The need to have ‘stuff’ can create a sense of feeling overwhelmed. That may be clothes, or shoes, books or music, or the bigger things such as a house and a car. Being overwhelmed by stuff is a suffocating feeling.
We think as parents that our children should have ‘stuff’ too, otherwise they won’t play.
Having a house filled with stuff that has accumulated over time, is common. The same with your computer or tablet. It’s filled with stuff too, isn’t it? And your phone is filled with stuff. You can’t get away from it.
And what sense does it give you, or how does it make you feel? I’m guessing overwhelmed.
You feel overwhelmed by stuff because…
You’re overwhelmed at having to make so many choices because when you have lots of stuff you do have to make choices.
You might also feel overwhelmed when the house seems too full of stuff that you have to consider moving to something bigger.
Or, you could feel overwhelmed at the physical nature of all of the stuff that you have. You may think that you don’t have room to move. It’s a claustrophobic situation.
Then again your overwhelm may come from believing that you don’t have the right stuff; the right car, the right clothes, the right watch. You get my drift.
And what about the need to hold onto things because you think that if you get rid of them, you will need them sometime in the future.
Feeling overwhelmed by stuff makes living life harder each and every day. You are always thinking about the material, rather than experiencing.
How are you feeling about ‘stuff’
Here’s a simple ‘Have You Had Enough of Stuff Questionnaire‘ for you to complete. It looks at your responses to your stuff. It’s a set of questions from the book ‘Stuffocation’ that I read recently.
Once you’ve filled it out I want you to stop and think about your answers and what had you make them.
What beliefs do you have running, attached to each of your answers? I’m guessing you will have a few. And there could also be just one or two beliefs that hold all of your responses together.
- I need material things to be happy
- I’m not successful if I can’t show it
- If I don’t hold onto this, I won’t be able to replace it
These beliefs create some of the feelings associated with being overwhelmed by stuff.
Inquiring into your beliefs
There is value in beginning to question these beliefs that you hold. And it may be as simple as asking yourself “Is that true?.” I need material things to be happy, is that true?
By posing this question it allows you to stop and slow down and really consider the question. Is it really true, that you need material things to be happy? What’s your answer.
You may notice that when you slow down and inquire that you get a ‘maybe not’ or a more definite ‘no’, that’s not true.
This gives you some space to then consider the possibility of living without the stuff, whether that is about considering each and every purchase moving forward from this different perspective, or beginning to remove the things that you no longer use, from your life.
You may find that by de-cluttering, removing stuff, you feel less anxious and overwhelmed. It might feel as though you have room to breathe.
And by just questioning these beliefs you may feel less and less overwhelmed by stuff and begin to enjoy it for what it is. Or, not need it in your life anymore and begin to live the experience of life instead.