Your external world is a reflection of your inner world, and your inner world is a reflection of your outer world. As a home organizer, many of my clients have told me how much inner peace they have once their outer world is decluttered and organized. While organizing skills and doing the actual physical work of decluttering and organizing is important, the thing that makes it so much easier to organize and maintain an organized space is when you can shift to a positive mindset. Many people with ADHD are disorganized. While people with ADHD can experience a lot of joy, happiness, and optimism, it’s often paired with big waves of frustration, self-doubt, overwhelm, and negative self-talk. When these emotions can be shifted to be on the authentically happier side (more often), it’s like the organization of the home just falls into place. In this post, I’ll talk about how to shift to a more authentically positive mindset so that you can harmonize the organization of your home.
Last week I wrote about toxic positivity, and why it’s so problematic. If you haven’t read that post, please do so! Shifting from a negative (or fear based) mindset to a positive (growth based) mindset requires getting control of your ego. This is easier for some people than others, depending on your neurochemistry and the experiences you’ve had. Your ego is that little voice in your head that perpetuates fearful thoughts, or thoughts that you’re not good enough. It’s a wonderful motivator to help you strive higher to meet challenging goals, but when it’s in control, it will stifle you to the point of inaction. Your ego will always be there, but your job is to recognize when the voice you are hearing is coming from your ego, and not letting it control the show. For example, if you were running a meeting, and an audience member kept speaking out of turn, would you relinquish control of the meeting to them? Sure, they may have some good ideas, but you were put in charge of the meeting for a reason! Use your leadership skills to allow the audience member to feel heard, but not take over.
In addition to being aware of not turning your thoughts into toxic-positive ones, it’s also important to not be in denial and stuff your feelings down. Being in denial is not acknowledging there is a problem. Stuffing your problems are when you turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as over/under-eating, over-acquiring, substance abuse, or other unhealthy behaviors to soothe your pain. These behaviors usually result in some major disorganization issues. Usually people turn to these options because they are the best possible choice at the time. They may have never learned to process their emotions and self-soothe in a healthy way. People who choose these escape methods should not be shamed for their choices. They are probably doing the very best they can with the knowledge and emotional skills they have. Most people were not taught healthy coping mechanisms.
How To Build Authentic Positivity
- Training your brain is like training a dog. It needs constant reminders of “leave it”, and “good job”, to change your neural pathways. If you’ve ever walked a dog that was in training, you know how much attention, patience, and guidance it needs until it learns to do things automatically. Sure, it’s healthy to experience a range of both positive and negative emotions, but many people get very addicted to negative thoughts simply because they have never trained their brain otherwise. Negativity is captivating! It’s drama. People can feel close to each other when they complain or gossip, but this type of connection isn’t healthy. Of course it’s GOOD to voice your opinions of what you like and don’t like, but problems happen when all someone does is complain, gossip, or say negative things to themselves all day. When you notice your ego has had too much time with the microphone, disrupt the neural pathway by asking yourself a positive “what if” question like “what if everything works out just fine?”
- Change the radio station of the chatter. Learn to play an instrument. When you are practicing, you will inevitably get the rhythm stuck in your head. This will drown out the constant chatter of your ego, and this is much healthier for your cognition!
- As I shared in the toxic positivity post, when you notice yourself going down a negative spiral, use this simple exercise to help you do the necessary emotional work to get back to authentic positivity.
Step 1: Identify the problem (the negative emotion and the cause). For example, “I am upset because I can’t find my keys.”
Step 2: State the facts: The keys are missing
Step 3: Is this something within your control? (Note: if the fact involves a human or animal, the first answer is always “NO” and in the “NO” find what you can do.)
Step 4: If yes: how do I solve it? I can check all my pockets, my purse, the door, and the car
If no: What’s the best you can do before letting it go? My best is that I can use my spare set until I can find the lost keys since I know they are somewhere at home.
Step 5: What are you grateful for in this situation? I am grateful that I have a spare set of keys.
Step 6: What lessons have you learned? I have learned to put a hook up for my keys to help me remember to put them in the same place everyday, and I’ve learned to get a Tile for my keychain so that I can find them if they get lost again.
Step 7: Get back to joy! Do something you like doing, listen to a good song, do a happy dance, or do anything that helps you get back to a place of authentic joy!
- Remember that your smile is your lucky charm. When you smile, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are released to help reduce your stress, elevate your mood, and boost your immune system. Smiling is contagious. It raises the vibration around you. As we all know, everyone hates being told to “just smile” or “smile more” because it’s condescending. It’s a major boundary violation. It’s also usually aimed towards women, because society expects that they should be more pleasant and agreeable than men. It’s essentially telling someone to put on a mask and be fake. Telling someone to smile usually has the opposite effect. It’s like telling someone to “calm down”. That never works. Choosing when and where to smile is an inside job.
