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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 October 14, 2019

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

    1. Stand More

    Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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    2. Gamify Your Life

    Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

    3. Eat Your Veggies

    Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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    4. Eat Protein

    This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

    5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

    Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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    6. Spice Up Your Meals

    Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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      7. Drink Caffeine

      No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

      8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

      I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

      9. Do Intermittent Fasting

      It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

      10. Use Cold Exposure

      For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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