Decluttering

Marie kondo and the magical power of tidying up, because the environmental order is mental order. Part 1

This is a story of redemption, it is the story of a chronic messy person, proud almost to be that, proceeded in life on the back of slogans such as ‘ in my disorder I feel good ‘, ‘I have never lost anything’ etc. etc.

Which, in addition to being obviously false, further discredited everything I had and did. Yes, because that’s exactly the problem with mess, it takes away value. Nothing can be beautiful, nothing can be important or valuable, nothing is relevant if thrown there in the pile of other things. Once it happened the gravity that the effects of disorder could have on my life, I looked for a solution and came across this little Japanese woman who seemed to have all the answers I needed. Having to describe it in a few lines, Marie Kondo’s method can be summed up as throwing away the superfluous and keeping only objects that really matter. At this point the objects are stored finding for each one a suitable and functional placement. Proceeding from room to room, category by category, drawer by drawer, until the whole house has been reorganized and organized.  You have to pass over some things, which although understandable and in some respects admirable, I did not really feel like doing, for example throwing away books or some souvenirs or even certain objects that I keep because they remind me of something or someone. On the other hand, however, I can say (and not just me) that decluttering is a therapeutic action. We often don’t really notice how many things clog our lives, thoughts and actions.  There were a few things that I even wondered why I had kept them until then. Here is the podium of the most satisfying decluttering categories (and that if you do not want to revolutionize home in my opinion are already enough to relax your brain)

1Clothes that are not good for me now, but when I finish the diet (which Technically I have not started yet) they will fit me

I don’t think it’s really necessary  to say why i think it’s an act bordering on masochism, but in a nutshell it’s like hanging a sign in the closet that says, ‘As you are, you’re not going well.’ Streeeessss

2 Useless or even worse gifts

Those who grew up with a minimally decent mother know that you have to receive gifts with a smile and always thank you. That’s all, it doesn’t say that we have to keep objects, clothes or various stuff that we don’t like or, even worse, makes us feel somehow inadequate. It’s just a lot of effort, whether you keep them tidy or feel guilty. Better cut the problem to the root.

3 Paperwork

It often happens to me with receipts, but I know there is people who keep with them all kinds of paper that comes from others, whether they are postcards, receipts, warnings etc. Usually for these things there is only a temporary place, something like ‘I’ll put it here then I’ll put it away’, but the reality is that there is no place for them in the world, not even inside your home. At this point is required a real act of courage , so dear anxious friend, close your eyes, take all that pile of cards in your hands and throw it in the trash. There is nothing you need in there, you would not find it anyway and having it constantly reminds you that maybe you would have something to do, to pay, to communicate and that you are not sure to remember it and maybe you should check it, but in reality you do not want to know and so on … no no throw, throw everything away.

In a short time I realized that I was lighter, for example choosing the clothes with which to go out no longer created that anxiety from ‘I have nothing to put’ because I no longer had a wardrobe of clothes that could be put on.

So when you feel a little overwhelmed, it’s useful to get on a drawer or shelf, because it really helps to make room, both real and metaphorical ( and maybe even to organize a little better with the times).

Comfort things to get out of the comfort zone

Sometimes I feel anxious and can’t figure out what it is (did I really say SOMEtimes?). Maybe nothing has happened and I am aware that nothing will happen, anyway I feel a sense of restlessness in my stomach.

When this happens, I have learned a foolproof way to calm down and that is to resort to what I call life jackets. That is, small comfort things that allow me to manage a possible small moment of anxiety, even in apparently quiet situations. Among other things, I find that they could also be useful for some small digression from my comfort zone.

Tv series / books         

I personally have both. There are times when I’m at home, on the sofa and I can’t relax as I would like. Or I’m in bed destroyed, but still I can’t sleep. Here, in my case, a random episode of ‘friends’ or a couple of pages of ‘Bridget Johnes’ diary’ takes place. Ok, maybe we are not talking about  great masterpieces, but probably the mix between lightness and a high identification in characters or situations, make me feel safe.LLet’s say that they help me in my relationship with containment underwear, or they delude me that I can face life like Joey Tribbiani. I look at them and I feel at home, surrounded by things I know well and I think that basically nothing is more likely to go wrong than the other way around.

