These days it's a rare occasion that I'll meander into my teenage daughters' rooms as I'm usually met with a tornado-like scene. Clothes strewn all over, an unmade bed, empty shopping bags, empty Starbucks cups on the dresser are the likes to which I am usually greeted. This disorganized mess is the spark that turns me into a nagging, lecturing mother, "how can you even think in this mess?!"
Of course disorganization is not just limited to teenagers. People of all ages can find themselves surrounded by clutter and in a state of disorganization which is not beneficial to our health. In a 2014 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers found that people with clutter have a harder time processing information and have difficulty making decisions.
So, as you embark on the new year, consider adding decluttering and getting organized to your 2023 goals and enjoy some of the following benefits.
1. Reduces Stress
There is evidence that living in a state of organization can actually reduce stress. According to a 2012 study, women who shared that their home environments were not organized actually had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those women who described their homes as orderly. Existing in this stressed state is not healthy. Therefore, with a little clutter clean up, it stands to reason that you will lower stress and even reduce some anxiety.
2. Increases Self Confidence
According to Carolyn Verhoef, Life Organizing Coach, "Getting organized is a powerfully resilient way to build your self-confidence. What’s even better is it will also build confidence and a sense of security in those around you." Think about how much more empowered you feel when you know where things are or when you have your thoughts in order by composing a to do list with which to work from throughout the day. It gives you a sense of being in control as the commander of your world and your environment.
3. Makes You More Productive
Being organized in your physical environment as well as your mental state goes a long way to up-leveling productivity. Knowing where things are in your home and office allows you to access what you need quicker and more easily, thereby allowing you to focus on the task at hand. In the same way, having your thoughts, activities and work laid out in an orderly fashion - set to goals and specific time frames - enables smoother follow through. According to an article from The University of Rochester, "When you are organized ...you can prioritize work and excel, which aids your career progress and life success."
4. Enables Better Sleep
Let's face it, we've all been there - preoccupied and unable to rest peacefully at night because we are distracted with all the things we need to do. When you prioritize organization, you give yourself time to focus on what really matters, like your much-needed sleep, because you can rest assured that everything is in its proper place with a plan of action for getting things done.
5. Frees Up Time
When you know where things are, what you have to do and where you have to be, you will have an easier time getting tasks done quickly without unnecessary distractions or interruptions. You minimize time wasting endeavors like looking for needed things or trying to figure out what you are supposed to do next. A recent survey conducted by the National Association for Professional Organizers in 2015, found that over a third of readers were overwhelmed by their clutter. Living more organized allows for being more efficient, and as a result, leaves more time for doing what you love to do and be happy. Studies show that when your mood is elevated, your immune system is too, while cortisol levels are lowered. Both of these factors contribute to being healthier.
Love & Light,
Change, by definition is the act or instance of making or becoming different. As humans, our brains are not wired for change. In fact, one could go as far as to say that the brain actually hates change. In fact, when we experiences change, it challenges our sense of stability. Our brain's job is to keep us safe, and that usually means keeping things the same and familiar. If the brain decides the change is, in fact, threatening, then it will resist or avoid the change as much as possible. This resistance is what makes the transition through change often a difficult and challenging experience for us.
Here are a few techniques that can prove helpful during times of change in our lives or our environment.
1. Acknowledge That Things Are Changing
Realize that even good change can cause stress. Try to figure out what's going on in your mind when you're feeling sad, hopeless or full of fear. Having conscious awareness is the first step to breaking patterns of negative and low vibrational thinking. According to Psychology Today "Denial is a powerful force, and it protects us in many ways. However, stepping outside of it and saying to yourself, "Things are changing, and it is okay" can be less stressful than putting it off." As a result of acknowledging the shifts happening in your reality, you can better incorporate them and create your new normal.
2. Reframe The Way You Think
When life is in flux or transition, emotions can run high and feelings of overwhelm are common. Once you acknowledge the change(s), the next step is to reframe all that feels "bad" or "negative" into some kind of positive. Try to write down the positives that have come from this change or the positive impact it will have on your future.
3. Strive To maintain Some Normalcy
Change in anything in our lives can be unsettling and cause stress no matter how big or small. Whether it be a major life event such as a divorce, loss of a loved one, new job, a move, children leaving the nest, or a small shift like modifying eating, sleeping or exercise habits, keeping up your regular schedule will reinforce the comfort of normalcy and stability.
4. Seek Support
Today there is no shortage of professionals and support groups to provide assistance with working through life transitions and changes. Getting your questions answered, creating strategies, and having an ear to listen are all integral parts of successfully working through change. With major life events such as the loss of a loved one, engaging a grief counselor or a support group is often a necessary step to help you process the loss and slowly work your way into your changed circumstance.
