The New York Times best seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo provides strategies for decluttering your home to liberate your energy and invite joy. For years stress management experts have advised clients to declutter their homes, closets, drawers, desks and pocket books. When you lighten up your living space, you lighten up your mind. Even the simple act of washing dishes can clean out stinging, sad thoughts. Consider the powerful potential of trash talk – taking out the trash verbally: Decluttering your negativity and sadness through words by confiding to friends and family, or perhaps even best of all to an acquaintance or stranger.
Consider this scenario which actually took place in a New York City condo: Two middle-aged women meet in the trash room on a Sunday morning to throw out the trash. One smiles as she surprises the first woman who is throwing out her garbage down the chute. The startled woman laughs wholeheartedly, and so the second woman introduces herself and within two minutes opens up about her burdensome caregiving to her husband who is in the throes of Parkinson’s. She reveals that he has had it for seven years and the disease is quite advanced. She is feeling overwhelmed and is on the way to the gym which she hates, but knows that working out is good for her both mentally and physically. After all, she should know because she has been a therapist for over thirty years!
The first woman listens and responds with empathy as she realizes that at this moment they have switched places; she has become the therapist. A loud bearlike grunt is heard in the hallway. The woman whose husband has Parkinson’s says that must be her husband who makes these noises when he calls her. The compassionate listener says, “Oh, I thought it was my husband calling me.” Apparently, a grunt is a universal call from a husband. The two women laugh loudly as though they had known each other intimately for years. “Have a great day!” chirps the woman whose husband has Parkinson’s. Taking out the trash – literally and metaphorically!
How trash talk works:
- You open up and announce your reality to another person. You release the words that are stuck in your heart to declutter and create space for what really matters – love.
- You choose a listener as guided by your instinct and social cues.
- You realize that you derive happiness from connecting with others.
- You reaffirm your own coping strategies like exercise for stress relief and mood lifting.
- Humor is all around you – it is a great stress reliever.
- The listener benefits too as she has cheered someone up and has learned from someone else’s experience.
For more stress management strategies: visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com