Horne: A cluttered mind is restless

All the experts say that physical clutter leads to mental clutter. It bombards the mind with excessive stimuli

Horne: A cluttered mind is restless

The beginning of a new year offers a little inspiration to start fresh and make a few of those changes you were procrastinating over in 2016.

What I am focusing on first is to face how clutter in my mind and my life is really affecting me.

A cluttered mind is restless and unfocused.

It tries to move in many different directions at once and the result is less and less actually gets done.

All the experts say that physical clutter leads to mental clutter.

It bombards the mind with excessive stimuli which forces the mind to work overtime.

Author and Ph.D., Clifford Lazarus, explains that living in clutter causes arousal in the fight-or-flight branch of the nervous system which, in turn, raises one’ baseline of anxiety, neural stimulation and emotional activation

So, what to do? Awareness is always the first step of change.

Not all of us react in the same way to some clutter.

Many people I talk to say they are happy with a messy desk or home and it is just how they operate.

Having grown up in a home with a Mom that was a bit of a hoarder, I suppose my ‘triggers’ run unusually deep.

Clearing your mind begins with compassion and letting go of judgement of yourself and others.

This allows some calming of the nervous system and opens a space within your mind to encourage the relaxation response to flourish and to address what fears may need to be confronted rather than avoided.

Acknowledgement of ‘what is’ is the second step towards change.

Okay, after making a move a couple of months ago, I have yet to get myself really resettled.

Time to Accept the change, which I believe is just some underlying resistance to moving forward.

Creating balance and harmony in your surroundings helps you move forward with ease and inspiration.

So now it’s time for the last step of change which is Action.

Professional organizer and owner of Everything In Place, Allison Weigensberg, offers five steps to organize your space.

Like With Like: Group items together to get the full picture of what you’re facing.

You may have books in many different areas of your home.

The only way to truly see what you have is to consolidate them.

This also helps with the decision making process.

You may have a hard time getting rid of a sweater, but once you see all 30 of them in a pile, it will make it easier to part with some of them.

Declutter: Donate, recycle, throw out all the excess/broken/never-used items.

We keep things for many different reasons.

You may say to yourself: ‘It was expensive; I may need it someday (my particular favorite); It was a gift; I’ll get it fixed eventually; It will fit after I lose the weight; I hate it, but I can’t get rid of it.’

You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’

Just think of the new flow of energy you will be opening yourself up to as you go through this letting go process.

Put It Back: Find the right means of storage.

This could be anything from the right type of hanger to a clear bin or a vacuum bag.

Label It: This really does help, especially if you are a visual person or there is more than one person living in the home or working in the office space.

Live With It: Make the system you develop work for you and your lifestyle.

Your individual way of approaching a more Zen-like mind and living space may be different than others.

It is about what makes you feel better.

Marjorie Horne is the owner of CareSmart Seniors Consulting and All Settled In Senior Relocation Services. 250-863-9577 or resources@caresmart.ca

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