5. Practice Gratitude
During times of change, feeling overwhelmed and stressed can lead to feelings of worry, fear and anger. These low frequency energies work against maintaining a positive mindset, which helps with a successful transition through whatever change you are experiencing. The higher your energy frequency or vibration, the lighter you feel in your physical, emotional and mental bodies. You experience greater personal power, clarity, peace, love and joy. This makes it easier to deal with emotional challenges. One of the quickest ways to achieve a high vibration is to practice gratitude. When you are thankful, it is usually because you have received something or something has been given to you. As a result, experiencing gratitude, fills you with a joy and excitement as well as a sense of knowing that you have the gift in your present reality. Therefore, being thankful for all the things you already have and those you wish to have, allows you to manifest that reality and move through change easier.
6. Eat Healthy
Food is what nourishes our bodies and all of your bodily systems. While it is important to eat healthy and with regularity all the time, during times of change, this is even more important. Eating healthy keeps your immune system strong, which can get run down when you are stressed. Additionally, according to Harvard School of Public Health, nutritious eating "provides the extra energy needed to cope with stressful events. Early research suggests that certain foods like polyunsaturated fats including omega-3 fats and vegetables may help to regulate cortisol levels." Cortisol is the hormone which gets released when we are stressed, better known as the fight or flight mode. A well scheduled intake of nutritious foods will help to minimize its release, maintaining a calm state of being.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
Since you now know that change is not something that comes natural or easily to you as a human, you may want to consider being more patient and kind with yourself. So often in my practice I see individuals put tremendous pressure on themselves to adapt quickly when their world is in flux. Even worse, it is not uncommon to be self-critical and engage in negative self-talk which results in feelings of worthlessness, failure, and guilt when unrealistic expectations are not met. Instead, it is much more productive to praise yourself for the small wins and just plain hanging in there. Getting through each day in a changing situation deserves self praise and non-judgment. This approach will have a far greater impact in moving you through the change you are experiencing, reduce stress and bring you more in alignment.
Love & Light,
The new year provides a fresh start to up-level your life and get on the right track for all that you want to come to fruition over the course of the next twelve months. Only by having well strategized goals can you move the trajectory of your life forward and if you haven't already done so, now is the time to get clear about your desired outcomes for the coming year and here's why:
1. Goal Setting is More Effective Than Resolutions
If you have declared resolutions in the past and found that they have drifted into non-existence after the first month of the year, you may want to consider setting goals instead. The definition of a resolution is "a firm decision to do or not to do something," and that is a good start, but it is hardly a path to insuring that your decision will actually become part of your life. Goal setting involves not only the act of declaring what it is you want, but a clear roadmap of action steps for achievement. This includes specificity about the goal, a way to measure your progress and well defined timeframes.
2. Enthusiasm is Highest As The New Year Begins
Ringing in the new year brings with it feelings of excitement and enthusiasm about all the possibilities available during the twelve months ahead. This high vibrational mental state is perfect for setting intentions for the outcomes most desired. According to neuroscientist and author Joe Dispenza, when we match our intention with an elevated emotion we attract those results to us. "Embracing the elevated emotions of your future creation before the experience happens, so your heart will produce a strong magnetic field, will draw your future to you."
3. Forward Thinking Creates Your Future
Everyone struggles with repeating the same patterns and then feeling surprised when the same results happen. Much of this is due to what comprises our thoughts. Ask yourself, are you focused on the past and how you haven't gotten the results you desire? Staying the course in our thoughts and emotions with those spectacular outcomes we want and deserve will create that future. There's something about the start of the new year that naturally puts the focus on the future, opening up a clear view to what that future looks and feels like. Seize this perfect storm for allowing your creative juices to flow and lay out your goal(s) and the roadmap for reaching your intended destination.
4. Change Requires a Plan
Let's face it, at the heart of doing anything new in our lives is that dreaded thing called change. Humans were not built for change. Like the expression goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But, what if it is broke? In other words, you are not manifesting the results you want in your life. We all know that exhilarating feeling of wanting to do something different in our lives because of the happy ending we believe will result. Then, what happens? Why do so many find themselves in the exact same place over and over? This is because change is not easy. To achieve something new, we must first accept that change is required - whether it be a change in our mindset, inner beliefs or our actions. Stepping out of the old familiar and into the new is challenging. Therefore, when you set clear goals with a methodical plan of actionable steps, you are more likely to go slowly and with intention than to race out of the starting gate, only to run out of steam and relapse into old patterns.
Setting your goals now is the best insurance for looking back this time next year with a sense of satisfaction at your accomplishments!
Love & Light,