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Organization Tips To Help Reduce Stress

  Written by Ronnie Peterson

If you feel as if you're constantly battling the effects of stress, you may have tried many different techniques such as meditation or exercise. Stress can affect anyone, but when it starts to build up, it can quickly become overwhelming, leading to anxiety, depression and the inability to function.

While a little bit of stress can be healthy from time to time, too much is extremely damaging. However, what many people don't realize is there's a direct link between stress and organization. You may pride yourself on being a free-livin' soul who doesn't need to be tied down with structure and rules, but you might be surprised at the relief that just a little bit of organization offers.

Here are a few ideas you might want to try.

Clear out clutter

 Everyone knows that clearing out clutter is a good idea, but do you really believe that it makes a difference to your stress levels?

It turns out that there is good science to back up the claims that clutter matters. If you want to look at the detail, check out a study called "Interactions of Top Down and Bottom Up Mechanisms in the Human Visual Cortex" carried out at Princeton.

The study shows that when you're surrounded by lots of stuff, it competes for attention within your brain. Even if you're not doing it consciously, the brain continuously scans the room and a cluttered room demands attention to constantly process.

You might think you're immune to the effect of clutter, but beneath the surface it's no different than having a child tugging on your sleeve constantly, calling your name.

If you still find it hard to believe, just try organizing your home and clearing out anything that's not regularly used or valuable. You'll probably find that there's lots you can get rid of and the effect is startling. Not only will you feel more organized and able to put your hands on whatever you need instantly, you'll also feel more energized too.

 Make organization meaningful

 This may sound counterproductive, but to be organized means not trying to organize too much. If you have a planner that's spilling over with every tiny detail it's easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out.

You don't need to organize every single aspect of your life; it's just the bigger and more important elements that should be scheduled in. Trying to organize too much becomes a vicious circle: the more you plan, the less organized you feel so you try to plan even more….and so on.

Don't let your life be dominated by lists, as it can feel stressful when you've got too many on the go and don't achieve everything you planned out. Organize your schedule in a meaningful way and allow the lists and planner to be a help not a hindrance.

Good organization should provide you with more freedom, not less, so if your planning is stressing you out, something's not right.

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 Sort your mail

 There may be days when you wish you could seal up your mailbox and just have a break from being constantly bombarded with correspondence.

 The arrival of the mailman can mean more bills to pay or things to do. Lots of people just toss their letters to one side and deal with them when they get around to it. This can lead to the pile growing quite big and threatening to take up a big chunk of your time.

The knowledge that you've got mail to deal with waiting for your attention can start to feel quite stressful, and you might even begin to avoid the task. This can cause problems if there's bills or urgent items that need your attention, so it's helpful to have an organized approach.

It can be helpful to group the mail as you receive it according to what you need to do. Have separate trays that you can sort the mail into straight away, and this will help prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Depending on the urgency and volume of what you receive, you could either set aside time once a week to dedicate to catching up or you could do a little every evening. Pick a schedule that works for you, but whatever you pick, a little organization will feel good.

 Work with your partner

 When you're trying to work, run a home and maybe look after children too, life can become very hectic. It's easy to slip into the habit of doing things the way you always have, without thinking about whether the load is fairly spread.

It might be you that does all of the work while your partner has more personal and leisure time, or it could be the other way around, and you never stop to think about just how much your partner does.

Traditionally, the bulk of the work has fallen onto the female partner who tries to balance work, chores and childcare. According to some surveys, women find their partner twice as stressful as their children with many citing lack of help as the cause.

The information to support this is more than just circumstantial as the stats reveal that when a husband passes away, an improvement in stress and anxiety levels is noted in the widow. Conversely, when a woman dies, men tend to deteriorate. Experts believe this may be because men rely on their wives more heavily and struggle to cope after their demise.

This is, of course, a generalization, and it's not the same in every relationship. However, it's worth taking a closer look in your own home at how responsibilities are shared.

Organize your days so that the chores are fairly split, taking into account other factors such as work, and also share out childcare duties. Even offering to take children to and from clubs, or pick them up from a friend's house can make life less stressful.

Create More Time

 Some studies estimate that the average person spends at least 38 hours every year just looking for things; imagine being given all that time back! Getting organized provides you with the opportunity to not just enjoy a happier life, but one filled with less stress too.

Want to Manage your Stress Better?

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RRP from $229 – limited time offer just $49

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