April 18, 2022
Creating Peaceful Spaces with Mindfulness
The benefits of mindfulness can be applied to many areas of your day, such as before you begin a stressful meeting or when you’re in an anxious headspace. But mindfulness can also be useful for decluttering not only your mind but also your living space.
In both your head and your home, it’s common to feel like you have too much stuff, a lot of emotions, situations, and physical belongings taking up room. When your internal and external surroundings begin to feel crowded, it can be difficult to recenter yourself. It’s time to create more breathing room.
Deciding Where to Begin Decluttering
Let’s be honest: nobody looks forward to organizing a heavily cluttered countertop or clearing out boxes of old papers. The dread of these tasks coupled with how overwhelming they seem can make it easy to continue procrastinating and literally walking around the issues.
Part of what can make clearing out the clutter so intimidating is the size of the task. It’s valid to feel as though you’ll never have time to get it all done, but mindfully accepting how much time you do have can help you begin successfully. Not everybody has the luxury of an entire day to tidy every room, but straightening one bedroom closet or cleaning one room top to bottom can get the decluttering process started at a pace that is comfortable and realistic for you.
Knowing When to Let Things Go
When it comes to mementos, clothing, and other items that hold emotional connections, it can be hard to decide what to hold onto and what to clear out. Rather than approaching the chore with trepidation, consider the joy of simply letting go. Going through old mail or boxes of the kids’ school artwork can be an opportunity to reminisce fondly about days gone by.
Feeling the gratitude of the life experiences you’ve had and the relief of offloading the physical remnants of those times around your home can create that much-needed breathing room for both mind and body.
Another way to incorporate mindfulness is to be aware of your feelings as you approach each item. That piece of clothing that’s still in your closet from an ex-partner may be a functionally useful item when it’s cold outside, but take a moment to sit with any feelings that the hoodie may bring up. Are they warm, neutral, or painful? If this was a toxic person in your life, that hoodie may be detrimental to the peace you’re trying to create for yourself. Offloading emotionally heavy items is not only beneficial for your physical space but it’s also a healthy practice for your emotional space.
Finding Joy in Sharing Your Belongings With Others
It’s also common during the decluttering process to look around and think, “Oh my gosh, I have way too much stuff.” Feelings of guilt and shame can also accompany this line of thinking, but this process of reconnecting with yourself and your surroundings can also be a time to be kind to others.
As you straighten and tidy each room, closet, and storage space, filling a donation box with the items you’ve chosen to let go of can help you find the joy in sharing your bounty with others. Whether there are specific people you have in mind to donate to or if you choose to visit a local donation center, these items that have no more use to you can lift up other people and give you more mental and physical clarity.
The Benefits of Decluttering with Mindfulness
It’s stressful enough to go through the day feeling like there’s too much going in your head, so when the same feeling also applies to your living space, life can quickly feel crowded and stifling. Clearing the physical clutter from your living space can also carry over into your state of mind, especially the acts of letting go and helping others.
Consider mindfulness as a mental muscle. Every situation you approach mindfully can help strengthen that muscle and ease you into a different perspective than you may have used previously, and using mindfulness to declutter your home is no exception. Register for a Mindful Daily and explore all of the ways that mindfulness can help realign your mind and body connection.
Written by Becky Greiner