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Have you ever noticed how good you feel after cleaning your living space? There’s something about having a tidy home that can make us feel happier and more relaxed. But did you know that cleaning can also have actual, measurable benefits for our mental health? From reducing stress and anxiety to promoting better sleep, there are many ways that cleaning can make us feel happier and more balanced. In this blog post, we’ll explore the connection between cleaning and mental health, and give you tips on how to incorporate cleaning into your self-care routine for maximum benefits. So grab your cleaning supplies and let’s get started!
The connection between cleaning and happiness
In case the fact that there is a best-selling book all about the magic of cleaning up isn’t enough to convince you that cleaning can make you happier, I’ll drop some knowledge on you.
The Clorox study found that someone’s level of empathy increases by nine percent if he or she lives in a clean home and that number goes up to 12 percent if they are the person that cleaned.
Being in a clean home makes 80 percent of people feel more relaxed, 60 percent feel less stressed, and 72 percent more productive. Don’t we all want to be more relaxed, less stressed, and more productive?
Also the more people clean, the happier they are. The likelihood that someone is happier than average increases by 53 percent for every additional hour that they clean in a week. Say what!?!
Cleaning reduces stress and anxiety
When you’re surrounded by clutter and mess, it can create a sense of chaos and overwhelm that contributes to stress and anxiety. But studies have shown that having a clean and organized living space can have the opposite effect, helping to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
One study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished had higher levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. Another study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that people who lived in cluttered homes had more difficulty focusing and processing information.
So how can you reduce clutter and create a more calming living space? Start by getting rid of items that you don’t use or need. Donate old clothes, books, and household items that are taking up space but not adding value to your life. Once you’ve cleared out some of the excess, focus on finding a place for everything you want to keep. Use storage containers, shelves, and other organizational tools to create designated spaces for your belongings. You’ll be amazed at how much more peaceful and relaxed you’ll feel in a clutter-free environment.
Cleaning promotes mindfulness
When you think of mindfulness, you might picture someone sitting cross-legged and meditating quietly. But in reality, mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways, including while cleaning. Focusing on the task at hand and being fully present in the moment can turn cleaning into a meditative experience that promotes relaxation and mental clarity.
So how can we practice mindfulness while cleaning? Start by turning off any distractions, like music or TV, and focusing solely on the task at hand. Pay attention to the sensory experience of cleaning: the smell of the cleaning products, the feeling of the surfaces under your hands, and the sound of the scrubbing or sweeping. Use your breath as an anchor to bring yourself back to the present moment if your mind starts to wander. And finally, try to approach the task with a sense of curiosity and non-judgment, letting go of any preconceived ideas about how the cleaning “should” be done.
Tips on incorporating cleaning into your self-care routine
- Schedule cleaning time: Just like you schedule time for exercise or other self-care activities, block off time in your schedule specifically for cleaning. This will help you prioritize it and make sure it gets done.
- Make it enjoyable: Find ways to make cleaning more enjoyable, whether it’s by playing your favorite music, using scented cleaning products, or incorporating mindfulness techniques.
- Get creative: Look for ways to make cleaning feel more like a creative outlet than a chore. Experiment with different cleaning techniques, try new organizational tools, or find ways to personalize your living space.
- Make it a family affair: Get your family or roommates involved in the cleaning process. Not only will it get the job done faster, but it can also be a bonding experience.
- Take breaks: Cleaning can be physically and mentally taxing, so it’s important to take breaks when you need them. Stretch, drink water, or just take a few minutes to rest and recharge.
- Celebrate your successes: Don’t underestimate the power of celebrating your cleaning successes, no matter how small. Take a moment to appreciate your clean and organized space and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Put it into practice today
You can put this into practice today. Start by cleaning something. Anything. Make your bed. Wash the dishes. Clean your bathroom or clean the mess in your car(that includes behind the car seat). If you’re struggling with picking what to clean, start with a small mess that is bothering you. If you feel inclined, move to the next small mess.