Do you often lose things in your house? Or do you buy too much of something because you forgot you already had it? In celebration of Earth Day, I chose to do a post to inspire you to try to use what you already have rather than going out to buy new things. I love to talk about how external worlds are a reflection of internal worlds, so I thought it would also be fitting to talk about brain health. When you can access more of the “clear thinking” parts of your brain rather than the parts that exacerbate a fear state, you will feel calmer, more present, you’ll have a more accurate memory, and you’ll feel motivated to keep your house clean. When you can access the clear thinking parts of your brain more often, you will notice that your house is more organized, cleaner, and more peaceful than ever before!
When someone is in the fight/flight/freeze/fawn state, they can’t access their prefrontal cortex. No matter how great their communication skills are, they won’t be able to access those skills. I’m sure you’ve been there- you’ve been asked a question which caught you off guard, or you’re super stressed for another reason, and you cannot access the answer. The prefrontal cortex of your brain is largely responsible for executive functions such as inhibition, self-awareness, non-verbal working memory, self-talk, emotional self-regulation, self-motivation, planning and problem solving. Dopamine in the prefrontal cortex helps modulate cognitive control. When under stress, if someone habitually goes into the fight/flight/freeze/fawn state, rather than being able to access the calm clarity that their prefrontal cortex can provide, they won’t be able to use their clear thinking skills.
How can you change this? Lifestyle changes such as dietary changes, meditation, exercise, and getting enough sleep will do wonders for the organization of your home! As you train your brain to access your prefrontal cortex rather than defaulting to the fight/flight/freeze/fawn state, you’ll be able to use your clear thinking skills. You will notice that you’re also able to access the things in your home rather than not knowing where anything is.
Dr. Daniel Amen, one of the world’s experts on brain health says:
“Your brain is the CEO that runs your life. When your brain works right, you work right; and when it is troubled, you are much more likely to have trouble in your life.
With a healthy brain, you feel happier and physically healthier because you make better decisions; you’re likely to be wealthier, also because you make better decisions; and you’re more successful in everything you do. When your brain is unhealthy for whatever reason, from a concussion to drinking too much alcohol to being diabetic or having sleep apnea, you are more likely to be sadder, sicker, poorer, and less successful.
Your brain uses 20-30% on the calories you consume, so if you consume a fast-food diet, you will have a fast-food mind. Great nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy mind and body. Get your food right and nearly everything else will follow.” (Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, author of Bone Broth Diet).
Meditation works by changing the neural pathways in your brain so that you’re training your brain to hone it’s focus. Doing this will bring you a sense of peace, stability, focus, and will allow you to strengthen the executive functioning skills (inhibition, self-awareness, non-verbal working memory, self-talk, emotional self-regulation, self-motivation, planning and problem solving).
“In an article published in 2012 in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, researchers evaluated people who had no previous exposure to meditation. Some of the group were given 3 hours of mindfulness meditation training and were asked to meditate for 10 minutes each day for 16 weeks, and some of the group did not meditate at all. Both groups were then given tasks that involved attention to detail, and the meditators showed more control over executive functions. This study points to the possibility that even small amounts of meditation training can significantly change neural patterns in the brain.” (Baron Baptiste, author of Perfectly Imperfect)
When you can get yourself into a routine where you’re eating right, meditating, have a good exercise practice, and are sleeping enough, you’ll notice your world will change. Your health and energy will improve so that you’ll have the stamina to keep your house clean. You’ll put like things together. You’ll remember what you have and where you put it. You’ll put your things back where they belong. You will save money because you’ll be able to use up what you have before buying more. Food will go to waste less often because you’ll be more present with what’s in your fridge. You will be happier and everyone around you will be happier as well. You’ll have less of an environmental footprint because you will be reducing what you need and your energy expenditure will be more efficient. You’ll also be able to reuse items you already have because you know where they are and are taking better care of your things.
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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