Creating space – for something new

2014-01-25 17.19.22 „The problem is not to find a new idea – but to get rid of the old ones.“ – John Maynard Keynes

It is obvious. If your life is totally crammed there is no space for new things.  If your flat, your cupboards, your calendar and last but not least your brain is too crammed there is no space for new things, new people, new thoughts.

Sometimes that is ok, but at other times it makes sense to create space.

Things: Famers 100 years ago owned between 100 and 10.000 Things. An average household today has 10.000 and more items in its walls. That is a lot. And lots of them we never use. It makes sense to create space by throwing out or giving away things that are no longer in use: Clothes, books, equippemnt.

To get rid of stuff costs time. But it is worth the effort. Afterwards we feel stronger and have more clarity.

Responsibilities: A few years ago I resigned from a work group I was part of. It was only one evening per month plus some additional events from time to time – but I felt that I needed to create space for something new. So I cleared my calendar and my brain from this group. And a short time later found out that I wanted to use the space to create a place that would motivate and inspire people.

Good habits: One way to prevent your files, bookshelves and cupboards from being cluttered it to develop the 1 in – 3 out habit. Every time you store something new think a moment try to get rid of 3 old ones:

  • a new magazine arrives in the mail: give or throw away 3 old ones.
  • you get or buy a new shirt – have a look at which of your old ones you no longer wear and give them away.
  • you buy a new book – sell or give away 3 of your old ones
  • you store a new file – have a glance and think which 3 files you can delete
  • you file a document – take a moment to think which 3 documents you no longer use.

I have practiced this habit for many years – and it works. I have a very small office space 3 x 3 m and only two shelves. But it is enough for a whold company as I continuously get rid of things that I no longer need. And it is fun, too.

There is more on the power of living an uncluttered life and its positive side effects on healt and weight loss !!! in the LEA online training course.




Warning Signs for Stress

CIMG5854It is normal to be stressed here and there. Unfortunately, stress is on occasion a (usually uninvited) guest in our lives. This is ok when it goes away again after a while. It becomes a problem when you no longer notice that stress has become a permanent roommate.

Bodily Symptoms

The body translates what’s going on on the inside to the outside and sends us signals in the hopes that we will notice them and make a change:

  • Muscle tension, back pain
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Holding your breath
  • Heart palpitations, tremors, high blood pressure
  • Problems concentrating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Eating disorders, insomnia, sleeping problems
  • Exhaustion/weakness

Emotional Symptoms

Feelings like helplessness and being overwhelmed are often caused by stress and show themselves in typical thoughts:

  • It’s all too much for me.
  • Everyone wants something from me.
  • I’m totally exhausted.
  • I don’t know how I’m supposed to accomplish this

Social Symptoms

When we are stressed, we reduce our openness to other people. We can’t take any more or enjoy our time with others. This shows itself in different ways:

  • Emotional distance – not letting people know what’s going on
  • Irritability – fast, often, much
  • Talking fast or not at all
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Uncontrolled eating behaviors
  • Use of stimulants or drugs from caffiene to abuse of medications
  • Detachment – being unapproachable
  • Putting pressure on yourself or others.

If we can learn to notice these signals early, we can make the necessary changes and save ourselves from further damage.

Stress reduzieren Kerstin Hack More on this topic and successful countermeasures against too much stress can be found in this quadro from Kerstin Hack: Reducing Stress. Currently only available in German.