Lighten Your Load, Declutter Your Heart

This is going to be a light-hearted post, and I mean that in a literal sense.

What on Earth am I talking about?

When you think of decluttering, what’s the first thing you think of? An overstuffed closet? That drawer you dread looking through? The shelf you keep meaning to dust but can’t bring yourself to move all the tchotchkes? Perhaps it’s the toyshop explosion of your kid’s room.

What you think of is physical clutter, but what we rarely think about is emotional and mental clutter.

Emotional clutter is made up of feelings that no longer serve you and weigh you down on a daily basis. Guilt is common, as are grudges, and old painful memories.

Mental clutter takes the form of endless to-do lists in your mind, events that must be attended, things you need to remember, and unhelpful, negative thoughts. Together, this internal clutter can lead to depression, burn out, feeling out of control, relationship breakdowns, chronic stress, and sickness.

Clearing physical clutter can certainly help with some of the feelings, but emotional and mental clutter requires you to slow down and reflect on the things you would like to let go of and aspects of your life or your self you would like to change.

I’m talking toxic relationships, old negative beliefs that are holding you back, tired old stories you tell yourself about why you can’t be awesome or go do that thing you always dreamed of, painful memories, relationships that could do with some maintenance or fixing, overstuffed schedules, information overload, and unrealistic expectations from yourself or others.

Feels heavy, doesn’t it?

I suggest writing down all the things that you’d like to change along with the crucial why. Without a why, changes are unlikely to happen, or to last.

Then take small but intentional steps to lead you closer to the reality you visualise, but don’t forget to write down all the things you’re grateful for too. I can’t stress how important this step is, and studies have shown that gratitude can have a significant impact on mental health.

For me, decluttering was a huge but important step which was taken in smaller steps. Those steps lead to minimalism which has shown me a whole new way of living and continues to light the way over 5 years later.

However, if you’re struggling to work through emotional and mental issues that cause you distress, it could be a good idea to talk to your GP or access therapy. There’s zero shame in asking for or receiving professional help, and doing so could be one of your many steps on the journey to healing and lightening your internal load.

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