Three Steps To Achieve Freedom From Too Much Clutter

Are you feeling anxious and finding it hard to focus? Are you easily annoyed over the smallest things? In case you’re wondering why you are constantly stressed out, it might help to take a minute and observe your surroundings. Do you see a messy room overflowing with stuff? Is your work area laden with random papers and other unnecessary things? The clutter around you may just be the reason for your inability to concentrate and stay calm!

Take the challenge to declutter today!

The things you accumulate throughout the years contain memories that are hard to leave behind.It is understandable if you struggle in letting go of too much stuff. Science can explain this behavior, as a study done by researchers from Yale School of Medicine revealed that for hoarders, throwing away previously owned stuff triggers the brain area that is associated with pain. Taking the challenge to declutter is essential to maintain a positive mindset and achieve work efficiency. Holding on to old things traps you into all the negative effects of a disorganized life. In fact, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles found a direct link between stress and clutter. So if you want organization, clarity and peace back in your life, free your home or desk from things you do not need. Say yes to decluttering today with the following steps.

Complement your goals with concrete plans.

Once you decide to declutter, set out goals that you need to accomplish for a simpler, minimalist lifestyle. To lay out achievable objectives, the first thing to do is determine the areas or spaces that you need to work on. It is probably the closet that is brimming with clothes you have not seen or worn for some time. Or your child’s playroom which is filled with broken toys. After listing down all the areas that you need to clean up, it is time to think of concrete plans to get rid of it by selling or recycling those items.

Take it one day at a time and set a deadline.

Even if you are aware of the urgency to free your home or desk from things you do not need, the task of decluttering is not always easy. You may be tempted to just throw everything in sight, but that is impractical and irresponsible. Most of the time, you need to carefully go through your things to determine if something is for keeping, throwing or donating. The whole process can take time, so do not not expect the road towards minimalism to be a fast one.

You are unlikely to finish decluttering in a day, so break down your goals and target one messy area at a time. The pace of your progress will depend on your schedule. But don’t forget to set a deadline for your decluttering goals. With a fixed time frame in mind, you can easily avoid the lure to procrastinate or set aside your mission to live with less stuff.

Choose a desired decluttering method.

Admit it, you need every help you can get to finally live with less clutter. It would not hurt to look for inspiration that can motivate your decluttering efforts. You can also choose to follow a method or technique that is known to effectively help people who wants to lead a minimalist lifestyle. One method you can try is Konmari. This method was is proposed by Japanese author Marie Kondo. In this approach, you organize your things and keep only the things that spark joy. Another option is called the four-box method, wherein you allot four containers to easily sort through your things. One box for items to give away, another box for things to throw away, one box for things to store and the last box for items you can’t decide what to do with. There are more organization methods, so try to choose one method that will suit you best.

The decision to live with just the basics is not a spur of the moment thing. Rather, it is a lifestyle change.nce done with decluttering, try not to be tempted to hoard things again. Remember that every item you purchase but do not actually need adds up to invisible baggage that may become very hard to carry later on. Commit to living with less stuff to enjoy the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle!

Dean and Marcie WhalenThree Steps To Achieve Freedom From Too Much Clutter
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Responding To Emotional Bids: The Key To Lasting Relationships?

Starting a relationship with someone can be easy and spontaneous, but the challenge is in keeping that close connection strong and intact throughout the years. With claims that almost 50% of marriages in America end in divorce, you can clearly see that building a meaningful relationship takes hard work and serious commitment.

For this reason, people are usually in awe upon seeing couples who manage to keep their union happy and fulfilling throughout the years. And no one starts a relationship with the intention for it to fail. With guidebooks and numerous studies suggesting various ways on how to have a happy marriage, you can even conclude that our society is obsessed with building and maintaining relationships.

So why do many relationships fail to survive the test of time? What is the reason some marriages or partnerships last while others don’t? An American psychologist, John Gottman attempted to answer this perennial question with the introduction of emotional bids.

What are emotional bids?

The concept of emotional bids is the result of a longitudinal study where Gottman observed newly-married couples and followed up with them six years later to see who among them were able to keep their vows. Gottman claimed that by observing the couples whose status remain unchanged after several years of  marriage, he has unraveling the secret formula to a healthy and rewarding relationship.

According to him, one main difference between a successful and failed marriage is the ability of the couples to recognize and positively respond to each other’s call for connection. Gottman called the signals that people send out to those they want to form a connection with – emotional bids. Apparently, we all send and receive these signals (they can be verbal or nonverbal) in everyday situations to people we interact with. The way we choose to respond to these emotional bids are like steps we take in relationship building. A negative response turns you away from someone, while a positive response leads you towards a person.

How can you use the concept of emotional bids to improve relationships?

In a relationship, both parties constantly make emotional bids to each other in various ways. It happens whenever someone attempts to reach out to his or her partner. An emotional bid is easy to miss because it can be as simple as a wife asking her spouse about his day wherein a husband can either give a short standard reply or enthusiastically narrate the events of the day. In another scenario, the husband may try to suggest to his spouse a new place they can hang out and the wife can either accept or reject the idea.

