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9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier

9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier

Throughout life, just as we collect items, we collect thoughts. Every now and then it’s necessary to clean your home and refresh your mind to lighten the load of what’s been collected. If you feel that you have to declutter many physical possessions, first think about why that is. Know that decluttering isn’t simply organizing your things. It’s determining what is essential and what it adds to your life. You’ll be surprised how minimizing your possessions causes you to re-evaluate your life. Decluttering forces you to make certain decisions like using or losing your hobby materials sitting around the house. You may be surprised how much happier you’ll be after you completely declutter your life.

1. Cotton clutter

Does consumer culture have you buying more clothes for a rush of dopamines? In other words, are you excited by the idea of having more clothes or the experiences you’ll have in them? You may be long overdue to downsize your closet if you’re doing laundry quite a bit.

You’ve likely heard it before; if you haven’t worn it in a year or more, it’s time to go. If you’re the type of person that attaches sentimental value to everything you may have trouble with this. Have depth to your sentimental attachment and keep the things that deeply matter to you, like your wedding dress, graduation attire, vacation memento, etc.

2. People who don’t align with where you want to be

You know who they are. They do not add any value to your life by showing you what they ate for dinner. Those who don’t align with your future-self fall into two categories; you know them intimately or not much at all. They’re the people who you may not know so well on Facebook and Instagram. It may seem harmless to browse down their timeline, but those moments you’re spending could be spent making a real connection.

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Use the social networks for their highest good by communicating and creating content for people who are important in your life. It can be difficult to remove people from your life that are closer to you. Look at the top five people you surround yourself with and honestly ask yourself if any of them are where you want to be in 20 years.

3. No more junk drawers, closets, and rooms

Decluttering your life benefits you physically, emotionally, and mentally. You can get the mental and emotional benefits by improving your environment first. Eliminate all “junk” areas from your home.

No more junk drawers filled with random items allowed. This is a form of physical clutter which has its equivalent in your mind. Some people have closets or entire rooms written off as “storage”, but you know what it really is.

4. Unhealthy snack options

You may not think of a snack as clutter. Your body takes what you consume and uses it to form everything that you are. Junk food in your kitchen eventually becomes clutter in your body. Your body has to work to process out any preservatives and chemicals you eat.

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The more unhealthy snacks you easily let slip in between meals and activities, the less healthy you are. Poor health can make your mind foggy, physically drain you, and even affects your attitude. Put healthy snacks in your kitchen, you’ll eat them simply because they’re there.

5. Unfinished business

When you leave loose ends, you have to remember to go tie them back together. Having to remember unfinished business is a drain on your mental energy. You may even feel some level of guilt for not completing a project, not making a call or not giving your best.

These thoughts are mental blocks that you should live without. If you let too many things go unfinished they might make you feel guilty, ashamed or reluctant to take action again. So, even if you think you’re behind in the race, finish. Give yourself the warm satisfaction of knowing you did what was right. Whether it is scheduling a meeting or launching a project, tie your loose ends.

6. Commitments that don’t serve you

Does paying for a monthly makeup or outdoor gear subscription box for the next 6 months really serve you? Of course, you want to have the highest quality of life possible. Should you collect more things or should the funds for the subscription box be used towards a more worthy cause? This is a commitment you made that may no longer serve your best interest or your wallet.

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Especially if you already have mounds of whatever the subscription box offers. You may end up with a lot of excess products getting automatic shipments every month. Say “No” more often, so you can spend time and money on the things that are truly important to you. Your true friends will still love you if you pass on Thirsty Thursday at the bar. What can you cut down time doing to get more time to work on goals or practice your craft?

7. Worries clouding your mind

Declutter your mind from incessant thinking. It may seem normal to want to think all of the time. Yet, many people who still their mind through meditation or yoga find it easier to direct thought because of the practice. You can’t expect yourself to be able to devote undivided focus to something when you can’t quiet your own thoughts.

Letting your thoughts run rampant really prevents you from giving 100% of yourself to whatever you’re doing. Your mind is designed to constantly look for potential dangers and you have to consciously quiet that. It serves you better to have a seat with your eyes closed and view the blank screen of your mind.

8. All of the paper you don’t need

Are you guilty of having a drawer full of papers? Go digital where you can. Paperwork adds up over time, leading you to have cluttered areas in your home, which you swear have important documents.

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Loose paper around your home breeds more of the same, leading to stacks of paper that only get thicker. Having a digital copy of important documents and even instruction manuals can help alleviate some of your worries about losing the hard copy.

9. Tell it like it is- it’s trash

Yes. Sometimes decluttering consists of getting rid of trash and dusty old items. Have you ever noticed how trash seems to collect in piles? You need to actively work to keep trash down to a minimum or you’ll attract more trash. You may not call all of the trash in your home, car or office trash. You may tell yourself, “I might need that one day”.

Tell that pair of underwear that has seen better times goodbye. If you have items you have never used for more than six months, get rid of it. If you can live without it for that long, it’s trash to you and someone else can enjoyably use it. Consider how much you really care about anything that’s been dusty and in your garage for more than six months.

Decluttering your life is so much more than organizing what’s under your bed into bins. You have to get rid of unneeded clothes, people, worrisome thoughts, unhealthy food, and trash. Decluttering negativity from your life on so many levels is going to have a deep and beneficial impact on your life. You’ll notice the difference. Get ready to walk lighter, feel free, and think more positive thoughts about yourself and the people around you.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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