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From time to time, life gets a bit much for all of us. Things just seem to become a good deal more chaotic than we’d like them to be — and this in turn causes feelings of anxiety. Then there’s the stress we might be under as a result of work, and other dimensions of our lives.
There are many things that people do, and try, in order to help improve their lives during this difficult period. And a lot of those techniques and approaches have real merit — ranging from things like mindfulness meditation, to diet modifications.
Perhaps one of the best, and simplest steps that you can take in order to improve your life, though, is to tidy up your home — hotel quality bed runners, vacuumed floors, the whole deal.
Curious about that suggestion? Sceptical, perhaps? Well, here are a few reasons why tidying up can have a positive impact.
Your environment has a direct impact on your mindset
It’s just one of those interesting facts of life, that a person’s environment has a quite direct and profound impact on their mindset.
In doubt? Then consider this simple question: do you think you would feel the same if you had to spend 24-hours living in a poorly illuminated, dusty cellar apartment with no windows, or if you had to spend 24-hours in an airy apartment with excellent natural lighting and brilliant views of beautiful natural scenery?
Something in our basic psychology seems to view the environments that we inhabit and spend most of our time in, as some kind of extensions of ourselves. This means that if you allow your home — your most fundamental personal environment — to be messy and disordered, you create and reinforce the subconscious (and maybe even explicitly conscious) idea that your life is out of control and you’re not where you want to be.
Changing your environment can, for this reason, go a long way towards changing your overall mindset for the better.
Tidying up your home reminds you of your ability to exert influence over your life and change things for the better
When times are tough, people are often caught feeling helpless — as though they had no real power to change their circumstances for the better.
In reality, we can always take steps to make things better — at least by marginal increments — than they currently are.
Tidying up your home — which is to say, making a tangible and direct change to your immediate environment — can serve as an excellent reminder of your ability to exert influence over your life, and change things for the better. When you’ve been feeling as if you don’t have what it takes to reshape your reality, reshaping your physical environment can seem like a revolutionary act.
What’s more, tidying up is a great way of beginning a cascade of positive change in your life, because positive change almost always happens through small and immediate “grassroots” actions, and then radiates outwards. For example, you start waking up on time. Then you clean your house. Then you’re more prompt with your work, and are more motivated to get fit. And so on, and so on.
Tidying up your home can be the gateway to a more minimalistic lifestyle which emphasises the more meaningful things in life
A cluttered environment is naturally stressful, perhaps because it summons up some ancient psychological tropes in the human consciousness, connected to uncertainty, chaos, and unknown terrain. A cluttered environment can also seem like an insurmountable issue just because you can barely imagine how you’d get through clearing up all the mess in front of you.
It’s well worth soldiering through the de-cluttering operation, though. Not only will inhabiting a more tidy environment make you feel better about yourself, but it can also serve as a gateway to a more minimalistic lifestyle, where you are free to consider your belongings in a more mindful way, and emphasise the more meaningful things in life, in general.
Tidying up is a way of discarding old limiting beliefs, in addition to clutter
Throughout this article, you’ve probably noticed the recurring theme that your environment and your psychological state are quite intimately related to each other.
One implication of this is that tidying up can be a way of discarding your old, limiting beliefs, in addition to the clutter that was filling up your home.
For example, simply through the act of decluttering, you can erode the old limiting belief that you are a messy person, and always have to be that way. As well as the belief that things can never be made better in your life.
This is a collaborative post.