How Decluttering Your Life Improves Mental Health
Most people have a bit of clutter in their lives, and it usually takes the form of the designated chair, piled high with abandoned clothes. Or maybe it’s the inbox with hundreds and hundreds of unread emails? The closet filled to the brim with random impulse purchases and gifts you no longer want? Although when someone says “clutter” we may immediately think of the Hoarder’s TV show, clutter is simply too many things in a too small space.
In an article for House Beautiful, The Association of Professional Declutters & Organizers said, “It’s not easy to relax at the end of the day in a cluttered home because signals are being sent to the brain that there are a million things to do. Also clutter distracts and steals the focus away from what is most important. There is evidence to suggest being surrounded by clutter and disorder negatively affects the brain and causes stress. It also causes ‘scattered thoughts’ and an inability to focus and concentrate.”
With spring comes renewal, so consider this change of season a perfect opportunity to declutter your life!
Benefits of Decluttering Your Life
A study conducted by the University of California found that cortisol, the stress hormone, was higher in individuals who lives in homes with self-described “clutter” and “unfinished projects.” Too high cortisol can cause a host of other issues, like fatigue or potentially contribute to depression.
Since your stress will be reduced (and your cortisol level will be lower), you should naturally sleep better. In addition, if you’re the kind of person who makes their bed every morning, you may even enjoy longer, more restful slumbers! If possible, try to keep your phone off, muted, or even in another room to prevent any middle-of-the-night alerts or the anxious feeling that your phone needs to be checked at 2AM when you wake up to use the restroom.
Multiple studies have found a connection between cluttered living spaces and poor food choices. Although clutter may be usually in the bedroom and popular living spaces, it’s also important to maintain an organized kitchen!
The Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that by decluttering, individuals are able to focus more, and therefore, get more accomplished (and more efficiently).
Leading a Healthier Life
Decluttering your living space and life will help reduce the risk of depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and kidney disease (most of which are caused by high levels of stress).
Deepen Your Relationships
A clutter-free, welcoming space will help get rid of any previous embarrassment you had about inviting friends and family over. It can also deepen intimate relationships by removing any tension and barriers between couples, says this article by Shape.
It all starts with a single step in the right direction. Whether it’s unsubscribing from some of the magazines and stores that send you emails once a day or cleaning off that one chair, any move in the decluttering direction will automatically reward you with any number of the benefits mentioned above.
If you’re feeling stuck, need a little extra motivation, or simply need direction on what to do first, call Family First Therapy today.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to help you