Tag: mental health

“I can’t focus, my mind’s all over the place!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say this to me, I’d be rich. I hear friends say they take on a million tasks at once and they’re onto the next task before finishing the first one—which really means nothing ever gets done.

Our minds move a thousand miles per minute, and with the speed of technology, we’re not slowing down any time soon. The TV’s on, the radio’s blaring, the cell phone’s pinging with every new text, and Facebook’s open 24/7. Information is so readily accessible, it’s easy to get wrapped up in having to know it all. And after knowing it all, we try to do it all. An endless cycle that can go on forever as if we’re running on a hamster wheel.

This state of overthinking, overload and overwhelm is all too common.

We’re split and scattered between past, present and future, juggling roles and responsibilities. We’re caught up in regrets about yesterday and worries about tomorrow. It’s no wonder we struggle to fall asleep at night.

These are the effects of mental clutter. The head fog, the confusion, the chaos, the stress. And this “stuff” affects our environment. It leads to our messy desks, our overstocked cupboards, our overflowing closets and drawers.

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I get it. You’re busy.

Too busy for friends and family let alone meditation and yoga. Too busy for a proper meal let alone mindfulness training. Too busy for a shower let alone 8 hours of sleep.

You probably feel like you don’t have enough time for much nowadays.

You don’t even know who’s running your schedule, you or your clients. You or your colleagues. You or your spouse. You or your kids. You or [insert everyone else ever].

Meanwhile, you’re frazzled, scatterbrained, overwhelmed…but still determined to get it all done.

So tell me this, out of all the hours in a day, how many of them are spent nurturing your mind? How many are spent catering to the health of your mind? How many are spent appreciating the miracle that is your mind?

Don’t have time for that, you say?

You don’t have time to not have time for that.

I’m here to tell you that no amount of money, success, accolades or fame will do for you what a clear, strong mind can do.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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Even after listing all the benefits, the few who still cringe at the thought of meditation don’t realize the gift it is. They’re too caught up in thinking they can’t do it. Believing the myths and getting discouraged.

“Is it sitting around thinking about nothing? My mind never shuts up! Besides, I have too much to do to set aside 15 minutes to do nothing. That’s time wasted.”

But it isn’t time wasted. It’s so powerfully recharging and rejuvenating that once you experience the gift of meditation, you’ll happily make the time to do it because it will prove to be the best way to start the day.

Reconnecting with yourself in meditation, checking in and getting centered is how we stay cool, calm and collected. This work leads to clarity, insight and peace.

It leads to connected relationships. The time spent in meditation will equal how joyful and present you become with those you encounter at home, work and everywhere.

Once you decide that meditation is worth it, it will be. And you’ll see the gift of meditation manifest in your life immediately.

If you’re still wrestling with the idea, unconvinced of its benefits, let me offer you a crash course in meditation.

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On the last step of the Code, you now have all steps down as a lifestyle, right? Ok, maybe not quite; it takes practice. But with discipline, The Declutter Code becomes a way of life, a new language you speak. And with that comes a life of peace and freedom. How good does that sound?

(Before you go on, make sure you read and practice Step 9 for the best results.)

Step 10: Sleep

Rest. Reset. Restart. Sleep, it’s that weapon we all have to improve our mental functioning, our stamina and our muscular strength. It sustains the body’s proper functioning, alertness and survivalism. The mind relaxes. The nervous system relaxes. The postural muscles rest. The eyes rest.

During sleep, the body repairs bones and tissues, rejuvenates cells and organs. Sleep also boosts the immune system and aids digestion.

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Ready to dive into step 3 of the The Declutter Code? (Have you read and practiced step 2? If not, do that first. There’s a delicate order to the Code, especially if this is the first time you’re practicing it.)

At this point in the Code, we’ve slowed and stilled mind and body, and we’ve started incorporating meditation into our mornings. Now, we can go even deeper within.

Step 3: Silence

Silence is the absence of sound. It is the hushing of chatter and commotion, of song and speech. It’s the muting of noise. It’s the quieting of the mind.

Silence allows us to turn our focus inward. When we settle our surroundings, our bodies, then minds, our inner ears, aren’t as distracted. We can listen from within and hear our inner dialogue. Our thoughts don’t have to compete with much else to be heard.

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When does stuff become clutter? When does what you own become more of a burden than a blessing? When does the disarray deserved to be disposed?

You can’t stop thinking about it. You’re stressed. You’re disorganized. Yet, you keep buying, stockpiling, hoarding…

Clearly, it’s not just the stuff that’s bothering you.

The stuff you see is only part of the mess. There’s stuff underneath the stuff.

Clutter is crafty and contagious. It pervades first our minds, then our bodies, hearts and homes. It seeps into our calendars, offices, careers and bank accounts.

Your mind is the first to get cluttered before you ever see the repercussions in your living space.

Can you catch it before it gets out of hand? Before it becomes debilitating?

Let’s find out how to tell when stuff becomes clutter.

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