Benefits of cleaning and cleaning tips

Benefits of Cleaning

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We all know cleaning is beneficial. The feeling we get when we are done cleaning, the ability to entertain guests, among other things, but it’s hard to keep a cleaning routine. We have work, family and other things to do. We end up doing everything on the same day and end up completely dead and ready for bed. If we plan the way we clean, we can save time and not get so tired. If you haven’t been doing much cleaning but want to and feel you need to, this post is also for you.

1- A Few Studies on The Effects of Having a Clean Home

A study from Indiana University found that people who keep their houses clean are healthier than people with dirty houses. Researchers tracked the physical health of 998 African Americans between the ages of 49 and 65, a demographic that has an increased risk for heart disease. Participants who had clean homes were healthier and more active than those who did not.

A 2010 study that was in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin used linguistic analysis software to assess the way 60 people talked about their homes. Women who said that their living spaces were cluttered or full of unfinished projects tended to be more depressed and fatigued than women who described their homes as restorative or restful. The researchers also found that women with messy homes showed higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone).

In 2011, researchers at Princeton University observed that disorder can originate more difficulty in focusing on a particular task. They found that the visual cortex can be confounded by superfluous objects, making it harder to allocate attention and finish tasks in an efficient manner.

It’s easy to be stuck in a rut and has a messy home or room. It’s hard to juggle work, family, and cleaning. But once you start doing it, you won’t stop. Start small, having the responsibility to have your space clean, your office, for example. If you feel like it’s a huge task and you have spare money, you could try professional organizers.

We’ve seen how it influences physical and mental health but there are other benefits of having a clean house.

2- Benefits of Having a Clean House

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  1. It can reduce stress and depression. We’ve covered this in the last section but I would like to add that it doesn’t come as a surprise that if you get home and there’s a lot of things to do, that can inhibit the natural decline in cortisol that happens during the course of the day, according to researchers. This can affect your mood, sleep, health, etc. Keeping your house clean is a way to be happier and more relaxed.
  2. It can improve your relationships.

“For couples, clutter can create tension and conflict,” Dr. Selhub says. “And the time you spend looking for missing items can also take away from time you could be spending together.” A messy house may also prevent you from inviting people over. “Disorganization can lead to shame and embarrassment and actually create a physical and emotional boundary around you that prevents you from letting people in.” Keeping a standing date with your girls (Wine Wednesdays, anyone?) may be the impetus you need to keep your space tidy.

Source:https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-cleaning-and-organizing-can-improve-your-physical-and-mental-health

It can also be a source of stress when you’re beginning to know someone that you like. If they are very neat and you’re not, it can be a problem.

3. It can help you eat better. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that people who worked in a clean room for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose fruit over a chocolate bar than the ones who worked in a dirty office for the same amount of time.

“Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,”

-Dr. Selhub

Source:https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-cleaning-and-organizing-can-improve-your-physical-and-mental-health

4. It boosts productivity. Clutter is distracting, and research affirms that it can affect your ability to focus: Looking at too many things at once is a sensory overload to your visual cortex and interferes with the brain’s ability to process information, as is reported by the Journal of Neuroscience. De-cluttering your space will be beneficial to you at work as well, but those aren’t the only benefits.

“Often, the greatest barrier to healthy habits is a lack of time.When you’re organized at work, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you’re able to finish at a reasonable time and go home. This leaves you with the time you need to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, relax, and get more sleep.”

-Dr. Selhub

Source:https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-cleaning-and-organizing-can-improve-your-physical-and-mental-health

5. It improves creativity. Everyone will agree that they will feel more focused if they just do one task rather than multiple tasks. When your home is already tidy, you don’t need to worry about cleaning your house anymore. There will be more time to focus on your current works and brainstorm ideas.

6. It’s a good workout. It’s a great way to do exercise, cleaning implies a lot of movement. Activities like mopping the floor, cleaning a window, or vacuuming the dust burn a lot of calories. You sweat, you get hot, almost like you would in a gym.

7. It’s a good thing to do when you’re stressed or uncomfortable. We all have those days when our mind seems to be stuck in one place or several places, at the same time. Cleaning is a good way to be busy and doing something productive. You don’t need to think much and, if you enter the flow state, you can get the benefits of mindfulness. After you’re done cleaning, you will feel better and more relaxed.