- Make a vision board (either as a collection of images on your phone) or a hardcopy poster, and look at it! Use images that make you feel your best, and include words, phrases, and positive questions to help your brain get curious about the possibilities of everything actually working out how you want! In addition this, you could put notes to yourself around the house (or inside drawers where you’ll see them) that ask positive questions like “how are you expanding in your life today? How are you inspiring others to do the same?”
- Listen to hypnosis tracks (either made custom for you by a hypnotherapist) or generic ones that help you increase your self-worth, lovability, and feeling of enough-ness. Hypnotherapy is an incredibly easy and effective way to retrain your subconscious.
- Be very discerning about what information you allow into your energy field. Limit your intake of the news unless it makes you authentically happy, curious and inspired. If your reading/watching/listening to the news exacerbates your fears of society and the world falling apart, stop letting in this information. Don’t convince yourself that you NEED to stay informed and like it’s necessary to stay up-to-date with world affairs. This is not your responsibility. That’s a manipulation of mass consciousness.
- Essential oils are used for medicinal purposes, and they can be very powerful for emotional healing as well. The botanical properties of essential oils can help someone process deep emotional wounds and traumas. They are not a band-aid fix, but they heal the root of the issue. They work by stimulating the limbic system of the brain that regulates emotional experiences. Not all essential oils work to heal emotional wounds, but the two blends that I’ve used with profound results are DoTerra’s Forgive blend and DoTerra’s Console blend. “Forgive” is such a loaded word. Using the blend will not make you have loose boundaries and get taken advantage of again. Holding onto anger can help someone feel like they won’t fall for manipulative tactics again, but you don’t need to hold onto that anger anymore. These blends help your brain process past hurts so you’re not preoccupied with the thoughts and memories, and you can regain control of your life.
- Heal your gut! When your gut is overrun by “bad” bacteria or parasites like H-Pylori, you will feel bad! When your gut microbiome is balanced with healthy bacteria and free from parasites, you will feel good! I know this because of my own experiences. Sugar feeds bad bacteria, so you will need to cut out the sugar to repair your gut. Sugar is super addictive, so I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but it will be worth it! Work with a naturopath or functional medicine doctor who can aid you through this process.
- I know this is an unpopular opinion, but cut down, or cut out, alcohol use. Alcohol is not healthy, by any stretch of the imagination. Consuming even a little alcohol can have detrimental effects on your health. Some people can handle a drink here or there, but most people can’t, if they’re being honest with themselves. Alcohol is bad for your gut, is terrible for energy management, and can cause major mood swings. Alcohol causes serious inflammation in the body, and can make you a down-right grumpypants! The stress alcohol puts onto your body results in mental and emotional stress as well.
- Feed your body healthy vitamins and nutrients so you feel good. Load up on veggies, some fruit, healthy fats, healthy proteins and healthy grains (if your body tolerates grains). Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of B vitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Being low in any of these essential nutrients will seriously deplete your energy and happiness level. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of clean fresh water throughout the day.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t gossip. Don’t surround yourself with people who love to complain so you can feel better about your problems. Don’t be a martyr, and don’t use other people’s negative energy for your entertainment.
- Move your body! Exercise helps complete the stress cycle in your body (just don’t over-do it). Do a combination of strength training, cardio, and stretching to build your mental and physical strength, your endurance, and your flexibility.
- Do your passions! Do you wait until you have your to-do list done until you allow yourself to make art, dance, take an acting class, do a performance, write your book, or whatever else your passion is? Stop putting your passions on hold to “adult”. Balance your passions with all your other responsibilities. If you cut out what you love to do, you won’t feel connected to your heart, and your intuition will have to work extra hard to get it’s messages to you!
- Do you have too much time on your hands? When you’re not involved with meaningful work or projects, it can be easy to get caught up with petty BS. If you’re noticing that your thoughts are filled with the minutia about what someone else did or didn’t do, take a class, pick up a volunteer job, or do something else that brings meaning to your life.
- Are you too busy? When you’re stressed and overworked, it’s hard to feel authentically happy. As you work on bringing down your stress level by changing your thoughts and what you’re putting into your body, you will be amazed at the opportunities that align themselves for you.
- Do your best at getting adequate sleep. Stop scrolling and go to bed. Not everyone needs a full 8 hours of sleep, but no one who is sleep deprived is happy.
- Have you tried all of these things, and you still feel really low? Or do you not have the desire or ability to do any of these things? Talk to your doctor, because a pharmaceutical solution may change your life for the better! As much as I love finding natural solutions, I want to help crush the stigma of choosing a pharmaceutical solution such as an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety medication, or an ADHD medication.
- Did I miss anything? What is your key to achieving happiness in your life?
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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