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Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

When your parents used to threaten to ground you if you didn’t clean your room, it’s possible they were just looking out for your mental health. Clutter definitely affects your mental health, increasing anxiety and depression.

It can also lead to avoidant tactics as this survey shows where one-third of the respondents did not want to go home in order to avoid the clutter. Imagine not wanting to go to your house, a place that is meant for comfort and enjoyment?

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If your house is messy, this is very understandable. Research shows that clutter affects your brain, as too much stimuli hinders your concentration and ability to process information. No wonder you’d rather take the keys and enjoy a cleaner space elsewhere.

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The Correlation Between Mess And Stress

You don’t have to be on an episode of Hoarders to feel the mental side effects of clutter. So what’s the correlation between mess and stress?

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  1. Missing those keys? Can’t find that file for work? You can count on that increasing both levels of frustration and cortisol.
  2. Clutter causes our minds to do extra mental lifting. Those messes translate to added stimuli that wouldn’t exist with an uncluttered home or office.
  3. That pile of papers on the desk? It represents a constant reminder of work that needs to be done.
  4. Imagine trying to write a paper while a construction worker uses a jackhammer outside your office. Clutter is a distraction, pulling your attention away from the task at hand.

Decluttering Tips

We’ll avoid cluttering the page with too many more reasons; instead how about we  focus on methods of decluttering your life? Here are a few tips:

  1. Treat your home like a filing cabinet. Have designated spot for household items that don’t get frequent use? Try to limit them to drawers, cabinets or closets to keep stimuli to a minimum. As the cliche goes: out of sight, out of mind.
  2. Don’t use it, don’t keep it. Seems simple, but how often do we hold onto that “As Seen on TV” item we couldn’t live without, or that pair of heels that haven’t seen the light of day for years? Clean your clutter and do some good in the process by donating your unused items.
  3. How much time would we save if we simply put things away when we were done with them? The answer is a lot. We have bigger things to worry about than clutter, so take those extra few seconds to put an item away as soon you’re done using it.
  4. Keep cleaning fun! Add some music to the mix or brush up on your basketball skills when tossing out that spam mail. Treat it like a chore and it’ll feel like a chore.
  5. Have a method to the madness. Don’t worry about covering the entire house or even the entire room at once. Pick a corner and work from there. Those small victories will help you continue to push forward until you have an entire house looking fresh and clean.
  6. Teamwork always helps. Whether it’s family or a friend, having someone to lend a helping hand can make all the difference between organizing that clutter or calling it quits. Not to mention you’ll be able to get the job done in a fraction of the time.

Are you buried beneath that clutter and don’t know where to start? Don’t be afraid to bring in the reinforcements. Make it a family affair or bring in the professionals. A cleaning company can be a great way to get things to a more manageable place, eliminating the stress of household chores.

Whatever you decide, don’t let your brain get cluttered with the clutter around you.

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More by this author

Josh Dailey

Owner My Model Maid

Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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