3. Strategies to keep a cleaning routine

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  1.  Listen to music, audiobooks or any other form or entertainment, while you clean the house. It’s a great mood and energy boost. Cleaning becomes more fun and enjoyable.
  2. Make your bed. I know it’s easy to forget to make your bed but it’s a good habit. I hear someone say that it is the foundation of the day. The first of many tasks. It’s easy to make the bed, it’s more aesthetically pleasing and it feels better to sleep in a made bed than a messy bed.
  3. Dump your trash daily. It’s a way to keep your house clean. You will protect your family and yourself from viruses, pests, germs, bacteria and other microorganisms that you don’t want in your home. Don’t let your trash inside your home for more than a day.
  4. Use slippers in your home and have a shoe basket. Make a habit to take your outside shoes and use slippers or other clean shoes around the house. It’s a good way to keep the house clean. The floor outside is so dirty, we don’t know what we step on and it’s better to not spread it around the house. Having a shoe basket near the entrance to your house will keep the dirt outside
  5. Do the dish right after you use them. OK, you can take a little break but wash them ASAP and don’t let there be a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. If you use a cup, either re-use or wash it.
  6. Make sure that you clean at least 15 minutes a day. It’s better to divide chores than to do everything in the same day. Today you just vacuum floors and clean your bathroom. Tomorrow you dust your furniture and so on. Make a plan of what you want to do for the day and stick to it.
  7. Start the day doing laundry. When you wake up, as your coffee brews, you can put a load of clothes in the washing machine. Never forget to do laundry every day, no one likes to run out of clothes to wear.
  8. Unload the dish washer before breakfast. Turn on the dishwasher just before bed and unload it in the morning. That way your dishes won’t pile up and you can use the dishwasher.
  9. Don’t forget to get rid of things you don’t need. We buy a lot of things: clothes, shoes, bags, etc. In order not to have clutter and have your house clean, you ask yourself every day what you could let go of that day. Select a couple of items from your wardrobe or that drawer you haven’t touched in years. Less is definitely more.
  10. Take it out, put it away. It will take you less time to put that one thing away than it will to put many things away at once. It’s an easy way to keep your space mess-free.
  11. Clean your counters daily. Try to wipe them after every meal or after dinner, if you’re pressed for time. When you get used to this routine, add cleaning the bathroom counters to it.
  12. Keep cleaning supplies around your home. Always have cleaning supplies at hand, in convenient spots around the house. If you’re there and it needs to be tidied, do a quick clean.
  13. Buy machine-washable decorations. Buy pillows with sleep covers, blankets, curtains, etc that you can wash in the washing machine. It’s much easier than vacuuming it and cleaner.
  14. Avoid buying too many things. We don’t need a lot of things to survive. Obviously, we want more than just survive, we want to live a good life. To live a nice life doesn’t require many things. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: less is more. Fewer items mean less clutter and fewer things to clean.

I hope this post encourages you to do that cleaning that you’ve been meaning to do. Don’t postpone it for too long. You’ll feel better once you’re done.

 

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How to deal with impulsiveness when you have BPD

Today I messed up. I’m feeling remorse and guilt. Someone felt bad because of me. It is what it is. Sometimes I can be garbage. When things of this nature happen, I take a good hard look at myself. It hurts and you feel bad but it’s important to do it. Understand that you should never act that way again. That there is a consequence to every action. When you have BPD, impulsivity can be an issue. Sometimes you do things that you regret later. It’s never too late to learn.

I wrote an article on How to improve your self-control but I would like to talk further about this.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), impulsive behaviors are a hallmark of BPD. Impulsivity is broadly defined as actions without foresight that are poorly conceived, prematurely expressed, unnecessarily risky, and inappropriate to the situation. Impulsivity is associated with undesirable, rather than desirable, outcomes.

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/impulsive-behavior-and-bpd-425483

Everything and everyone is telling you not to do it but you still do it. It’s like an urge that you have. It happens less and less these days. I feel very disappointed in myself when it happens. So I searched for ways to be less impulsive and this is what I found:

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New research shows that people can train their brains to become less impulsive, which could pave the way for new treatments for addictions to gambling, drugs or alcohol, as well as impulse-control disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The study from researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff assessed whether asking people to stop making simple movements while in a simulated gambling situation affected how risky or cautious they were when betting.

Source:https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/06/16/brain-can-be-trained-to-be-less-impulsive/40192.html

They found that avoiding certain actions can lessen our impulse to do them. This is very important for addiction and, as the article mentions, impulse disorders. Easier said than done, right? It works to a degree but I believe that it would work with addiction. If you are a cigarette smoker and you avoid smoking for a while and then a little more afterward and gradually increase the amount of time that you’re not smoking, that the way to go. Some people can just say “I’ve had enough of this” and just quit in one day. They probably get in that mindset of quitting that it’s sometimes so hard to achieve. For some people, that day never comes.

