cleaning clutter can cut your stress level

How cleaning clutter can cut your stress level


Decreasing our overall stress level not only makes us feel better, but it helps our physical health as well. Under less stress, we are less likely to get sick. However, cutting our stress level is often easier said than done.

Here is one-way to decrease your stress level.  And it is one of the easier life stressors to fix—clean up the clutter in your home.

Clutter increases stress hormone

Psychologist Joseph Ferrari, of DePaul University (Chicago) is an international expert on clutter and procrastination. He defines clutter as “an overabundance of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces”.

His studies (and others) show that people who live in cluttered homes also live with a higher level of stress, with higher cortisol levels than people who live in more orderly spaces. Cortisol is a hormonal marker of stress. Higher cortisol levels make you susceptible to a wide range of physical and mental disorders, starting with an impaired ability to think clearly.

Why clutter increases stress

  • Clutter makes it harder to find what we need, as we have to sort through all the unnecessary stuff
  • Clutter constantly reminds us that our work is never done
  • Clutter generates guilt, especially when guests show up unexpectantly
  • Clutter bombards our minds with excessive visual stimulation that isn’t necessary or important, and takes our attention away from what we should focus on
  • Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity

How to cut the clutter

  • Do it with a friend or family member

We are often over-attached to some of our personal items, which makes it difficult to get rid of them. Dr. Ferrari suggests “If you’re going to declutter, don’t touch the item. Don’t pick it up. Have somebody else hold the pair of black pants and say, ‘Do you need this?’ Once you touch the item, you are less likely to get rid of it.”

  • Do it in stages

Start with one room or one section and then move to the next. You will feel you accomplished success as you finish each area.

  • What to get rid of

“If you don’t use it, don’t want it, or don’t need it, get rid of it. You can toss it, recycle it, or donate it (one person’s trash is another person’s treasure), but don’t keep it.”

  • Make it as fun as possible

Do whatever makes you more energized. Turn on your favorite music, turn on a fan or the air conditioner, reward yourself at the end with a favorite food.

  • Try to prevent more clutter

When shopping, think if you really need this item or if it will just add to your clutter at home. Once something is in your house, it’s harder to get rid of.

While cleaning clutter may not be fun, you will feel better and your mind lighter when it is done. You will be better able to focus on what is more important and meaningful.

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See also in ProcuraMed:

Can too much stress make us fat?

Turmeric may help post-traumatic stress syndrome

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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