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4 Ways to Declutter and Draw the Meditative Space Back Into Your Life

4 Ways to Declutter and Draw the Meditative Space Back Into Your Life

    Many of us have calm meditative spaces we retreat to whenever possible. Some may take a little effort to reach like a mountain top, the edge of a canyon, or the center of a field of flowers. Others are closer to home like a harbor view, seat in the garden surrounded by nature, or on the rooftop under the stars.

    These places are meant for escape and recharging yet it very often occurs that when we return back to our usual domains we’re drained almost immediately after walking through the door. Why? The claws of clutter or variations of it have us in a hold.

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    Clutter develops quickly, especially when there’s little time in our routine to keep things organized. It can also be a result of past accumulations from childhood that are stuffed in a loft, attic or basement but still have a knack for taking over homes. The good thing is even when the situation feels overwhelming it’s still possible to make a change.

    The key is simply making an effort to sift through everything by taking out sentimental tchotchkes and other belongings that haven’t been looked at for years and distinguishing between what is and what isn’t expendable.

    If this sounds easier said than done don’t fret. The following are a few mental exercises to keep in mind to help you through the process and hopefully draw the meditative space back into your life.

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    1. Lightening the load

    This is it. This is the main focus because — let’s face it — in one way or another our possessions weigh us down and hold us back from some of life’s biggest decisions. For example, what if your job offered you the chance to move to a foreign country for a year or two but because of everything you’ve amassed it’s not possible. Or maybe you’ve wanted to take time off and travel but you need your income to pay for your oversized apartment which is partly acting as a storage room.

    When the focal point is getting the most out of life the adrenaline starts pumping and downsizing comes a lot easier. Within a few short minutes you may discover emotional attachments to objects that once felt strong no longer exist. This means you’re taking the first steps towards lightening the load.

    2. You can’t take it with you

    Most of the time when we’re thinking about the future it’s regarding money, building a family, or making some type of investment. We don’t usually consider something like what’s going to happen to our belongings when our time is up in this world.

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    It’s a moribund thought but the truth is when it’s our time to go we can’t take that box of high school love letters or stitched up sweater with us. That’s why a good exercise for downsizing is to contemplate what ten or twenty things to put aside if you could take them with.

    Doing so will help distinguish between nonessentials and what’s truly important.

    3. Be an example

    Many of us know how hard it is to scale things back because we’ve tried it over and over with both success and failure. At the core, though, is the desire to let it all go because we understand what a life changing experience it could be.

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    Take hold of this aspiration and be an example for others by following through on your convictions to clean out the vault. It can release personal burdens and show others if you can do it they can too.

    4. Consider your health

    Wrapped up in all of this is the state of our health as too much clutter breads dust and taints indoor air. It also creates unnecessary stress, especially when there are regular daily pressures from work and relationships to deal with.

    That’s why if you need some extra inspiration to get through those boxes, bins, and closets consider how much happier and healthier you’d be after downsizing and de-cluttering your humble abode.

    In the end you’ll be able to draw strength from this peaceful environment and use it for tackling some of life’s other challenges.

    (Photo credit: Tall Pebble Stack via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2019

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

    In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

    These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

    1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

    Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

    But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

    Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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    2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

    You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

    The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

    3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

    If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

    Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

    If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

    4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

    Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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    To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

    In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

    5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

    We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

    If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

    Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

    “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

    6. Give for the Joy of Giving

    When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

    One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

    So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

    7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

    Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

    Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

    When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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    So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

    9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

    Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

    It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

    It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

    10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

    There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

    But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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    Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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    Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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