Decluttering our homes and lives

Accumulating possessions is not always associated with an improvement in wellbeing. It can actually lead to stress and health issues.

On the other hand, giving, donating and getting rid of stuff are usually described as positive experiences. Decluttering homes even has health benefits.

A new Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo, brings a powerful message across: organising our homes and offices comes with rewards.

Marie Kondo, dubbed the Japanese Mary Poppins, creates happiness by helping people throw away stuff they don’t need and organise their belongings. As a result relationships seem to improve and families live happier together.

The concept is of course not new, as professional organisers, unclutter clinics and clean-up blogs have been around for a while. But there is something appealing about watching this show.

Whether it is a desire for simplicity, a need to create organised spaces to think, work and live, or just guilt reduction, the slowly disappearing clutter towards the end is satisfying.

Marie Kondo makes decluttering homes, and lives, a fun activity. But she does something else. By asking whether objects spark joy she reminds us about our priorities and what life is all about – something we occasionally forget.

7 amazing health benefits of positive thinking

7 health benefits of positive thinking

“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 things that do not work.”

This quote from Thomas Edison oozes positive thinking. Optimistic people have a favorable expectancy of their future, and not without reason it seems: studies indicate that optimism leads to a longer, healthier life.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic identified seven potential health benefits of positive thinking:

  1. Increased life span
  2. Lower rates of depression
  3. Lower levels of distress
  4. Greater resistance to the common cold
  5. Better psychological and physical well-being
  6. Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  7. Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.

We can train ourselves to turn a half-empty glass into a half-full one. Positive thinking is not about ignoring problems. It’s about changing your perception of negative experiences.

Here is a simple exercise to practice positive thinking:

  • Look at what you have achieved on a daily basis. Don’t look at what you could’ve done better
  • Every night write down 3 achievements
  • Try to analyse why they went well
  • Give yourself a compliment for your achievements.

We don’t always control the events in our lives, but we can train ourselves to be more optimistic. And it appears to be healthy too.