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5 Ways Decluttering Your Circle of Friends Can Save Your Energy and Peace of Mind

5 Ways Decluttering Your Circle of Friends Can Save Your Energy and Peace of Mind

Most people wrongly assume that we need more of some things in life in order to be happy, to find meaning and to get rid of stress and anxiety

It’s just the opposite. We need to choose less over more to save ourselves from unwanted worries, from living a complicated lifestyle and from having too many thoughts and too much tension in our mind.

When you’ve had enough of everything, and feel like you need more time for yourself, more freedom and peace of mind and more energy and focus to work on the things that matter to you, it’s time to start decluttering.

You’ll hear a lot of tips on how to get rid of unnecessary possessions at home, how to clear your mind and let go of regrets from the past, too many plans and random thoughts. There’s also a lot said about how to declutter your desk, computer and closet. You can also easily eliminate a lot from your calendar and daily to-do list to free some more time and stop doing unproductive activities.

But there’s one area of life that also needs decluttering, but which gets forgotten: your circle of friends.

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Let’s see why it’s smarter to have less friends in your surroundings and how this can significantly increase your level of happiness and make you more energetic and calmer:

1. You waste a lot of energy dealing with toxic people.

Toxic people are those individuals who are negative, around which you feel pressure and anxiety, who think only about themselves and require a lot of attention.

You can always argue with them but they’ll still want to be right every time. They don’t make compromises, may often upset you and make you feel inferior to them.

As a result, you feel miserable around them and it’s like they’re stealing your soul and draining your energy.

Life would be much easier if you simply stop communicating with them. If the connections were stronger you owe them a honest explanation. It’s normal that sometimes people grow apart. Even if it’s people you’ve been with your whole life, you don’t owe them your never ending connection. It’s your job to keep your happiness and peace of mind and live simply, so don’t feel bad about telling them all that to their face and removing them from your life once and for all.

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2. You’ll have more time for yourself.

In order to live a meaningful life, you should strengthen your relationship with yourself. One of the best solutions to filling the void you feel inside, to forgiving yourself, staying mindful, healing your inner self and embracing self-love, is to spend more time alone and reflect.

Having too many friends, some of which negative or playing the role of a victim, requires a lot of your time, attention and energy.

But without all that, you can have some me time daily. Imagine creating pleasant rituals to start and end the day with creative, positive and inspiring activities.

You can start meditating, working out, reading great books and getting motivated and learning new things, journaling your thoughts, visualizing yourself being more confident and successful, drinking tea and enjoying the silence, working on a creative project, or taking a walk and spending time in nature.

You’ll begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin, to get clear about your issues and about the things you truly desire in life. You’ll find out you’re worthy of love and won’t let others put you down anymore.

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You’ll be feeling fresh, energized and completely present.

Often, having many friends results in finding no time for yourself and being overwhelmed with other people’s problems. But once you declutter this area of your life, you’ll find balance and peace of mind.

3. Being constantly criticized is exhausting.

Others are judging you all the time, whether you like it or not.

And even if you’ve worked hard on trying to deal with this, it still affects your performance and way of thinking. At some point, you may end up living by someone else’s standards, seeking their approval, answering their expectations. But then you’ll be miserable because it won’t be what you want to do with your life.

Make sure you don’t end up like that, by eliminating all the people in your life who don’t support you, who don’t accept you for who you are, who aren’t there when you need them, and who even try to talk you out of your dreams.

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4. You’ll reach your goals sooner.

Some of the people in your surroundings are preventing you from moving forward. They are a distraction on your way to success.

You don’t need them in your life. Once you start avoiding them, you’ll begin feeling complete, you will find your way back to your own path, and will get closer to your goals by taking focused action every day.

5. You’ll dedicate more time to the people who matter.

Only a few of your friends are really worth it and deserve your precious time and energy. Chatting with doznes of newly met people may be exciting but long-term can drain your from energy.

Once you get rid of the connections which don’t nourish you, you’ll have the chance to be with them more often and deepen your relationship even more. But at the same time, you’ll still spend enough time on your own so that you aren’t stressed out or emotionally exhausted.

Now it’s your turn. Take a closer look at your circle of friends. Try to see people for who they really are, remember how they’ve treated you in difficult situations, analyze their reactions to different things from daily life.

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll think of many who are actually toxic and aren’t a good fit for the lifestyle you want to create for yourself.

Don’t overthink it too much, be strong and direct and let them know you’re moving on.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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