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The Paradox of Possessions

We all like getting things. Perhaps you were given something, or you saved so you could purchase something big yourself…getting something makes us happy. However, over time, that happiness fades. Maybe the item received or purchased isn’t used as frequently as you thought. Maybe it was something you thought you couldn’t live without and yet, you can and do. And with this, the happiness of receiving that item also fades. So, we chase that feeling again and again. We look for the new, the better, the latest and greatest. We chase the Jones, comparing ourselves and our possessions to that which our neighbor has. There will always be someone who has something newer or better.

What happens when we become focused on our possessions? Unfortunately, those that are not used are pushed away, hidden, and forgotten about. Taking up space not only in our homes but also in our minds. Researchers have found that this excess of clutter can lead to stress and overall lowered life satisfaction leading to increased tendencies toward procrastination, frustration, and can lead to increased cortisol levels.

Living a life free of clutter does not necessarily mean that you need to take on a minimalist perspective but to be aware of what you already own and what you need. Taking stock of what you have allows you to make more knowledgeable decisions about what can leave your home and what you’d like to keep, as well as what to purchase and when. Your possessions do not define you, and should not define your living space.

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