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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 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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