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When I became a parent, my life changed completely.
I can clean to my heart's content just to find out a sink full of dishes, piles of toys scattered around the room, and a full basket of dirty laundry the next day. There's always some degree of mess around, which has caused me a great deal of frustration and stress.
So while everyone is talking about getting rid of what no longer serves you (yes, that's the fancy way to call decluttering), I've decided to instead focus on opposite ideas.
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Society tells us tidiness is what we should long for - a cluttered desk equals a scattered mind.
Tim Harford, the author of Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, goes against the grain. He thinks that Marie Kondo-type of order and tidiness is oversold.
Instead, he states that embracing some degree of mess can spur creativity, nurture resilience and bring better work results.
Tim Harford may not be all wrong.
When researchers from the University of Michigan placed two groups of students into a neat vs. cluttered room and gave them a standard creativity-measuring "alternative uses task," students from the cluttered room group came up with more creative and innovative ideas.
Tim Harford explains that things that are too neat and organized cause boredom. And guess what... boredom is the worst enemy of creative work.
Tidiness, in a way, symbolizes stability and safety.
It reinforces our usual thinking patterns. A disorganized and messy environment, on the other hand, creates disruptions to our usual flow. But these disruptions are exactly what spurs new ideas and creative serendipity.
Besides, mess means that life is happening.
Cluttered closets and dusty mirrors mean that you've probably been busy spending time with your family and friends or doing something important at work.
As with everything in life, balance is the key.
Accumulating clutter isn't good for your mental health, but so is the obsession over the must-do spring clean and maintaining perfect order.
Embracing some degree of mess in our physical space serves as a good reminder that life is messy and never goes as planned. All you're left to do is breathe through it, switch on your inner child, and learn to play with the flow.
We all crave some sort of control over our lives, whether it's simply keeping a clean home or sticking to our to-do's. But life is unpredictable and messy.
When things go against plan, it's important to get over the stress and frustration and get back on your feet.
Here's where yoga comes in.
A simple pose such as Puppy can help you relieve mental tension and embrace the messiness of life so you could meet a heavy storm with a lull of calm.
Puppy is a beginner-friendly backbend that helps you open the chest and upper back.
This sweet spot between the shoulder blades is where our sympathetic nervous system resides. When coming into Puppy, you're basically pushing your body into "fight or flight" mode. Your heart rate increases, and your blood sugar level jumps up.
But wait for it; the true magic happens once you release the pose.
The moment you come out of a heart-melting posture, your nervous system starts to down-regulate itself, slowing down all the activity caused by the backend.
Here's a useful cheat sheet on the iconic Puppy yoga pose.
Stress and frustration about things we can't change can make us feel overly reactive, grumpy, and well... not so pleasant to be around.
This short yet effective yoga sequence for surrender and acceptance includes only four poses (yes, Puppy pose is there!) that you can do anywhere and anytime you feel tension building up. Check out the detailed how-to instructions below. 👇
Have you tried the flow? Let me know in the comments below!
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