Can This DIY Trick Help Improve Focus and Clarity?
An acupuncturist once told me that I should be sure to clean my home before doing anything that requires mental energy or sharp memory recall. It was the best advice I could have ever received in my early twenties. At the time he was referring to an important exam I had coming up, but I’ve carried this advice through the years, cleaning my home before important meetings, due dates or times of stress. The idea behind it is that if your surroundings are full of clutter, so is your mind.
In her book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender, Elisabeth Elliot says:
“A house that is cluttered is usually lived in by people whose minds are also cluttered, who need to simplify their lives. This begins with simplifying and clarifying their thinking. Mind and life need to be freed from the ‘disorder of the unnecessary.”
It’s an interesting philosophy; one that’s almost too elementary. But the notion that we can simply declutter our surroundings to declutter our minds makes perfect sense. By tidying up our environment, we shed anxiety, mentally locate and organize all personal items and gain a sense of self-esteem and pride. It’s easy to see how that would lend to a greater sense of peace and mental organization as well. I can personally testify that it does wonders.
MindBodyGreen recently expanded on this concept:
Could you do with an ordered and peaceful mind? One that allows you to feel calm and relaxed? One where you are easily able to make decisions? Where you feel connected and intuitive?
If so, look around you because how your environment looks and feels will make a huge difference to what’s happening up in your mind.
Chaos and clutter in your environment = chaos and clutter in your mind.
You can make space in your head by ordering and making space in your environment.
William Morris once said something that sums up this attitude. It has become a mantra for me since ditching the easy but unfulfilling and taking up the challenge of living a vital, inspired life:
‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.
Beauty is inspiring, if you want to live wonderfully you need to have as much of it around you as possible. It takes your breath away, lifts you out of the everyday, and reminds you of what’s important. Possessions that provide use are just as important – useful stuff enables you to live, to do things, to create.
Everything else is just clutter. And that clutter is cluttering up your mind.
It’s so true when you think about it. Doesn’t the image corresponding with this article give you even mild anxiety? Have you ever tried cleaning in hopes to clear your head?