Our minds and emotions operate on triggers. For example, brightly colored flowers like buttercups and tulips often tell us it’s time for spring cleaning. Warming temperatures stimulate us into outdoor activities and socializing.
For many people, spring cleaning improves our emotional health. Why? What can we do to keep our homes and desks uncluttered, thus keeping our mental health, well, healthy?
Why Clutter Disrupts Our Emotional Health
Research shows that clutter is linked to stress. Our body releases cortisol, a stress hormone, when a trigger is present. Cartoons often present this as a dismayed office worker sitting between piles of papers. Think Dilbert.
The mind figures that we aren’t doing a good job or even enough if there are piles of things around us. This gives us the impression that we’ll never get to the bottom of the pile, so we give up. We save our efforts for the most vital tasks, both at work and at home, so the piles grow exponentially.
Not only that, but piles of something indicates a lack of physical movement. We all know that a sedentary lifestyle leads to physical illnesses such as heart problems and obesity. In the same way, piles of clutter often disappoints us and make us slump in our chairs in dismay.
However, there’s reason to take heart. You aren’t the only person with a messy desk, home or both. Spring cleaning not only gives us back our positive mindset. It also clears the stress triggers for a happier home and office experience.
How Does It Work?
There’s something about fresh air and sunshine that boosts the mood and clears the mind. Before tackling the piles and clutter, clean the windows and open them. The body will benefit from the Vitamin D, and the emotions will benefit from the oxygen reaching the brain.
The physical movements in spring cleaning get us up off the couch or off the office chair. Movement stimulates endorphins in the brain or the feel-good hormones. Kick stress and its hormones to the curb by simply moving.
According to research clutter slows the brain’s ability to process things. Anxiety and physical inactivity is the result. Spring cleaning, alternatively, stimulates creativity and reduces stress.
How Much Is Clean Enough?
This is an individual thing. Only you know how much clutter you can stand. It’s vital to simply begin cleaning and de-cluttering. You’ll be surprised to see your emotional health and even your weight improve.
Additionally, when you clean and de-clutter, you’ll want to maintain the cleanliness of the. Litter encourages more litter. Cleaning and de-cluttering might not always be enjoyable for some, but when you get started, you won’t have to work as hard to keep the area clean.
We mentioned above that only you know what level of cleanliness you can handle. If there are a couple papers on your desk, it’s not the end of the world. As long as the clutter is reasonable, you might be able to handle it.
By that, we mean that a counter top usually holds small appliances and the salt and pepper shakers. Coffee tables display a couple books and a vase of fresh flowers. The dresser could have a dish to hold change, keys, and jewelry. Only you can decide how much clutter is enough or too much.
The brain is full of hormones that govern our mood, concentration, emotions, level of activity, and more. Stress triggers — even the simplest ones like clutter — could have a negative impact to our well-being. Don’t let clutter get in the way of a good day. Get started with spring cleaning and enjoy beautiful days ahead.