Have you ever noticed how heavy your chest feels when your surroundings are cluttered and in disarray?
Millions of Americans struggle with clutter. What you, and they, may not realize is that clutter can affect your mind and body – your health.
Having a cluttered home can lead to more stress, anxiety, and lack of mental energy. It puts your mind in a low self-control mindset, causing you to be more likely to overeat and make other sabotaging choices. So fascinating how much our surroundings affect us, isn't it!?
On top of all of this, a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, making it more difficult to think clearly. Basically, you are unable to work through the clutter which makes your brain struggle with processing information. This can make it hard to remember things and problem-solving.
Clutter drains you of energy and makes you feel tired. When you have to look at clutter, you most likely feel overwhelmed. You know you need to do something but you don’t have the energy. Take time to clear the clutter from one small area. It can help you and your family feel more energetic and more inspired to work on decluttering in other areas.
Did you know clutter could be making you sick physically? No one wants to think about it, but clutter can be the breeding ground for germs, dust, mold and mildew. It could even hide a problem with mice. If you do not believe clutter can make you sick, think of the stress mentioned above. If you have too much stress, you may develop high blood pressure. Dust and mold can cause allergies or worse.
Clutter can also affect your body weight. People with clutter are usually sedentary while those with an uncluttered home are active. Part of this may be because the clutter in the home makes it hard for you to move around freely. You may also be using clutter, like being overweight, as a means to protect yourself. Clutter keeps people at bay and so there is little chance that you will be hurt.
Now that you understand some of the ways clutter can affect your mind and body, consider what you are going to do about it. Will you take a step forward and begin decluttering, or will you let it continue to rule your life and that of your family?
The New Year is the perfect time to begin decluttering your home and starting fresh. What room needs decluttering the most in your home?
Clutter can be dangerous. Learn how clutter can affect your mind and body by reading this article today
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Breaking habits can be even harder than starting new habits -- wouldn't you agree? Especially when those habits are related to your health. If you tend to gravitate toward unhealthy junk foods, it can be a considerable struggle to change your eating habits to incorporate healthier items.
There are a few reasons why this is so difficult to do, and even better, there are several tricks you can implement to get over that hump.
Today we're speaking specifically to breaking the junk food habit and beginning to eat more whole foods...
Go gradually with your cutbacks
Junk food is loaded with sugar, and your body gets hooked on it. Start by cutting down on these junk foods that are currently in your diet. You’ll get less of a high from them, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating goals. Start by taking the sugar out of your coffee, or by switching out your snacks each day with a healthy snack. Whatever small step you choose, stick with it until you're comfortable with your new healthy habit -- then move on to your next healthy habit. It works like a charm!
Don't buy foods with more than five ingredients
In the supermarket, you should mainly roam the fresh aisles where the produce and unprocessed foods are. However, there are still staples you’ll need from the inner aisles. Read those labels when you find items in those inner aisles, and try to find the healthiest option possible of what you're shopping for -- the fewer ingredients and the more you can pronounce those ingredients, the better.
Add more colors and textures to your plate
A salad is impossible to eat if you just throw soggy lettuce in a bowl. Instead, make it a rainbow of colors and a playground of textures. Add tomatoes, colorful peppers, crunchy nuts, and even a bit of plant-based or goat cheese to please your palate.
Break your bad habit cycles
If you always ventured to the vending machine at work in the mid-afternoon, break the association with that by starting a healthier habit. Take a walk that keeps you away from that vending machine, for example. It will only take a few weeks to replace that old bad habit with a good one, and you'll be feeling so good about your swapped habit that you'll be ready to tackle your next habit swap.
Make healthy foods more accessible
You’re more likely to eat right when you’ve got a healthy snack ready to go. Bag up portions of mixed nuts, make your own trail mix, and keep cut up veggies with hummus around and you’ll always have a healthy go-to snack.
Don’t keep junk in the house
To make the switch complete, keeping those junky items out of your house is best. That way if you get a craving at midnight, you won’t be willing to run out and get it. You’ll train yourself to save sweets and treats for special occasions instead of for late night snacks.
Allow yourself to be disgusted
A great way to make the change to eating less processed foods is to really learn what’s in them. Go ahead, pull those packaged foods out and research the labels. Look up all the ingredients you can’t pronounce. They sound much less delicious now, don’t they?
Be patient and kind with yourself, too. Your inner voice needs your nurturing to make this change for the better.
I'm certainly no stranger to the occasional urge to rip open a chocolate bar, go through the drive-thru window, or dive into a bag of my favorite chips -- and I'll bet you aren't a stranger to this either. The occasional indulgence isn't anything to be alarmed about, but if you find yourself licking the remnants of these indulgences off your fingers on a more regular basis, you’ll need to practice some control to get in charge of those cravings. The goal here is to be in charge of your cravings, not have them be in charge of you.
Here’s how to handle these cravings and get back in the saddle for your healthy routine.
Get to the root of your cravings
Take note of when you’re going for these foods. Is it boredom? Did you have a horrible day at work? Is it that time of the month? All of these things can be a trigger for your cravings. Try to be mindful of them once you identify them. Next time the craving comes around, stop and evaluate your surroundings, noticing what may be triggering this craving. Restrain yourself 80% of the time and enjoy the things you crave 20% of the time. Eating healthy the majority of the time will lower your cravings drastically, anyway.
Try to eat regularly
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you eat regularly, meaning don't skip meals, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Pack a healthy snack to enjoy when you find it difficult to make it to lunch or dinner in time. By doing so, you’ll feel satisfied and will be less likely to head to the office vending machine or a quick stop at the drive-thru.
Slow down when eating
Mindful eating is the best way to keep from overeating, whether you’re eating a nutritious meal or splurging. Your brain doesn’t get the message that your stomach is full for about 20 minutes. Therefore, slowly chew your food. Savor the flavors. You will notice that the desire to eat your entire portion is diminished, and so will your appetite for dessert.
Do something else
Cravings never last forever. Eventually, you’ll forget about your craving if you distract yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, message your friends, put up the laundry or involve yourself with anything else that you can think of. Before you know it, you’ll have forgotten about that nagging craving.
If you really can’t help munching while you are watching a movie, swap out unhealthy options for healthier ones. Choose crispy carrot and celery sticks with hummus or a small serving of mixed nuts. Want something cool, sweet and refreshing? Freeze melon balls to get an ice cream-like experience without the guilt.
Keep your food cravings out of the house
You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind,” right? It’s so true when it comes to food cravings. As much as possible, keep these things out of your home. If you get late-night cravings, you won’t have those things around to binge on, and you’ll be less likely to go out of your way to get them.
Cravings will come and go, but when you're armed with solutions to combat them, you're putting yourself in the position to control the cravings, rather than being controlled by them.
So, let's get honest here. My biggest craving I get is chocolate covered anything. I notice it happens when when I'm hungry, tired and late at night.
What craving nags you the most?
And if sugar is a craving that you want to combat, Join the challenge today!