Mindfulness and clutter
You've probably heard about mindfulness. But what is it and why is everyone talking about it? Also, what does it have to do with emotional and psychological clutter?
Bec and Tara chat about mindfulness - what it is, what the benefits are, and how you might include it in your life.
What mindfulness is:
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Benefits of Mindfulness in general:
Reduction in Anxiety: 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study
Another study found that focusing on the present through the practice of mindfulness can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
May help to prevent and cure depression: Study by American Psychological Association
Improves focus: Harvard studyy
Get better sleep: JIM research
Manage chronic pain: Mayo clinic study
Increase brain gray matter: Psychiatry research
Increase Body Satisfaction: Study
Reduces racial bias: Central Michigan University
How can it help with clutter?
If you’re feeling less anxious or less stressed, you’ll cope with making the decisions necessary to physically part with belongings
If you’re feeling less anxious, you can expect to engage less in avoidance strategies like finding something else to do instead of the job you know you need to do
Less likely to abandon things before they are finished
More likely to remember what you are doing and therefore not lose things as much
More likely to finish a section of decluttering or organising all the way
When you’ve slept well, you’re more tolerant of stress overall, and cognition is improved.
Reducing negative feelings
It may help us when decluttering because we might tend less towards catastrophizing and therefore make more balanced decisions
Our “what’s the worst that could happen” scenarios we run through might be more realistic
Less decision-making anxiety
Day to day clutter often exists because we work on auto-pilot. If we’ve practiced mindfulness our focus will improve and we may be better at finishing because we spend less time in autopilot
How to practice it:
Mindfulness is a state, meditation is the state of actively practicing mindfulness, sort of like training.
When you meditate, the thoughts will come in, they always do. The key isn’t to stop thoughts coming in, but to acknowledge those thoughts without judgement, and move on.
“Crappy to Happy” podcast that explains mediation in a way that makes it really accessible to everyday people.
Includes tips on everyday mindfulness Including:
S - Stop
T - Take a breath
O - Open and Observe
P - Proceed mindfully
Use this acronym as a tool to remind you to stop and refocus - Pop it on a post-it on your desk or laptop/ front of diary etc