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I often tell other people who are suffering with intense, extreme emotions and urges that no matter how intense, extreme, or strong it is, it will pass. Not only will it pass, but you also do NOT have to follow through on any impulse to act during that time.

Often when we are in a heightened state (especially when we are emotionally sensitive), the actions we feel like taking – those immediate fixes to quell the pain and calm our nerves in that moment – end up being things that hurts us – either physically or by sabotaging our relationships and life circumstances.

Source:https://www.my-borderline-personality-disorder.com/2012/04/emotional-sensitivity-impulsiveness-and-bpd.html

I think these two paragraphs are very enlightening and they come from someone who actually has BPD. The urge will pass and we will be rewarded by our behavior, maybe not in money or anything but in our conscience. That alone is something that contributes to the well-being of a person.

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Learn more about mindfulness practices. Becoming aware of your feelings, and learning to connect your impulsiveness to your thoughts, emotions and urges will help you better control your actions. Mindfulness helps by allowing you some distance from your impulses, offering you the opportunity to choose to act upon your impulses or not. When you notice an urge, articulate that urge mentally to yourself before acting on it. For example, “I am angry that my partner just said that, and I want to criticize her.” Follow this with a more constructive response, such as, “I can try to calm down.”

Mindfulness means to focus on what’s going on inside yourself, and it may take time to notice what’s going on in your body before you act impulsively rather than afterwards.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

Yoga or daily exercise also helps. I find that when I was doing meditation every day, impulsive acts weren’t happening so often. I guess I have to go back to meditating every day. I notice that I am more irritable and that I have less patience which is somewhat good, in one or two senses. Having less patience is negative overall.

Understand how impulsivity functions in your life. Sometimes being impulsive can have positive as well as negative effects. For example, if you have a hard time making decisions, you may find yourself making last minute decisions as a means of avoiding the anxiety you feel when trying to make a thoughtful decision.

  • If you’re experiencing benefits from acting impulsively, try to find more effective ways of achieving this benefit.
  • Remember that you can still be spontaneous even if you’re less impulsive. Being less impulsive doesn’t mean your life will be dull and conventional. It just means that you’ll be more in control of what you choose to spend your money, time, and attention on.

Source:https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

Dissecting our problems, alone or with a therapist, is always a good idea. We need to understand how impulsivity functions in our lives. And that last part is very important. I notice that some people with BPD like having BPD. I’m not judging, it’s that I’ve always wanted to not have it and so do other people. You would still be a wonderful person without BPD. Same goes for impulsiveness. Even if it has positive effects on your life, try to avoid it. There are better ways to things.

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Engage in activities that will calm you down. Calming activities vary person to person, but might include listening to guided meditations, calming music, or doing deep breathing exercises. Getting more relaxed can help you avoid acting impulsively..

Source:https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

This is an excellent idea and I will definitely do this. Guided meditations are so helpful for so many different goals and situations. You just need headphones and your phone, tablet or pc. Find a quiet place, dim the lights or turn them off, get a cozy blanket and lay down on the floor, or a sofa or bed. Alternatively, you can sit down on a chair or sit on the lotus position on the floor, with your back straight. Deep breathing exercises are very good as well, though I don’t it often. Mindfulness or breathing meditations are my go-to ones.

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Consider cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps a person focus on connecting their thoughts and feelings with their behaviors. CBT is a common treatment for anxiety and impulse disorders, among others. The goal of CBT is to identify the thoughts that often result in impulsive activity.

  • Impulsive behavior is often the result of automatic thoughts, which are the thoughts that your mind produces as an immediate reaction to certain situations. These thoughts can be negative and may lead you to make poor decisions. CBT helps you to identify these automatic thought patterns and reframe them in new ways.
  • A therapist or behavioral specialist can help you explore the ways that CBT might work in your life!

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

CBT for some cases, DBT (which was based on CBT) for people with BPD. I found that DBT was very helpful and I was less impulsive at the time. If you don’t have the money to do DBT but you have enough for a regular therapist, you can ask your therapist to do exercises with you, by using a DBT book of your choice.  If you can’t really pay for sessions, try the book. There are used ones on Amazon that are cheaper and ebooks are even cheaper. If there’s a will, there’s a way. There are other options but you don’t need me to tell you, do you?

In the end, my advice is all of the above and an emphasis on meditation. There are many types of meditation so you should be able to find one that suits you best.

