Declutter To Reinvent: Cat Coluccio
“…the stress created by information overload, physical clutter. And the endless choices required from these things can trigger an array of mental health issues like generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and depression…” – S.J. Scott
Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed?
“There are actually numerous things you can do to declutter your mind.”
Are you having trouble focusing and are struggling to find time for what’s important to you?
If so, it’s time to declutter your mind and cut through the mental noise so you can live a happier life. Sounds like an impossible task? There are actually numerous things you can do to declutter your mind. So read on for three of my favourite tried and tested tips that you can start using today to create a happier life!
1. Declutter And Organize Your Physical Environment:
Your brain is constantly bombarded with information. Not just the information we read and watch on TV, on our computers, or in newspapers and magazines. But the information received via all of our senses. Touch, auditory, taste, visual, and smell. In fact, we process more information in a day than our grandparents generally experienced in an entire lifetime!
What’s more, given that our brain’s job is to keep us safe, when it is overloaded with information. Particularly negative information. It keeps us primed to respond, meaning that our “fight or flight” state stays elevated. Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are pumping and we feel constantly agitated, unfocused and stressed.
Whilst living with a small amount of stress is normal. Living in a constant state of extreme stress is detrimental to your mental health, your physical health and your relationships. Really, every part of your life is affected negatively. Which is why it is so critical to know how to declutter your mind so you can escape this constant state of tension and enjoy your life right now.
“I recommend you start with your office the workspace you use to complete tasks that require focus.”
Declutter Your Physical Environment:
Hence, my first tip to help you declutter your mind, is to declutter your physical environment. And this act alone can bring about such a relief to your mental stress that you will wish you had done it sooner!
I recommend you start with your office; the workspace you use to complete tasks that require focus. Removing all of the knick-knacks and piles of papers that distract your brain will help your focus. You’ll see productivity improves drastically, and when you are performing well in the workplace, life always feels better!
Sleep Is Essential:
The next physical area I suggest you declutter is your bedroom. Sleep is essential to help your body rest and repair. A cluttered bedroom will only keep your brain alert and your stress levels elevated. Turn your bedroom into a space that is airy, and calm. An inviting space will help your brain and body rest and be rejuvenated, meaning that you face each day feeling refreshed and far happier.
Once you’ve tackled these two areas, I recommend you gradually work your way through your home, taking time to smile and appreciate each space that you declutter.
2. Be Intentional About What You Consume:
Okay, so I’m not talking about food here. What are you reading each day? What are you watching and listening to?
“You are intentional about what you consume and how much you consume.”
When your day starts with the latest negative headlines from around the world – you can rest assured that your brain will respond and your stress levels will increase. Follow this with aggressive talkback radio during your commute, as well as the regular barrage of information you are processing – the cost of petrol, food and housing rapidly sky-rocketing, (especially here in New Zealand!) – it’s no wonder the negative chatter in your brain is relentless!
Now I’m not suggesting that you completely cut off all input from the world – as tempting as that may be! Rather, be intentional about what you consume and how much you consume.
3 Easy Actions:
- Consider limiting watching / listening to the news and weather to 30 minutes a day after work.
- Choose to replace that talk-back radio show with a positive audiobook or podcast during your commute.
- When talking to friends or family about how expensive or hard life is getting, try steering the conversation to be solution focussed rather than spiraling downwards with despair.
All three of these easy actions will reduce the mental clutter of negative loops of information playing over and over in your head. In addition, it will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more positive and happier about life.
3. Set Priorities:
When you have no boundaries or priorities – you run the risk of being pulled in every direction. Your brain tries to help by reminding you constantly of all the commitments you have made, meaning that it’s almost impossible to focus on the one right in front of you. Those stress hormones are again elevated and the result is generally overwhelming confusion and procrastination.
“Unfortunately, we women are often not good at saying “no”.”
Setting priorities is a huge step towards creating a far more simple schedule, resulting in you having time to breathe, to do those things you love but never have time for, and to actually enjoy your life!
Simple Brain Dump:
A simple brain dump onto a large piece of paper will quickly reveal just how many commitments you are trying to juggle. Unfortunately, we women are often not good at saying “no” so the challenge for you next is to ask these three questions in regards to each commitment:
- Why am I doing this?
- Who am I doing this for?
- Is this something I need to do or let go of?
One of my close friends has learned to tell herself “not my circus, not my monkeys” after repeatedly taking on far more than she should – and was paid for – in her workplace.
Learn To Prioritize Things:
It’s a good line to remember as when you can learn to prioritize the things that are genuinely important and let go of those that are just fulfilling someone else’s agenda – you’ll find that your mind feels clearer, your stress levels are lowered and your life feels happier.
So there you have it. Three simple tips that you can start using right away to declutter your mind and live a happier life. There are so many more that I could add, so be sure to check out my book 21 Hacks To Rock Midlife.
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About the Author:
Cat Coluccio is a qualified Educator, Personal Trainer and Life Coach – and a champion of midlife women. She is the host of the Rocking Midlife® Community and Podcast, and the author of a number of books, including 21 Hacks to ROCK your Midlife. Join my FREE 30 Day Love your Home Decluttering Challenge for 30 days of email prompts to help you fall in love with your home once more!
Cat is passionate about helping midlife women create fulfilling and purposeful lives yet understands how challenging it can feel to consider reinvention when your world is already so incredibly full. Hence she firmly believes that the first step to building the life that you desire in your next season, is to declutter and create space right now – be that physically, mentally or digitally.