If you are wondering why you feel more stressed than ever before, technology may be to blame. When we remain constantly connected through smart phones and other electronic devices we receive information at unprecedented speed, faster than our brains are able to process. This induces the body’s stress response and there is a growing body of evidence that chronic activation of this system can be damaging to our health. Studies have also shown that technology may have a negative impact on depression and even long term memory. “Technology is part of culture and we just accept it, but we don’t have time to process it and it induces fear and anxiety,” says Peggy Sealfon, an author, speaker and stress and anxiety coach. “We need to teach coping skills. We need to get to the root cause of our stress.”
What does this all have to do with organization? While we know clutter causes stress, stress can also cause clutter. “When the mind is in fight or flight response, energy is taken away from anything that is non-essential. This can make it difficult to organize or see the broader picture,” says Sealfon.
One of Sealfon’s recommendations is to take a break, to step away and interrupt the moment of anxiety. “Take a five or 15 minute time out for activity, an act of kindness, or a meditation. This will interrupt your pattern, reset your energy levels and open new pathways.”
Breaks have also been shown to increase productivity. According to Sealfon, when you take a break from work every 90 minutes you have more energy and a fresh, clear perspective. Businesses are beginning to see the benefits of teaching employees skills to manage stress. Reduced stress can translate into lower healthcare costs, less absenteeism and improved productivity.
If you are looking to reduce stress it’s important not to overlook how your environment may be affecting you. An organized space provides allows you to be more present and stay focused. “It’s easy to get distracted in a cluttered environment, “ says Sealfon.
Sealfon views mindfulness as a tool that can help individuals both stay organized and reduce stress. “Mindfulness is like paying attention on purpose,” she says. Being in the present and paying attention to tasks like placing your keys in the same location every day, can help build habits that keep you more organized. Being mindful of how often you check your smartphone or computer can help you reduce your dependency. “When you apply the tools of mindfulness, life becomes more effortless,” she says.
Working with a professional organizer can help you find organizational systems that are unique to your needs and tendencies and help you stop stressing out over lost items and clutter. For more stress-reducing help, mindfulness tools and meditations visit Sealfon’s website. With a mindful approach to life and organizing it’s possible to reduce stress and be a healthier, happier, more productive person.