Are you impulsive? How do you deal with it? Share your tips in the comment section.

I hope you are all okay.

The importance of personal boundaries and how to establish them

What are personal boundaries

I made a poem that talked about boundaries some months ago (the poem is called People Pleasing). It was a habit I had, something that I developed and that somehow reassured me, while I wasn’t genuine. I couldn’t be genuine, I was so afraid of being rejected. Of being alone and lonely. So I wasn’t always honest and agreed with things I didn’t agree with. I wasn’t being myself. It was a pattern that I knew two things about:

The first thing was that I knew why I had that defense mechanism;

The second thing was that it could change.

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According to Wikipedia:

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. This concept or life skill has been widely referenced in self-help books and used in the counseling profession since the mid-1980s.

According to some counselors, personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes, and setting the distances one allows others to approach. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem. Jacques Lacan considered such boundaries to be layered in a hierarchy, reflecting “all the successive envelopes of the biological and social status of the person”. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. These are sometimes referred to as the “protection” and “containment” functions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_boundaries

The way we create boundaries is by asserting ourselves and communicating to others our rules, values, likes or dislikes. The other person can then understand our limits in order to respect them. Communication is key. It allows us to have deeper and harmonious relationships.

Personal boundaries can also be important for understanding who should and should not be in your life. Some people understand boundaries very well and things go very smoothly. Others don’t. They may hurt you, take advantage of you, etc.

Boundaries are there to protect you. They define you, like an outline. They can change over time but they are our sensibilities, traumas, scars, etc.

Learning to set healthy personal boundaries is necessary for maintaining a positive self-concept, or self-image.

It is our way of communicating to others that we have self-respect, self-worth, and will not allow others to define us.

Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others. Their presence helps us express ourselves as the unique individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others.

It would not be possible to enjoy healthy relationships without the existence of personal boundaries, or without our willingness to communicate them directly and honestly with others. We must recognize that each of us is a unique individual with distinct emotions, needs and preferences. This is equally true for our spouses, children and friends.

Source: https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/personalboundaries.html

Depending on who pushes your boundaries, there are different ways to react and defuse the situation. If it’s an older relative, you can ignore it and avoid them. But if it’s someone close to you, it’s really hurtful but you still have to react. Don’t overreact but be assertive.

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Deciding “I want this and that” and “I don’t want that and this”. Taking charge of your choices means taking charge of your life. It’s one of the most empowering things you can do.

Before, I feared to say “no” to some people and the consequences were not pleasant. When I started saying “no” to people, things started to change. I lost the fear of saying “no”. The fear of losing someone over a disagreement. It wasn’t meant to be, as many people say. You can believe whatever you want, just keep in mind that having boundaries is a natural and important part of life.

You start to understand that you were the source of the problem. Some of your choices weren’t the best and you chose the wrong inner circle. Being with people that drugs,  sadistic, unstable, almost psychopathic (or full-blown psychopath, who knows?), antisocial, narcissistic, dangerous, toxic and other types of people you want to share your life with. Choose your company wisely.

Afraid or unafraid, go for it. Say “no”. You may lose the person. Keep track of the pros and cons of having that person in your life. If it’s manageable or not. Say “no” and see how the other person reacts. “I don’t want to talk about this” should be enough for someone to understand that you’re not enjoying the conversation, for example.

When you have boundaries, you start to not fear invalidation as much. You just react to injustice or something else that bothers you.

 

Types of boundaries

There are three types of boundaries: rigid, porous and healthy.

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Source: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/relationships_personal_boundaries.pdf

We usually have different boundaries for different settings. It can be porous at home and rigid at work, for example. There can be a mix of characteristics of the three types.

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Important facts about personal boundaries and how to establish them

-Everyone has the right to personal boundaries. You should take responsibility for how you let others treat you. Boundaries are like filters allowing what is acceptable in your life and what is not. Without boundaries, our self-worth comes from others. In order not to be in that situation, it’s important to define strong and clear limits so that others will respect them and stick by them. Another fact related to this is that, usually, people with weak boundaries have a tendency to violate the boundaries of others.

-You should believe and trust in yourself. Deep down inside, we always know what’s best for us but sometimes we just do what feels better, without really thinking in our self-interest. Or to please others. You are a specialist in yourself. No one knows you better than you do. You always know what you want, appreciate and need. Taking responsibility for your boundaries means taking care of yourself and others. Once we understand what personal boundaries are, we are more likely to respect the ones others have.

