I’m currently reading this gem of a book – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, which claims to be a simple, effective way to banish clutter forever. Having recently downsized I’ve already embarked on the, at times, painful journey to realising that stuff holds very little value, doesn’t create any happiness, and actually is detrimental to your well being. Being surrounded by clutter, having more than you can ever do anything with, is a toxic approach to life. Being surrounded by things of real practical use or emotional value is where it is at.
But this philosophy is about more than just the things we surround ourselves with. How about all of the things we store in our head? How about all of the emotions we store and hang onto? How about the things we store in our body because of what we eat and drink? These are all things that need decluttering.
Things in our heads
If you’ve read anything I’ve written before about leading a productive life you will know that I subscribe to a philosophy of getting things done put forward by David Allen in his book Getting Things Done. In this ‘system’ Allen says that our minds are not a storage device. We are ineffective at remembering and we should have an externalised system so that we collate everything that needs to be done, then organise it so that we know what doesn’t need to be done right now and can be left (but still recorded somewhere for later) and what needs to be done now. This approach leads to a clear head. So having organised your world you can then get on with doing and being productive. I can honestly say I now have nothing in my head (no jokes ;-)) that requires remembering and action. It’s in my diary or on a spreadsheet that is regularly reviewed – twice daily for work stuff and once a week for personal stuff. This mean my head is decluttered, my psychological capital maintained, and I am at the most productive that I can be.
The emotions we store
We can not change what has gone before. But we hang onto it storing negative energy in our bodies. We’ve all made mistakes – been there, got the t-shirt – but to dwell on them in the here and now impacts on our current well being and our ability to move onto future things. There is an element here that we need to reconcile where we have been. and that may need some working through, either on your own or with someone else but there must come a point when you let it go or it will suck the life and psychological energy out of you and you will not move forward. The emotions we store can cause us sleepless nights, end up in bad nutrition habits, lead to anxiety and depression… all of which will have a negative impact on physical health as well as mental health. We need to declutter this emotional baggage to free ourselves….. talking to friends, talking to a professional, meditation, mindfulness, a long quiet walk… all of these things have their place.
We are what you eat
We are what we eat! I’m a psychological eater. I eat when I’m upset, worried, stressed…. and when doing this, make bad choices. Generally involving food’s that aren’t good for me, and too much coffee and alcohol. Whatever goes in will have an impact. This year I’m decluttering myself physically and have already reduced my coffee intake, alcohol intake, and waist line! I’ve lost about 10 pounds since the turn of the year and am staying focussed. I’m not saying I’ve not had a drink or two or an unhealthy, ‘unclean’ meal but what I can tell you with absolute personal authority is that after a lapse there is a definite negative physical impact. This physical impact has a definite further negative impact on my mental health and my view of ‘me’.
Are you getting the point here.
Your physical, mental and emotional well being are all inextricably linked. You do something negative in one area and the other areas will be effected. You are a many faceted ‘whole’ person. You need to declutter your mind, your soul and your body… and then you will be the best version of you you can be.
It’s a journey…. come along with me!
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