Living a calmer life is possible in today’s world. A world that is more hectic because everything seems to be more and more interconnected. Everything seems to be moving faster. However, the basic resources for creating serenity remain the same.
Learning just a few tips and tools can help you gain control of the chaos that seems to constantly surround you.
That’s not to say it will be easy. After all, you have a lot of obligations. There are tons of people, tasks, deadlines, and more clamoring for your attention. It can be tough to tune out all the distractions and focus on one thing at a time. All of that extra noise really adds to your stress levels over time.
One of the biggest reasons for our stress is that there is disarray and discord throughout our lives, along with the pressing obligations weighing on our shoulders. It can all become too much to bear.
The good news is that there many areas of your life in which you can take charge of the never-ending pandemonium that seems to confront you on a daily basis.
A major challenge I constantly face is clutter. Whether it’s at home, on the job, or in my mind, clutter is a huge obstacle to my finding peace and calmness. Technology can add to feeling hyped-up. The barrage of smartphone alerts and ever-present social media can have me on-edge and out-of-sorts. I’m aware my immediate surroundings also play a big role in how I feel at any one moment. When all you see is mess and disorganization, it’s bound to affect you in a negative way.
In addition to showing you the ways in which your life can be consumed by chaos, many of which you may never have suspected, there are concrete methods for addressing them. There are tools for taking control of your life’s disarray, no matter what the source. Journaling, meditation, morning routines, streamlining, organization, and other techniques are just the beginning of taking back your life and creating calm.
While life can seem like a free-for-all sometimes, it truly doesn’t have to. Understanding what leads to the chaos and learning simple strategies to deal with these sources can go far toward creating a calmer world, at least in your little corner of it.
- Clutter Causes Overwhelm & Stress
Seeing piles of clothes, unopened junk mail, loads of laundry, a messy desk, and other disarray really causes most people to feel anxious and overwhelmed, sometimes even depressed. It’s hard to achieve a sense of calm when there’s chaos all around, in the form of physical eyesores or the insidious kind that attacks your mind. That’s why it’s important to corral the clutter in your life. Taking steps to get control of the disorder is the start of creating calm. Read on, and I’ll tell you more about that.
- Clutter and Stress
Each person’s definition of clutter is different. We all have our comfort level when it comes to the amount of stuff we want to have around us and to enter our lives. However, it’s when you begin to have a negative reaction to all of this input that it becomes a problem. At this individualized and personal point, you’re dealing with clutter. Usually, this breaking point arrives because your life is affected due to the amount of disarray you’re facing. Whether you’re feeling closed in and agitated or you’re physically constrained by the mess, you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Benefits of Clutter Control
There are loads of good things that come from controlling the clutter in your world. You’ll likely feel an increased sense of energy because you’ll spend less time looking for things you’ve misplaced and will no longer feel as overwhelmed emotionally by your stuff. This can lead to greater productivity and getting more done. It’s even been shown that folks begin to make improvements in other areas of their lives such as diet and exercise once the “weight” of excess clutter is lifted from them. Taking action in this one aspect of your life can have tremendos impact on other areas. Finally, you’ll be much closer to achieving the calm you seek once you start to pare things down.
How to Get Started
The hardest part of ridding your life of clutter is getting started. This is especially true if you’ve lived in chaos for a long time. The good news is that this problem is relatively easy to tackle once you overcome your initial resistance. The best place to start is the one that is causing you the most stress. For example, if coming home to your messy living room makes the idea of relaxing impossible; begin to clear things out in that room. Having a place to unwind at the end of the day might just be the catalyst you need to motivate you toward clearing out other cluttered places. It’s also a good idea to enlist help in order to make the process more manageable and less overwhelming. Have your family or roommate pitch in or consider hiring a professional organizer if you live alone. Finally, get rid of anything you honestly don’t use and find a “home” for everything else. When you cut down on the amount of stuff and put things in their place, you’ll find life becomes a whole lot less hectic.
These are just a handful of suggestions for minimizing the clutter. Now that you understand the impact clutter can have on your stress levels, you can start to make some changes of your own.
Physical Cutter & Mental Clutter
Clutter can come in many forms. For simplicity’s sake, I’d like to break it down into two main types. These are physical and mental. Each has a heavy impact on your stress levels. They both are likely to play a role in keeping you from creating calm in your life. Therefore, I think it’s important to take a look at each type, definite it, and examine ways both can negatively affect you.
