Throughout our lives, we encounter a plethora of stressors, progressing with age. This list endless, and ever-mounting, how, do we persevere, knowing this cold hard fact? Regardless of the progression of our lives, be it overwhelmed by joy and accomplishments, or burdened by emotional distress and physical ailments, life, will, keep throwing at us, new challenges, every day, without fail?
The universal truth ringing true that there will always be balls to juggle, how do we set ourselves up for success, day in and day out, without dropping any, or all of them, at any given moment? What if it was as simple as beginning where you are? Declutter your physical to declutter your mental.
A former stressed-out New York Executive, traveling the world for work, in and out of airplanes, working 80+ hours a week, overmounting stress was at the forefront of my life. I reached my breaking point. Striving to downshift this stress and its physical attack, wreaking havoc on my body, I decided to keep my New York job and move to Charlotte. A drastic response perhaps, yet it was this change in my physical environment that gave me the breath of fresh air I needed to begin to see life more clearly.
I mindfully created a home, filled with only the things I loved, and took extra care to keep it clean and beautiful each day. Working remotely, the majority of the time, from my dining table, I quickly realized that without the discipline of a clean and decluttered workspace, I became physically unable to perform my job.
My professional responsibilities continued to demand a high level of efficiency and mental capacity, regardless of the change of a physical location. I began testing how my environment made me feel, taking note of what I did that allowed my mind to remain clear, and my professional efficiency and proficiency to soar.
Some days I lit a candle as I worked, others I brought flowers and placed them next to my monitor. My coffee was always placed neatly on a beautiful coaster; the dishes always put away in the dishwasher. Inadvertently I became acutely aware of how my physical environment affected my mind.
When our physical environments are cluttered, our mental capacity becomes reduced. Our mirror neurons are darting from misplaced items to misplaced items. Focusing on things “out of place,” or that “need to get done”, in lieu of the immediate task at hand. The foundation for setting ourselves up for success, declutter our physical to declutter our mental.
The simple act of straightening up before bed will entirely change your life. Place the dishes in the dishwasher, straighten the pillows and the blanket on the couch. Have the kids help put their toys away before the nighttime story. Each small act of clearing and organization gets us one step closer to the clearer mind we so innately crave. For, when our physical environment is clean, straightened, or organized, we automatically reduce our to-do list. As the to-dos reduce, so does your stress, creating a calmer physical body and more at peace mind.
With this knowledge imparted, what small steps will you take today to set yourself up for success? Will you run the dishwasher before bed? Reorganize your desk, reducing the clutter and filling it with only things bringing you joy? What small act of kindness will you give to yourself by making one simple change?
For each of these acts of self love creates a chain reaction. With each breath of fresh air felt, we are ignited to perform another. Before we know it, habits are created that positively shift emotions, not only within ourselves, but of those nearest and dearest to our hearts. Could the simple act of making straightening up a habit be the secret sauce to achieving anything and everything our hearts desire? Just maybe; and at the very least, knowing that it will at a minimum, provide that ever illusive deep breath, it’s worth a shot.
Erin Elizabeth Downing is a health and wellness expert, currently writing her first book, Kundalini for the Modern Yog(ini): Shed Stress and Awaken the Power Within. With over 15 years of experience, navigating the world of corporate america, while honoring and advancing her spiritual and wellness path, Erin brings a unique approach to the world of (WELL)ness. Erin’s philosophy of combining Mind + Body + Spirit in all that we do brings an inclusive experience to her clients. Through one-on-one coaching, writing, retreat facilitation, and nutrition she offers a safe space where the eternity of the human experience is acknowledged, celebrated, and harnessed for both her clients, and the greater good of all.