Too Much Stuff? Yes, It’s Stressful

It’s fun to have things, nice things — a car that works, comfortable furniture, books and mugs and clothing and kitchen appliances and meaningful knick knacks — stuff.

And, in the United States, most of us have a lot of stuff, sometimes too much, as evidenced by our fascination with shows about hoarders. Perhaps vicariously watching people who are overwhelmed by stuff makes us feel better about the many drawers in our home, overflowing  to the point that we only see 10 percent of the contents, much less use them.

sea breeze coast beach ocean seascape grass sand steve henderson art

A gentle breeze, the sound of the surf, the feeling of sand underneath our bare feet: what we find here isn’t stuff, but peace. Sea Breeze, art print from Steve Henderson Collections

Because sometimes we have so much stuff that we don’t know what to do with it, and it keeps us busy dusting it, organizing it, moving it around, and boxing it up to give away so that we have room for more, new stuff.

And while this is an unlikely form of stress, it can be, for many people, stressful.

The interesting thing about stuff is that it’s not limited to items we touch. While an overly cluttered environment is disquieting, it is minor compared to a messy, scattered mind, strewn with anxieties and worries, angst and restlessness, uneasiness and envy, misgivings and doubts — the mental stuff we absorb each day through advertisements, movies, “news,” pop culture books and magazine articles, Influencers, sermons, social media posts, junk mail, and political speeches.

The result of this is that our mind is filled with thoughts that do us no good, crowding out those that could, pushing aside meditation and prayer and deep thinking and replacing them with worries that we are inadequate, deficient, incompetent, lacking.

The artwork, Sea Breeze, invites us into a place where there is no such stuff — neither material nor mental. A soft breeze blows through the grass, and under our feet (bare, of course) we feel the delightful tickle of sand. The surf in the background is gentle, rhythmic, soothing.

This is not an empty place by any means, because it is full of quiet and tranquility, serenity and peace — what we look for to imbue our mind.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are

Peace and Quiet: We NEED These

Is It Too Noisy to Think?

Defining Success

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in america, Culture, Daily Life, Encouragement, home, inspirational, Life, Lifestyle, self-improvement, simple living, success and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Too Much Stuff? Yes, It’s Stressful

  1. Donna says:

    Excellent piece, Carolyn! I needed to hear it this morning. THANK YOU! & LOVE the Sea Breeze painting of Steve’s as well. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Donna, for your kind words. I’m always reminded of “too much stuff” when I walk into a box store (something I do less and less these days) and am assaulted by vast, changing, diverse, and endless supplies of STUFF. It’s not that it’s bad stuff; it’s just that there’s so much of it, and most of it I don’t need . . . I, too, enjoy Sea Breeze — whenever I look at it I feel my breathing rate slow to a good, quiet pace.

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