Why sanity is not overrated

I have heard people jokingly say that sanity is so overrated.  That to feel sane means you are too tight, not relaxed enough. That you perhaps put too much effort on things running… smoothly.  As if having some order and smooth-running-processes wouldn’t make you relaxed…

Maybe we don’t really know what sanity means.  When I looked up the definition of sanity on line it said that sanity “refers to the soundness, rationality and healthiness of the human mind…”

Now that sounds more like it and definitely worthy of achieving. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way, and all the relaxation that comes from it?   While that feeling of saneness can be difficult to achieve all day, every day, I don’t think we should give up on attaining it.  There are just too many health implications – stress and the damage it does to the body and mind is but one – to not being able to reach a state that you can actually identify as calm…sane.

I’ve been a professional organizer for 14 years. And I know that of all the things that can contribute to sanity, calm, and that feeling of healthiness in the human mind, one of the most important contributors is organization.

It could almost be the most important contributor.

I have seen this for too long now, how disorder negatively affects a person’s psyche and how they think about living their life.  It definitely doesn’t contribute to sanity.  When we disregard the feeling of insanity that comes from disorder and accept it as normal, we ignore and miss out on the benefit of soundness of mind that order brings.

There are quite a few things that cause insanity and an unhealthy well-being.  Here are 3:

1.Clutter. Clutter=stress. And stress build up usually turns into craziness. Often, the root cause of what stresses us in our daily lives is found in the physical surroundings.  So, if you are surrounded by chaos and clutter, that is what you will feel. And that clutter breeds more clutter, which leads to…an endless cycle of insanity! Not calm.

2.Not knowing what you own and not having order among the things you own. When you know what you have, and can get to things easily and often – you feel good.  Period.  When you can’t find things, or the things you own have no order among them, your wheels spin constantly – often in the background.  Your brain can’t catch up or slow down enough to make easier work of decision making about nearly anything.  Having too much or not having an idea of all that you own (and that perhaps it is enough) builds confusion and chaos in the mind and, in turn, more insanity.

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3.Having no semblance of control over your time and how you spend it. Disorder is a time zapper and it also affects how you view time. In the presence of clutter or disorganization your perception of time (how much time you think you have and how long you think a particular task will take) is completely skewed.  The brain tries to conceive of all that it sees out and about, and it can’t. So you are left feeling as though you have time for …nothing!  From a health perspective that is a real detriment.  Disorganization can make you feel like you have “no time” to work out, cook a healthy meal, meditate, or take time to visit friends.  Not only does that cause insanity, it causes general unhealthiness.

“Everything must have a home” is the key tenant to kill chaos and usher in sanity.

There is no exception to this rule – at least not if you expect to stay sane.  When things have a home – and remember that “home” can be the trash – your space feels tidy and neat. The air is clear. Your mind is calm.  And time almost stands still.

It’s simple really.  When your brain isn’t working so hard to make sense of things and “clean up” what it is seeing, it is free, and that freedom lends to sanity.

That sanity lends to wellness.

And that, my friends, is not overrated.

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