. Research has shown that looking at too many things at once interferes with your brain’s ability to process information. It’s been said that multi-tasking is non-productive for this reason. Clearing out clutter is freeing and makes a positive difference in how we interact with ourselves, others, and the rest of the world.
Decluttering your messy areas will benefit your life at home, but the benefits don’t stop there. When you’re organized, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you will have the time you need to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, relax, enjoy your family, and get more sleep. The whole point is to allow you to have more freedom, not less.
To be sure, it’s not easy to break the cycle of accumulating clutter. We need to experience the positivity of how letting “stuff” go makes us feel. It all comes down to focusing on what’s most important in your life. Ask yourself, “What’s most important in this moment?”
Being organized can help to give us a sense of control. Starting small
-- just a drawer or cabinet -- can spur us on to organizing other spaces, as well. Keep in mind, though, that if our organizational goals become overly ambitious, they can leave us feeling even more stressed and overwhelmed. If it becomes too difficult or emotionally heavy to make the necessary decisions, we must give ourselves permission to take a break until we are ready to start again. Remember: The goal is to reduce stress, not add to it.
There are many books and articles in magazines and on the internet on how to declutter and organize. Research to find a method that strikes a chord with you.
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” ―Virginia Satir