23 January 2011

Decluttering, Cortisol, And A Glance Back

As I mentioned in the last post, I've been on the road a lot lately. Back at work now, my To Do list is steadily growing and my time off has only exacerbated the situation. My stress level at work now is very high and shows no immediate backing down. Looking at my desk, my inbox, and my To Do list, they are all filled and rather cluttered, giving me a feeling of being unorganized and rather lost. I know from past experience that when I am decluttered and organized my stress level is low and I am more focused. I also know this stress is releasing cortisol and doing so chronically. (Check out Mark's take on cortisol)

It seems that periodically as my priorities change or I am off on some adventure that I return to find my life rather cluttered with debris from old priorities or old adventures. Striving to reduce and remove these occurrences has become a priority. Stress levels stay low when my desk, my home, my life are clean and organized. I sleep better, I feel better, and I can then devote more time to the dogs or with friends. In my house I have been going through each room, keeping only the essentials, and donating, selling or trashing the rest. Having tackled every room save the attic, when I find time over the weekend I go through box after box, mostly filled with past, quasi-sentimental items. With each trip to the nearby shelter or each dump run, I feel more free. Each item out of the house means one less thing to worry about.

Periodically I will come across something that rather defined my past. Having found the Paleo/Primal lifestyle and vastly improved health and fitness, typically when I look back it is with the hope I never go back there. Be it the large or extra-large t-shirts to the countless video game CDs, I am quite happy to part with these items of my past sedentary life. One thing I found recently really stood out to me:

204 SoBe Bottle Caps

Back in the last few years of high school and the first few years of college I drank soda and ate fast food regularly. My drink of choice was the SoBe Orange Carrot Elixir. Finding these bottle caps that I had collected for their unique sayings underneath each made it plainly clear why I gained so much weight during that time. The estimated grams of sugar for each bottle is 57.5. Time two hundred and four bottles is 11,730 grams (25.86 lbs) of sugar, not to mention hundreds of dollars. I am surprised I did not get Type II diabetes. I probably came close:

So this process of decluttering my current life, besides reducing stress and freeing me of material items, gives a feeling of empowerment. I am glad I made these changes I did and I look forward to the life I will lead and the person I will become. It was through the Paleo/Primal lifestyle I learned the difference between surviving and thriving.