As soon as I walked in I felt something messing with my Zen. I felt a little bit anxious or uptight or unable to fully relax and it took me a little while to figure it out, but when I did it reminded me how much our external environment can impact on and reflect our internal environment. Both in a positive and negative way. Now I cannot divulge where I was visiting or whose space I was in (to protect the slightly innocent), but what I will be sharing is totally relevant for us all.
I remember reading a book last year about neuroscience – which for me is more fun than reading the latest gossip magazine – and the author was talking about the amount of brain power that is used up via distraction. Additionally they spoke about the mind’s amazingly sensitive ability to detect danger around us. In fact our brains are so sensitive to danger and threats to our safety that it is constantly monitoring the external environment for potential danger. And when that environment is a house or room or desk of disarray, it is constantly on high alert. Your minds attention is being pulled in numerous different directions – which doesn’t sound very relaxing to me.
How about an example
Just to paint a clear picture about why our highly evolved mind (which is all about protection and learning so we as a species thrive), let me use an example. Do you think that it is easier for the mind to identify and respond to danger in an open field (or desert plain) compared to a dense forest? In the open field there may be 10 things where potential danger may be lurking, versus 100’s of places in the dense forest. It is easier for the mind to notice and monitor 10 things rather than 100’s; which means the mind uses a lot less energy as well.
In the example of a messy house, the mind does a quick check to see where everything is. If it is in order it winds down. If there is mess or clutter that is just new (like toys or clothes or dirty dishes or rubbish left out) then the mind will be distracted by this and take a period of time before it can wind done. This may not seem like a big deal, but if it happens all the time, you are wasting significant amounts of energy.
When we have a relaxed mind it can coordinate our body to do the self healing work it is designed for and capable of. When our bodies are relaxed we are healing. When our bodies are stressed and remain stressed for long periods of time, without total rest and relaxation, they break down. So a relaxed mind is ESSENTIAL for optimum health and happiness.
To reiterate the main theme:
Clutter in our environment = cluttered, distracted and ‘foggy’ mind (and a level of stress) plus loss of energy
Know that having a messy work or home environment is actually costing you precious energy (or what I like to call LIFE FORCE) and causing you mild to major levels of stress. SO CLEAN UP!!!!! 😉
What to do?
- Realise the significance and harm that clutter has on your health, happiness and potential to shine.
- Start on one area at a time (a drawer, a desk, a cupboard, a room, a shelf, etc)…little by little and bit by bit.
- Don’t buy stuff (aka clutter) if you do not NEED it, just because the marketing team made an awesome advertisement and argument in their favour.
- If something will take less then 2 minutes to put away or clean up or tidy or put in the bin then do it IMMEDIATELY.
- Get rid of stuff that does not enhance the quality of you or your families lives or enhance the work place.
- Sell your excess stuff or give it to charity. Good for you, good for others. A total WIN-WIN.
- Realise the significance and harm that clutter has on your health, happiness and potential to shine. AND YES I AM REPEATING MYSELF SO YOU GET IT!! 😉
So there you go. When we were taught to clean up our mess as children, it really was for a good cause. And like everything that I teach, it is never ever ever too late to change our ways. All it requires is a great reason, persistence and effort. Nothing great comes without effort – which I am really sorry to have to tell you. 😉
Carl Massy is a Happiness Strategist and author of The Guidebook to Happiness, which is designed to help anyone and everyone increase their default level of Happiness (and health). Click on the following link for a free sample: The Guidebook to Happiness by Carl Massy – SAMPLE. Carl coaches clients in person in Bali or remotely and believes that he can positively impact anyone’s life for the better, as a result of specific and strategic lifestyle changes. He also teaches the very popular and fun Happiness Class.