We all have those days in which we feel like things are at their worse. Whether work has become more stressful, the weather is dreary, or we simply aren’t feeling our best, it’s completely natural. In fact, it’s expected. No one can feel great 100% of the time, and that’s okay. All the same, when you are feeling less than fantastic, there are things you can do then and there to make yourself feel better. And no, we aren’t talking about soaking in a bath or eating sweets or even doing retail therapy. We’re talking about cleaning. It might seem rather irrational – why would doing chores improve your mood? It turns out that it does! According to multiple studies, cleaning and decluttering can do wonders for one’s mental health and overall mood. In fact, the University of California specifically gathered thirty couples for a study on stress hormones. Those who said their house was messy or chaotic showed higher levels of cortisol – a steroid hormone that’s produced in response to stress. Evidence has been found that decluttering can reduce cortisol levels. On top of that, house cleanliness has been linked to physical benefits as well.
A Sense of Control
Cleaning gives people a sense of control over their environment. Seeing as life is full of uncertainty and situations that are out of our hands, whatever we can control means a great deal to us – cleaning included. This is especially true since our home is our main environment, making it all the more important to our mental health. Additionally, clutter can be visually distracting and serve as a reminder of chores that haven’t been done. In other words, when you feel that sudden urge to clean when you’re stressed, there is a real reason behind it. As a matter of fact, temporary anxiety can lead to more meticulous cleaning. During times of stress, people gravitate toward repetitive behaviors like cleaning. Again, it’s all about control. When a person is anxious, they want to be in control and take action.
Cleaning Produces Endorphins
You’ve probably heard all about how exercising produces endorphins which help alleviate your mood. Well, the same is true for cleaning the house. Any housekeeping chores can do this. Of course, producing endorphins is fantastic for your mental and physical health. Endorphins help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. As a result, you’ll feel less tired, your moods will be more stable, you’ll sleep better, and even have better self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise like scrubbing or mopping can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Not to mention, vigorous cleaning like scrubbing floors is a terrific outlet for negative emotions while still burning energy and occupying your mind with the task at hand.
Better Smells Make People Happy
Another perk of a clean home is the smell. Yes, it really is that simple. The way your home smells can have a significant effect on your mood. Certain scents can make you feel happier, more energized, motivated, and refreshed. So, when you buy cleaning supplies next time, make sure to smell them first and see which you like best – it will make a difference.
Oftentimes, your mental and emotional health shows itself in your daily tasks and routines. This is especially true when it comes to the place you spend most of your time, whether it’s your home or the office. For this reason, your surroundings greatly affect your ability to focus throughout the day. In other words, clutter will definitely distract you and stress you out. The next time you’re feeling stressed, it might just stem from a messy environment, so it’s best to do some cleaning when it comes to that. You’ll be feeling better in no time!