Physical clutter is easy to understand. This is the kind of mess you can see. It’s the piles of clothing, papers, dishes, and more that are strewn around your home or office. It’s the overabundance of things you’ve been holding onto for years because they’re sentimental or you might use them one day. Physical clutter can even be the many tabs you keep open in your computer browser or the tons of media you consume each day. These things can be seen. They consume large amounts of your resources such as time, space, and money.
Mental clutter isn’t as simple to define. It involves the overload of information, along with nagging emotional issues, that overwhelm your mind. This type of internal congestion can consist of things such as your never-ending to-do list, negative internal dialogue, relationship demands, old grudges, or habits that don’t serve you. The source of such mess usually lies in emotions like fear, regret, worry, guilt, or shame. Identifying the types of mental issues that are cluttering your brain can lead to purging yourself of them.
Effects of Clutter
Ridding yourself of clutter, both physical and mental, can truly increase your feelings of happiness and calm. It can lead to less stress and overall greater well-being. The negative effects of too much clutter are astounding. Decreased mental health is one of the biggest issues to come of surrounding yourself with all sorts of clutter. Studies show that mental hygiene is improved when clutter is kept under control, both in the home and in the workplace. Too much physical clutter impairs visual processing. It can be incredibly distracting to see lots of piles and messes in your surroundings, leading you to miss cues regarding people’s emotions and other important information. Your cognition and clarity of mind are adversely affected by excess mental clutter. You simply can’t think straight when you’ve got a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions swirling around in your head.
This is merely an overview of the ramifications that come from physical and mental clutter. However, the information above should give you some insight into how important it can be to clean things up in both your physical world and within your mind. Doing so can lead to tremendous benefits within your world, including more of the elusive calm you’ve been seeking.
Creating Inner Calm Through Meditation
There is a difference between physical and mental clutter. It’s this mental type that people often overlook when considering what’s keeping them from experiencing calm; however, mental clutter can have a huge impact on your overall emotional state. I’d like to introduce you to a practice that is known to tame the overwhelm of your mind. Meditation can do just that, and it offers numerous benefits for your brain and your overall well-being. Let’s take a look.
Meditation is a practice in which you work to still the mind and to concentrate only on the present moment. It can take a number of forms such as guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, and more. No matter which form it takes, the main point of such exercises is to focus attention, eliminating distractions and intrusive thoughts. This practice has been in use by various cultures for thousands of years, which is proof to me that it is effective and useful. Some cultures consider meditation to be a part of their religion, and it can be a very spiritual activity in general. These days, people usually meditate in an attempt to overcome the stress and anxiety associated with the modern world. It has the power to lead to a tranquil state and overall improved well-being when done regularly.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation offers a wide range of benefits. Many of these are directly related to the practitioner’s state of mind, but the practice can also improve physical health. The effects are long-lasting. You’ll find yourself feeling calmer and noting improvements in your physical well-being long after your meditation session ends. Meditation helps to diminish the mental overload that can overwhelm you, leading to less stress. This renewed state can often provide you with clarity when it comes to the issues you face throughout your life. Health benefits of meditation include decreased depression symptoms, lessened anxiety, reduction in chronic pain, improved sleep, and less frequent tension headaches, among others.
A Simple Breathing Meditation
While there are a number of different kinds of meditations, one of the easiest to start with is a simple breathing exercise. Controlled breathing is a part of many meditative practices. It can help you to gain focus and to “blow away” stress. Find a quiet space with a comfortable chair. Sit up straight, with your feet flat on the floor. You could also take a seated position on a floor pillow if you prefer. Begin by inhaling deeply, pushing your stomach muscles, or diaphragm, outward. Inhale slowly, allowing your stomach to return to its resting position. Continue this until you find a comfortable rhythm. Try to push all thoughts out of your mind, but don’t worry too much if intrusive ideas sneak in. Five minutes is usually long enough to gain the benefits, but your session can be as long as is comfortable when starting out.
Meditation is a practice that can provide tremendous calming benefits. It’s easy to do and is especially effective when done regularly.
Give it a try to see how meditation works for you.
There are always going to be stressors in the world. Knowing how to take charge of yourself and your environment will go a long way toward helping you to maintain serenity.
I have confidence you can handle what lies ahead. I hope you do, too. Best of luck to you!
“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” ― Jane Austen
This article was originally published on my site at https://donnapresents.com/reboot-your-self-worth/
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. But, these days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.
If you’re interested in revitalizing your life through meditation and would like to learn a virtually risk-free, and cost-effective practice, that people of all ages can do with a little patience and guidance and that will serve you for the rest of your life, I would love to connect with you. You can connect with me here.
I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies on how to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.