DECLUTTER YOUR PHYSICAL (& THEREBY MENTAL) SPACE!
Thanks to the recent uptick in Marie Kondo's popularity, most of us have been asking ourselves of late if our things 'bring us joy'; neatly folding our possessions into smaller and smaller shapes for specifically assigned spaces; and I don't know about you, but I was inspired to up my opaque-black-tights-with-white-top game... okay maybe that's a stretch for most of you...and I digress...
One of the things I love about Kondo's message however, is that decluttering has been shown to have many brain-based advantages:
Recently, as example, something called 'the clutter effect' struck a chord with researchers who wanted to verify it's legitimacy - are people really affected by their clutter? And if so, isn't it just physical, or does it include mental, psychological, physiological components as well?
You guessed it: people with more clutter in their physical spaces were indeed less physically likely to move around but also had noticeable cognitive 'clutter' (a lack of clarity) and strain on their mental states. In other words: physical clutter equated to mental clutter.
Now, if you're like me, you want to know: what's the chicken and what's the egg, so-to-speak - i.e. is the clutter really causing the lack of mental clarity, efficiency, productiveness or is a lack of cognitive clarity causing the person to be messy and disorganized?
Yes, is the answer - as in, the causal relationship allows that both of those things are happening - people who are otherwise mentally or psychologically compromised somehow are indeed less tidy, less organized, and less clean according to the research (e.g. more 'clutter' occurs as a result); while it is also true that clear-headed people can be compromised by even temporary clutter in their physical environments. In good news however, what it means is that a little tidy up around the office, desk, desktop, or house can really lift a person's ability to focus, to concentrate, to be more clear-headed, to get more done, and to feel a sense of levity (clutter creates what psychologists term 'psychological weight').
(if you're interested, here's a great article about the phenomenon which includes insights like clutter contributes to unhealthier eating, slowed visual processing, increased risk of mental illness, decreased sociability, and the list goes on: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201705/5-reasons-clear-the-clutter-out-your-life)
So, if this week are you for any reason looking for a boost in motivation, productivity, cognitive clarity, and/or ability to focus and get things done - why not start by briefly channeling your inner Marie Kondo and decluttering your physical (and thereby mental!) spaces?
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