-Define what is unacceptable for you. Communicate with other people when they disrespect you or act inappropriately. Never be afraid to tell others when you need space. We all need space to recharge, from time to time. Be unapologetic about who you are. Define what actions you must take when people cross the line and use those strategies, whenever you need.

-And, most importantly, learn how to say no. As I said before, this is sometimes a challenge but once you understand the advantages, it’s really a life saver. Be assertive and stick by what you believe. We need to be selfish to a degree and put our needs first. As a former people pleaser, I tell you, it’s not the best way to live. We do things that are not good for us, for the sake of others. We let others control and manipulate us. Saying no can be liberating and save us a lot of trouble. Don’t be afraid to try it. It’s empowering.

 

How strong are your boundaries? How do you deal with your boundaries and other people’s boundaries? What is the importance of boundaries?

Much love to you all and I hope it helps someone. If it helped you, let me know.

Night Thoughts (motivational, how to get unstuck and life advice)

Tuesday evening, not too cold to have the windows open. Chapterhouse (shoegaze band from England, check them out) playing on my computer. I’m in a good mood.

I’ve been facing my dark side. It’s been hard and tough. Sometimes it’s necessary. I really needed it. There were difficult things that I needed to hear from someone I trust. To be honest, I don’t trust that person fully because I only trust fully 2 or 3 people and even they can fail, for some reason.

Life is hard and repetitive. Offering resistance to it can happen but it’s not beneficial for that person. I learned with meditation not to resist feelings. Sit with them. Analyze them. Don’t resist them. I’m not a holy woman, I can get angry. But my anger is much more subtle and never explosive. When there’s an argument, I just leave. Arguments are pointless. It’s pointless to get mad and say things you don’t mean and really bad things you do mean. I prefer to go somewhere else, stop it immediately.

There was a time in my life when I was very angry and full of angst.  I had monstrous fights with my parents and other people. I got into fights, even physical ones. It was like I incorporated some evil entity, if you believe in that sort of thing (I’m agnostic when it comes to that). That was very traumatic. I still have flashbacks but I don’t remember most of it.

All these years I’ve been at home have helped me heal. My relationship with my parents is healthy, my relationships with others are healthy. I had to set boundaries. “No, I don’t want to do this”.”No, I’d rather do something else”. Learn to say no but don’t overdo it. “Yes” can bring you good opportunities and experiences. Just be wise and follow your gut. You know what’s best for you. But sometimes it’s hard, you know? You don’t feel prepared or ready. You just have to go and do it. No matter how hard it is. If it’s going to improve yourself or your life, just do it. If it’s positive and healthy, it’s worth the shot.

Being hard is very relative and subjective. I can think that going outside is hard but I do it because I don’t want to be a burden. My pride is strong and it moves me. It was dormant. I was too tired, too broken. Too high, too depressed. I don’t know, I was a number of things and mostly overwhelmed. I felt every day that I didn’t do enough but it was like I was on auto-pilot or not me. It’s a weird feeling. I lost sight of life. It was like I was blind. Do you know that feeling? Taking medication is a lifesaver but it is also a handicap. Sometimes you can be less self-aware, it can make you do things you wouldn’t do. I’m not advising anyone to quit taking medication, my intention is to tell people who want to live without it that sometimes it’s possible. Diagnoses change, circumstances change. This doesn’t apply to everyone, I have to stress that. Some conditions are chronic and the best thing you can do is keep taking medication. But if you, my reader, talk with your psychiatrist and ask him, if it would be possible to stop taking meds gradually. If you improve enough, that is. This is just suggestion, a reminder that there may be an alternative life.

I try to believe that there is an alternative life that I can achieve. Making gradual changes is very helpful. If you don’t like that you do or don’t do something, change it. One thing at a time. Start small and dream big. Start small and expand to evolve. There are steps you need to take to take control of your life. There are definitely doable things you could do right now. Throwing out a piece of clothing that is ruined, selling or donating one that you don’t like anymore. Cleaning your space, even if it’s just a little but keep doing it, a little every day and keep increasing slowly the time you spend cleaning. It will take some stress off you. You will declutter your life.

Lives have different phases. What you’re going through right now, might be a phase. You have to believe in that. Change your mental paradigms. Life is always changing. Evolving, moving, uncertain. We all need structure. Something to fall back on.  Certainties. Probabilities. There is a science to life. A science of probability and what will help you be successful in life or not. There is also luck involved but even that has been studied and there are factors for it to occur or not to occur.

I hope this post inspires someone today. I love you all.