Passpartout outfit

I can say without false modesty that I am not one of those who look in the mirror and like herself. Let’s say that usually I can stand myself, but some days I just can’t look at myself. It happens that, on some public occasions when I could be very quiet, such as dinners with secular friends or relatives, however an inexplicable thing creeps into my thoughts and I stop feeling at ease. On these occasions it helps me a lot to know that I have 1 outfit in which I feel good, comfortable, but I would almost be pretty. Remembering that after all my appearance is acceptable reassures me, making me think that all in all, to avoid fool it would be enough for me to keep quiet.

3 three deep breaths.

Golden rule of a lifetime, learning to breathe. This tip is especially true when I am in crowded places, such as public transport or in a queue at some store and start to fidget. Then I just stare at a specific point, usually something on me like shoes or hands and I start to pay attention to how I breathe. My technique is to inhale mentally counting to 6. At this point I always hold the breath for 6 seconds and at the end I exhale, so that it always lasts at least until I have counted to six (or even 8 I like). For me, four or five breaths of this type are already enough to feel a little more in line with the absolutely harmless situation I am experiencing.

As always, rereading myself I think I wrote some things that are quite obvious for everyone, but the truth is that,  in my opinion, they are very easy tips to implement and therefore it costs nothing to try. I am really convinced that it is good for everyone to identify comfort things, because they could be useful keys to get out of the comfort zone, one small step at a time.

 And so….what do you have?

Anger

Anger is a feeling I’ve never been good at managing. I always swing between the two opposites, or I repress it, or I get literally furious and my brain gets completely clouded. Neither thing is really functional: the first put me into a sense of frustration for not being able to express what I felt and in general I feel I have allowed someone to lack of respect. However, if I let myself be taken by anger, it is even worse, because then I feel tired and empty and in any case I don’t feel I have really said what I think and feel effectively. The consequence is always the same: I feel a well of good answers not given and therefore I spend a lot of time having imaginary conversations from which I come out the winner.

The steps to follow in my case are very trivial, but it is always useful to repeat them to me.

1Three deep breaths

Breathing is the easiest and most instinctive thing our body can do, but we often don’t notice how badly we breathe. I guess it is always useful, when we feel anger approaching, being able to take three real and deep breaths, those that enlarge the stomach. This is useful for two reasons:the first is that physically we will be less contracted and more ‘oxygenated’ therefore more lucid in our thoughts. The second is emotional because it allows us to take a little break, thanks to which, we could do a light review of how we want to feel when the discussion is over, about how we don’t want to appear ugly and vulgar, about how we would like to stem the person or situation that is making us angry with the icy calm that we always admire in others

2 Leisure

I have lifesavers, I will tell you about them in a dedicated post, but they are basically life jackets that I prepare in times of crisis. One of these lifesavers is the list of books or movies that literally make me laugh, those belly cramping things. They are not my favorite films, they are not the films in which the protagonist is so much an example of resilience that he wins over all adversity. No, the life jackets in this case are the ones that make me laugh, alone, loudly. That’s, if after a fight I still feel agitated, I didn’t like me or I still feel some frustration, the best way to get back in peace with the world is surely to laugh.

3 Cleaning

I know it may sound like an additional punishment, but for me anger is a bit like loss of control, especially if it has turned into blind fury, but in reality even if I have been treated unfairly. One thing that realigns me with my universe immediately is for sure to clean up or tidy up. Absolutely I have a real passion for mopping floors, but I know of people who prefer to rage on the linen drawer or better still on the bag. Putting things in their proper place, leaving them clean and tidy, keeping our hands busy, allows us to make order and cleanliness even in thoughts. Let’s say that it is a constructive way to let off steam and to pick up on what we feel is slipping from our fingers.

One last thing, however, must be said. In reality, getting angry is normal and healthy and in whatever form you express it (as long as it does not result in violence of course) anger is still a legitimate feeling, so do not blame yourself too much if you let yourself be carried away, you can apologize or make up for the next opportunity . Expressing anger belongs to the human being, just like expressing other positive feelings, there is nothing wrong with having even more negative ones. The important thing is to remember not to be ashamed of what you have done.

