I just lost my too-big blog post on excess and stress (how ironic)
Over the course of last week and this, I wrote you a blog post on a concept called material saturation, which is when our drive for more or better material possessions runs rampant, and we start to 'drown' in so many things we don't really want or need. The upshot is major stress.
I've been thinking about material saturation because:
1. I read an article about some eye-opening research into the concept.
2. We've just made our third move in two years (to America and back again) and we've been confronted by our own case of material saturation (way too much stuff in storage).
Anyway, I had taken about four hours, when I had a spare moment, to compose this big long article full of lovely facts and links ... and then my blog hosting site wouldn't save it (stupid technology) and I lost the lot.
I think perhaps it was too long a blog post, and it suffered from its own version of material saturation. Excess + stress = meltdown. Ha ha.
My husband reckons the original post was going to take up too much space in our brains, so it self-combusted. :-)
Either way, it's gone and now we don't have to confront the concept of having so much stuff we start to feel stressed about cleaning it, maintaining it, sorting it, storing it, moving it, and managing it. We can go back to burying our head in the sand about our clutter. We can close our Marie Kondo book.
Because the thing is, there is a lot of stress in our stuff, and there's undeniably a lot of lightness in having less.
That overabundance of toys, homewares, gadgets, technology, clothes, shoes, appliances, and other items often starts to accumulate once we have kids, and gets worse from there.
Can you relate?
If you want to follow some of those lovely links I had in my original (lost) blog post, here are the ones I can remember:
- The original article on the research into material saturation in America
- These articles from Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar who wages wars on the big issues, like waste, particularly food waste, and minimalist living:
- This article on why mess causes stress and eight things to do about it, from Psychology Today
- This from Very Well on the cost of clutter
- My own articles on decluttering and mindfulness too:
And here is a great quote from the research into material saturation:
America has 3.1 percent of the world’s kids — and 40 percent of its Little Tikes EasyScore basketball hoops and other toys.
I like this line from this article over at Becoming Minimalist:
Nobody sits across the table from another human being and unequivocally declares their greatest goal is to own as much stuff as possible. We think and dream in much broader terms. We long for something greater than material excess. Our hearts define success differently.
And finally, in this HuffPost article on the psychology of materialism and why it's making us unhappy, author Carolyn Gregoire notes:
Consumerism is fueled by insecurity — and remedied by mindfulness.