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Then it remained low until the eighth session, when it rose steadily until the end of therapy. Testing Limits maintained a constant level until the ninth contact, when it began a steady decline. Aggressive Statements reached a peak in the fourth contact, a slump in the fifth, and a second, though lower, peak in contact seven. After this, it declined steadily. This is because clutter or stuff has a tendency to remind us of past events and reminisce. Another way of looking at it is this: the more space your past takes up, the less you have for new ones. Minimalism helps you get rid of clutter and help you free up more space for new and better experiences. You enjoy the freedom of moving forward unhindered by past events. Less Is More Minimalism (less) allows you to enjoy better things in life (more quality). When you go minimal, you'll be surprised at the amount of money you can get to save money that you can redirect to things that have a greater ability to make your life more meaningful and joyful. Minimalism is arbitrary, and the same goes with what you'll consider to be of higher life quality to you. What's important to you may not be to others and vice versa. But the point being is that minimalism can help you live a much fuller and more meaningful life. So sadness also comes with a hardwired drive to withdraw, keeping us inside (in caves or otherwise) and safe until our strength and full faculties return. There are similarly good reasons for the other emotions, as well, such as anxiety in the face of danger to activate our fight-or-flight response, or guilt as a marker that we've stepped on someone's toes and need to mend that fence (a valuable signal for a socially interdependent species like us). So you see, we're not looking to eradicate our seven big emotions; THE GUILT RADAR Those of you for whom guilt is the default emotion know its sting all too well. Guilt combines the agitation of anxiety with the heavy weight of sadness.

The guilt radar is tuned to scan for how and when you've violated the rights of others. Continuing our imagined homecoming scenario, your guilt thought feed would go something like this: You know what, he or she is right. My family deserves better, and I'm letting them down. I should be spending more time at home. Total Number of Statements reached a constant level after the third contact. It should be pointed out that these results were obtained by averaging data from all six cases. Inspection of the individual case graphs showed considerable variation, which may cast doubt upon the averaged results in some instances. Among the categories which showed no trends during therapy were: Positive Statements About the Self; Negative Statements About the Self; Positive Statements About the Family, Home, Situation, etc; Perhaps the contradiction is partly due to an inherent weakness in this study: its restriction to the child's verbalizations. As Landisberg and Snyder (108) found that increased expression of feeling was significantly related to the action rather than to the verbal responses, it appears necessary for future research to consider this factor. Studies of the Outcomes of Play Therapy Other studies of play therapy have been concerned with its outcomes, rather than with the process itself. Practicality One of minimalism's most obvious benefits is spending less. Because you need fewer things, you need less money. If you're able to maintain your earning power, then you can actually get to save money and become even more financially independent. Contrary to most people's belief that more money is the only key to financial independence, frugality or practicality is the other half - it may even be the more important one. When you look at celebrities that have gone bankrupt, it's clear that more money isn't necessarily the answer to financial independence.

Less Maintenance When you have so many furniture and appliances at home, you have more spaces for dust and grime to accumulate, which will require more tedious cleaning. Compare it to a living room with just a table, sofa set and a T. Minimalist living relieves you of much work required to maintain a clean living space. THE EMBARRASSMENT RADAR Besides agitation, the giveaway that embarrassment is kicking in is a feeling of wanting to get away from the situation as fast as possible. Those with a highly tuned embarrassment radar scan for situations in which they've lost standing in someone's eyes. They might think something like this: I thought I was doing so well keeping all these balls in the air, but they're dropping and he/she can see I'm not managing well. EMOTION RADARS PHYSICAL SENSATION EMOTION THOUGHT FEED Flushed or hot face, clenched fists or teeth, rapid heartbeat Anger My rights have been violated. Rapid heartbeat, tense muscles, dry mouth, butterflies in your stomach, lightheadedness Anxiety Something bad is going to happen. Red flush of anger mixed with the fidgety restlessness of anxiety Frustration I don't have the resources I need. Feeling of a heavy weight bearing down on you, moving slowly, feeling on the verge of tears Sadness I've lost something. Among these is one conducted by Cruickshank and Cowen (47, 46) -- an exploratory study of group play therapy with physically handicapped children in a special public day school. Five children between the ages of seven and nine years were seen twice weekly for seven weeks. The group included two cardiac cases, and one each of hemophilia, post-poliomyelitis, and post-encephalitis. Before and after the therapy series, teachers and parents wrote essay-type reports stating the chief problems and noting any changes. By this criterion, three of the five children showed improvement. The absence of a control group makes it impossible to say how many of these might have improved without therapy.

Thus no definite conclusions may properly be drawn without further investigation. Axline (13) has reported upon the effect of nondirective psychotherapeutic methods in cases of reading retardation in an elementary school. Thirty-seven second grade children diagnosed as retarded in reading (by means of teacher judgments and standardized reading tests) were selected for the study. They were placed in a special class, where the teacher attempted to create a therapeutic milieu in which adjustment and learning might occur together. It's Harder To Lose Things When you live in a clutter-free or minimalist home, you not only have less things to lose but you also have less places to lose your stuff in. You don't have a lot of nooks and crannies to lose your car keys or cellular phones in. You have fewer obstacles to storing and finding things easier. Less stress and anxiety Less clutter equals less stress and anxiety. When we keep our environment cluttered, we are visually and emotionally distracted, and this creates stress and anxiety. In a research done by UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF), a team of professional archaeologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists systematically observed and recorded details of life at homes for 32 bi-worker, middle-class LA households from 2001 to 2004. The team discovered that managing a large volume of possessions was linked to elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers. They found that women in the study associated a tidy home with a happy and successful family. Agitation of anxiety mixed with the heavy weight of sadness Guilt I've violated someone else's rights. Restless, agitated, reddened face, strong desire to get away from the situation, feeling like others are looking at or judging you Embarrassment I've lost standing in someone's eyes. Hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach, nagging sense that you've done something wrong, bowing your head or avoiding eye contact Shame I've broken my own standards. THE SHAME RADAR Shame shows up as a hollow sensation in the pit of your stomach or a nagging sense that you've done something wrong. Those who feel shame tend to bow their heads and avert their eyes.

A person who responds with shame in this scenario would have a thought feed that whispers something like this: I know people should put family first, and I'm disappointed in myself. If we take a look at the bucket of beliefs behind shame, we see that it's about breaking our own rules of how we believe we should live in the world. Take Action To get control of your emotions, you're going to use a skill that we call Trap It, Map It, Zap It (TMZ for short). No emphasis was placed upon learning to read. Children were encouraged to express their attitudes in the presence of an understanding and permissive teacher. In a strict sense, this was not play therapy, but an adaptation of it for classroom use. Spontaneous statements by the children indicated to the teacher that many had serious personal problems. At the end of the school term, children were re-tested with the Gates Primary Reading Tests for Grades One and Two. During this three-and-one-half month period, there were several remarkable gains in reading age, including some of sixteen and seventeen months. Unfortunately, however, no statistical test was made by Axline. Thus, for the group as a whole, we do not know whether the results differed significantly from chance expectations. In addition, the absence of a control group makes it impossible to evaluate the effects of repetition of the tests without intervening therapeutic experience. A further study of the effects of nondirective play therapy in cases of reading retardation has been conducted by Bills (24). In other words, the more clutter that piles up, the more anxious women feel. More joy in parenting Being mindful to not engage in busyness and accumulation makes it possible to entertain the meaningful requests of our children. Would you ever look back and say, I wish I hadn't spent so much time with my family? Stronger relationships Humans need to connect with other humans--we don't want to be lonely.