Many aspects of your daily life affect your mental health, including your living space. When your home gets cluttered and cluttered, it can negatively impact your mental health, just as a clean space can positively impact you. You may be surprised how intertwined your home and your mental well-being are. Find out how these two things go hand in hand and how you can keep your mental health intact.

For more ideas on how to improve your mental health, here are seven mood-altering foods for happiness and six thinking exercises for a better mindset.

How can clutter negatively impact mental health?

While clutter around your home can certainly be annoying, it can also have a real impact on your mental health. Studies have linked clutter to stress and anxietywhat weighs on your mental health.

A cluttered space can:

  • Making you feel stressed: One study examined cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in women with cluttered homes and found that they had higher levels than those who lived in an organized environment.
  • Increase the chance of procrastination: You may have noticed that when you feel overwhelmed with a to-do list, it’s hard to figure out where to start. The same can be said for a cluttered space that feels daunting. Research shows that there is a link between an overwhelming amount of clutter and procrastination. That procrastination can spill over into other areas of your life.
  • Make it hard to focus: When you’re surrounded by clutter, your brain has a hard time limiting yourself to what you want. Studies have shown that cluttered spaces prevent your brain from concentrating properly.

How a clean environment can help your mental health

Having a cluttered space can feel really overwhelming, but knowing that a clean space can have a positive impact on your mental health is the first step to achieving that. Taking the cleaning process step by step will get you there, and once you know all the positive ways a clean environment can help your mental health, you may be more willing to try cleaning.

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1. Happiness boost

Knowing that a cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind, it only makes sense to understand that a clean space can lead to a more relaxed and happy mind. A 2015 study of college students showed that those who did the dishes and focused on the cleaning aspect and soapy scents experienced heightened mental inspiration, meaning that cleaning actually boosted their spirits. While doing your own cleaning, try to focus on the fresh smells and squeaky clean area instead of the daunting task.

2. Increases productivity

The aforementioned research on how clutter can cause you to procrastinate suggests that a clean space can do the opposite: it helps you get moving and get things done. When you don’t worry about a cluttered environment, your mind, energy, and hands are free to work on the tasks you really need to get done, whether it’s work, taking care of yourself, or taking care of your family. Plus, the act of cleaning to reach the point of peak productivity is also super productive. The moment you start cleaning you increase your productivity and once you get going it’s easier to keep going.

3. Increases focus

If you don’t focus on the clutter around you, you can instead focus on important tasks like work. A clean space can make things easier even during leisure time. If your living room isn’t cluttered, you can watch TV in peace because your eyes aren’t scanning the room and worrying about the clutter. The aforementioned study that showed clutter makes it hard to focus concluded that clean spaces do the opposite. If you find yourself having trouble concentrating because of the mess you’re surrounded by, try cleaning small bits of space at a time so the task doesn’t become overwhelming.

4. Reduces stress

Having a cluttered space increases cortisol levels. That implies that a clean space can do the opposite. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has researched methods of depression reducing stress in humans, and one way to do that is to exercise. What better way to be physically active than cleaning your house? This gives you a double whammy: the clean room can reduce stress, and physical activity can also reduce stress. The end result is a tidy house and hopefully less stress now that everything is tidy. And since exercise is great for stress reduction, you can even amp up your cleaning by putting on some music and having some real fun with it. This makes your heart beat faster, which releases endorphins, the chemical in your brain that relieves stress.

5. Sleep better

Just as exercise relieves stress, it can also help you sleep better. Cleaning and getting your heart racing sends endorphins flowing through your body, which can also lead to a better night’s sleep. Endorphins not only lower stress levels, they actually do help your brain restsaid the ADAA.

If your cluttered space is affecting your sleep, focus your energy on clearing that space first, because sleep is an incredibly important part of both your physical and mental health.

it comes down to

Although you may not realize it, the space you live in has a major impact on your mental health. Giving yourself small cleaning tasks every day can help you take control of your space and your mental health. Think of activities that make you happy and see if there is a way to turn them into cleaning activities. Or you can even reward yourself with something you love after you complete your cleaning chores.

For more information on mental health, check out our guide how social media negatively affects your mood and tips for relieve stress with simple breathing exercises.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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