Gratitude for the little things

One of the feelings that is most underestimated in our time is gratitude. And it is a real shame, because realizing that you are lucky and being grateful to God, to the universe or whatever you want, has multiple positive sides, especially speaking about  anxiety.

1Positive thinking: mode on

Being grateful for everything we have, are or surrounds us, places our brain in a state of grace that we will be more positive and optimistic. If ourselves and the whole world are full of wonderful things, certainly others will continue to happen.

2 Self-esteem: mode on

Obviously, if we begin to notice how many beautiful things we have and how wonderful we are, we will be convinced that we are unique and special people, aware of how much they are worth and this is a real boost for self-esteem.

3Energy: mode on

If self-esteem and positive thinking are at the highest levels, well my gentlemen we can really consider ourselves as super heroes. We will feel energized and ready to face anything with the belief that everything will be fine underneath

To exercise gratitude, it is enough to notice the little things that surround us and that make every moment of the day special. Obviously, we can’t spend all day rejoicing in everything, otherwise the risk of being deranged is very high.

I solved it like this

•  In the morning I sit on the bed and before putting my feet on the ground I say at least three things for which I am really grateful among all the ones I have.

•  In the evening, when I get under the covers, I think of at least three things for which I am grateful among all those that have happened to me during the day,actually I like to make a small ranking from third to first place.( the first place is for my favourite thing in the day)

As the days went by, I realized that I was noticing many more special moments during my day, perhaps while I was in the car or waiting for someone or something.

Life is made up of small moments of happiness, that’s probably why it’s worth getting excited about the little things.

Limits

One of the best tips that someone gave me was undoubtedly about limits. I’ve learned that people need to be given limits so they know how to move when dealing with me, but mostly because I loathe myself a little less.

Yes, because letting people feel free to do what they want creates a double problem: on the one hand they will probably take advantage of you, on the other you will blame yourself for allowing them to do so. In any case you will be deeply annoyed by this situation, but increasingly unable to control it because in a short time being ‘accommodating’ will make us pass for those who always say yes.

What bothered me the most, however, was my inability to assert myself, until I understood one thing: if I have no respect for myself, who should have it?

So I decided that there would be three simple rules that I should always keep in mind

1 Hours of work

Especially those who have a job as an employee, but many times all the others too, will have seen that in the workplace there is a tendency to ask for more and more.

In my opinion, this is not right, if only if it happens on a regular basis. We feel that exceptionally a person stops more hours than he should in the workplace, but I think it is better not to make it an habit. For example, I gave a limit to the weekly hours I was willing to do and began to say no when requests were beginning to be too frequent. In this way, others have also adjusted accordingly, and requests have quickly become more respectful. It is right to work, it is nice to engage and give your best in your work, but the day must also be made of something else.

2 La famiglia

Whether it’s yours or who accompanies you sometimes let’s face it, we leaves too much space for them.  It does not mean not to love him, it does not mean not to be available, but surely, a little, some limits must be put. Maybe within time limits, I can call you or visit you, but I may not always have much time, maybe limit the topics of discussion, because it is right once you reach a certain age not to accept certain criticisms or behaviors anymore. In general, even if you want them a good soul, you still have to be able to free yourself and show that you mainly have a (private) life to live. A little healthy selfishness if we want to say so.

3 Say clearly ‘I don’t like you’

Someone much more famous than me ( but not more than the Beatles) says that the truth makes you free. Well let’s take the liberty of keeping away those we don’t like, telling them and acting accordingly. At the cost of sounding bad I admit that there are people who are not welcome in my house and therefore stay out of it.  It doesn’t mean I’m rude with them, but we both know there’s been a break point and things won’t be the same again. I no longer pretend that they are, no more pleasantries or phrases of circumstance. I only surround myself with those who make me feel good, the rest I keep politely at distance. As much as I can.

Being able to take these spaces really helps to de-stressed the brain because unpleasant situations will happen much less frequently, it is a bit like having an umbrella always with you even if you do not yet see clouds on the horizon. Don’t be afraid to put limits on the people around you, because it’s a sign of extreme respect in reality. For yourself mainly, but not only. Being clear, sincere and direct with others will earn you many points in terms of trust and reliability.  Let’s put it this way you can say that I have many flaws, but I am a clean person