When you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed with life’s daily pressures, chances are, you have resorted to various activities to ease your stress. Whether it be doing yoga, working out, or making time for your hobby, every person has different ways of managing their stress and mental health.
Those who experience high levels of stress rely on medications or therapeutic methods to look after their physical and mental health. If left unchecked, it affects an individual’s coping skills and overall health. Some may even experience body pain and other severe health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, and gastrointestinal disorders. Meanwhile, those suffering from fatigue and chronic pain resort to acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care.
When people feel anxious or stressed, others go for a relaxing massage or listen to good music. But for others, wiping the dust off the shelves and organizing drawers are their way to boost their mood and reduce their anxiety.
Experts say a messy and disorganized house affects a person’s mental health. It can result in feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. There are some explanations for why cleanliness reduces stress and anxiety levels. To find this out, we’ll explore the benefits of cleaning and decluttering in mental health.
It brings calmness
Cleaning is strongly associated with reducing stress and anxiety. A messy or cluttered area often represents unfinished business or a lack of completeness, whether consciously or unconsciously. This image can be highly stressful for some people, especially those who are confronted with significant concerns in their lives.
The feeling of warm water while washing the dishes or the look of fresh and clean sheets leads a person to a meditative and blissful state. Ever notice how relaxed and comfortable you feel when you just changed sheets? This is because studies found that a clean bed contributes to a night of restful sleep.
You can also amp up your room by putting an indoor houseplant near the window and lighting a scented candle. Incorporating decors and sleep-inducing upgrades can make a big difference to your living space by bringing a sense of calmness and relaxation. Doing something for your room won’t only make you feel good about your little accomplishment but also increase pride and contentment.
It releases endorphins
It’s common knowledge that working out brings a significant boost in endorphin release, but cleaning is also a type of exercise, which means that you can experience the same feel-good benefits. In fact, low-intensity household cleaning can help you burn at least 102 calories or up to 204 calories by simply doing vigorous cleaning tasks.
But how does cleaning release endorphins? Known as the body’s “feel-good” chemical, endorphins relieves stress and pain and stimulate feelings of pleasure, making them a critical component of a happy and balanced life. Our body’s endorphins interact with our brain receptors, altering pain perception and triggering a positive feeling.
This explains why cleaning brings a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Nothing feels good about transforming a messy home into a more livable space.
It enhances focus
According to a study by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, disorganized spaces cause people to feel distracted, stressed, and less productive. In the experiment, researchers found task-irrelevant objects overwhelm a person’s visual cortex by disrupting attention and prolonging task completion time. Through decluttering, your brain will stop multitasking, improving your ability to concentrate.
For most people, clutter is a visual distraction and a nagging reminder of unfinished chores. Once they clean all the clutter, it gives them a sense of control and mastery over their environment. So, if you’re having a hard time focusing on your work or study, you may want to clean and organize your space first. Devoting a few minutes to clean away the mess makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.
It lifts the mood
The scent of your environment has a significant impact on your mood levels. A study found that people who take time to wash dishes and take in their surroundings reported a decrease in nervousness and a boost in mental inspiration.
Our mental health has a long-established link with our olfactory sensations. This explains why aromatherapy reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Certain scents, particularly lavender, urge the body to reminisce and feel more relaxed.
If cleaning helps reduce your stress and boosts your mood, then grab those cleaning materials and get started! After all, a cluttered and messy home brings nothing but more stress, distractions, and feelings of unease. Still, make sure to try other stress-relieving activities instead of relying on cleaning to bring predictability and order into your life.