Whenever we make emotional bids, we are unconsciously conveying a hidden message to one another.  For example, the simple questions above can actually be a plea for your partner’s attention or affection. In the first example, the wife asking her husband a question is actually saying that she cares about her partner’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, the husband suggesting a new place is saying that he wants to spend more time with his wife.

If you know how to detect the hidden meaning to the messages that someone relays through emotional bids, you can discern the proper answer or response that will address the needs of your partner. Consistently hearing or receiving negative responses to emotional bids will weaken, and may ultimately break, the relationship. On the other hand, regular positive responses nurture and strengthen the relationship. If you closely delve into it, the key to lasting relationships is simply choosing to be kinder to your partner. Gottman’s research centers on romantic relationships, but the idea behind emotional bids can be applied in all types of relationships.

The quality of the relationships you have in your life affect your overall happiness and wellbeing. Successful relationships, though, take real effort. If you wish to nurture relationships, be more thoughtful and attentive to fulfill the needs of others. If you fully understand the idea of emotional bids and consciously apply it to your everyday life, you may soon discover that you have found the key to lasting relationships.

Dean and Marcie WhalenResponding To Emotional Bids: The Key To Lasting Relationships?
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Ten Effective Techniques to Achieve Emotional Freedom

Holistic freedom is a term that defines liberation within every area of daily life. One of the most important elements of our day-to-day demeanor is our emotional well-being. Every interaction we encounter can either positively or negatively affect our next actions. Whether we allow our undesirable experiences to shape our attitude is completely reliant upon us. If you find yourself feeling depressed, irritable, anxious or hopeless, you may be suffering the effects of emotional burdens. Keep reading to learn how to regain control of your emotional freedom.

Emotions can be tricky. Sometimes we feel stuck dwelling on emotions that we’d rather not have. Other times, we struggle to feel the emotions that we think we should be experiencing. Maybe you aren’t as happy as you’d like to be. Maybe you feel angrier than you know how to adequately control. You get frustrated and label yourself as an emotional wreck, but what’s really going on? Often times, negative emotions can present themselves as anger or embarrassment, when really they are masking deeper emotions that haven’t been expressed.

Anger is frequently rooted in fear, rejection or hurt. Embarrassment usually follows vulnerability or isolation. People struggle to find genuine solutions to their negative feelings because they regularly tend to the secondary emotions instead of the primary causes. Occasionally, even primary feelings are difficult to sooth. So what’s the proper approach? Rest assured, there are many techniques and best practices that, when practiced habitually, promote healing and emotional freedom.


  1. Being Emotionally Accountable
  • Be open to the fact that you may be causing some of the emotional pain you’re feeling. Consider the part you play and accept a leadership role when it comes to being in control of your feelings. 
  1. Practicing Awareness
  • Being aware is a life skill that has endless benefits. Emotional awareness helps you identify triggers and remove yourself from situations that are causing a spike in your negative emotions. Awareness also helps you recognize what causes your happiest moments so you can duplicate them to increase the positivity. 
  1. Opening up to Others
  • Find a trusted companion and vent about your feelings. If someone hurts you, let that person know. If you caused emotional pain, apologize. 
  1. Practicing Forgiveness
  • Forgiveness is hard, but necessary. The emotional baggage that comes with carrying around negativity from the people and situations that hurt you, only causes you more damage – don’t allow outside forces to have such an effect of your life. 
  1. Altering Your Perspective
  • Perspective is everything. A simple shift of thought can make all the difference. Instead of focusing on the bad, cancel those thoughts and replace them with the opposite. 
  1. Changing Your Lifestyle
  • Think about what causes you the most strife and emotional turmoil. Now create a plan to remove it from your life for good. 
  1. Identifying Productive Outlets
  • Negative emotions can leave us feeling frazzled and upset. If you never release that tension, the pressure mounts and results in an outburst. To avoid this, find a healthy outlet to channel your anger. Rage rooms, physical activity and recreational hobbies are all perfect coping activities. 
  1. Granting Yourself Permission to Fully Feel Your Emotions
  • Many people try to avoid the feelings that they deem unfavorable. Grief and sadness are two of the most popular emotions that get pushed out of the way. The problem is if you never allow yourself the time to experience those feelings, you effectively remove your opportunity to heal. As uncomfortable as it may be, you must give yourself the chance to feel and heal. 
  1. Treating Yourself with More Mercy
  • Holding yourself (and your feelings) to unrealistic standards does more harm than good. Remember that each person is unique and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. 
  1. Seeking Therapy or Medical Attention
  • If your negative emotions feel unbearable or overwhelming to the point of toxic coping methods or a desire to self-harm (more info here), seek professional treatment immediately. Clinical depression, chemical imbalances and emotional disorders are very real. Conditions such as these require assistance from professionals who are trained to handle these matters. Never hesitate to make that call. 

The goal of emotional freedom is reach the point where your negative feelings no longer control you. Emotional freedom leads way to overall freedom, which, when achieved, produces overall joy in every part of your life. Remember these 10 tips and take the next step toward holistic freedom.

Dean and Marcie WhalenTen Effective Techniques to Achieve Emotional Freedom
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Three Essential Steps To Living A Life of Freedom

Close your eyes, and imagine for a moment that you are living a life that is designed by you, driven by your passions and based on your desire to fulfill a larger purpose. In this life, you are not held back by a heavy work schedule, you do not have any financial limitations, and you are not only satisfied but excited to wake up every morning and be finally living out the life that you have always wanted. Now back to reality, does that sound like a farfetched dream, impossible of attaining? Well, it’s not. You can make a change in your life starting today towards living a life of freedom. Focusing on three essential steps of holistic living, you can fulfill the life you have always dreamed of.

Make Your Health A Priority

Being able to live freely, and without restriction starts with taking care of you and your body—You can’t make a car run unless you maintain the engine and fuel it properly. A healthy lifestyle starts with changing your diet to eating clean and balanced meals. Consuming whole, quality, and organic foods will provide the fuel your body needs to perform at its best. By eating good, you will feel good and in turn, will live a better life. Eating healthy also boosts your immune system helping to decrease illness and avoid disease. You also need to take care of the rest of your body—be sure to get enough sleep, relax, and slow down when your body tells you that it needs a break. By taking care of yourself, it allows your body to function at its highest potential so you can live a better life.

Establish The Right Mindset

Once you get your body right, it’s time to get your mind right. The right mindset focuses on mindfulness, and actively living in the present moment. Take time to think about what is currently happening around you, and use both the positive and the negative situations to propel your thoughts and actions towards success. Meditation is a great way to attain that perspective and it really opens your eyes to see what your life looks like from day to day. Being mindful of your actions and what is happening around you helps develop emotional intelligence, which is just as important as general knowledge. You should also clearly determine what it is that you want to accomplish in life, and outline goals that will help you to get there. With a positive and mindful mindset, let your passion fuel you and chase those dreams. Your thoughts lead to your actions, so always keep in mind how your reality is directly related to your state of mind.

Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

The old saying of, “It’s not what you know but who you know”, could not be truer, especially in relation to a life of holistic freedom. It is essential to find a community of other purpose driven, mindful people who will help you to chase your passions, achieve your goals, and teach you along the way. We are never too old to learn and by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you are bound to meet someone who has gone through similar experiences and can mentor you on your own journey. The people in your life should inspire you and add value to your life. By growing your network with other individuals that align with your goals, they can provide you with new doors of opportunity related to your passions, in addition to the support in pursuing your life of purpose and freedom.

Living the life you have always dreamed of can be done, freedom is attainable. By taking care of yourself, being positive and mindful, in addition to finding a community that aligns with your goals, you will live your best life. Ultimately, by nourishing your mind, body, and soul you will find that you can fulfill your life’s purpose, pursue your passions, and truly achieve holistic freedom.

Dean and Marcie WhalenThree Essential Steps To Living A Life of Freedom
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Why Mornings Should Be The Best Part of Your Day

Mornings get a bad rep from the moment the alarm goes off. Everything from chores around the house, to tasks at work, and errands to run can easily overflow your thoughts before your feet even hit the floor. Not to mention, the chaos running around your home packing lunches and trying to get kids out the door and off to right places before the sun has completely risen. So it’s completely understandable why so many people go to bed at night dreading the next morning.

But why live your life like that? If you take some time to change a few habits in your morning, you might just find that the morning should be the best part of your day.

Take 5 minutes of alone time

Before the day’s activities take priority, be sure to give yourself priority first. Just five minutes every morning to take the time to think to yourself can change your outlook for the whole day. Maybe sit down and write three things you want to keep in mind all day––to be more intentional with your family members or more patient with your coworkers. If journaling isn’t really your thing, consider just sitting with a cup of coffee and looking out the window. A few moments of down time can really set the tone for the day ahead.

Make an effort to have real conversations with your family members

Mornings are likely one of the two times your entire family will be under one roof the entire day. Instead of yelling things up the stairs like “Leaving in minutes!” or “Don’t forget your lunch!”, make an effort to have an actual conversation with your family members before everyone heads off to different destinations until the evening. Sitting down for breakfast and discussing what’s going on for everyone that day can be a game-changer for your family.

Do one thing every morning that brings you joy

Whether it’s going out for a jog or reading a few pages of your book, do one small thing each morning that makes you happy. Instead of heading straight to your email app to check what’s on the schedule for the day, take some time for self-investment. If you make sure you give yourself time for one thing you love to do each morning, it will make your alarm a lot less miserable.

Just by changing your habits you can make your mornings something to actually look forward to. Try these three tips to make mornings the best part of your day.

Dean and Marcie WhalenWhy Mornings Should Be The Best Part of Your Day
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