At the start of spring, we often think of spring cleaning as a chore to accomplish, when the weather improves and there’s more daylight, who really wants to spend time inside cleaning. But could there be emotional and mental benefits to embracing spring cleaning?
Research supports that people who describe their home as “cluttered” are more likely to be depressed, experience difficulty getting restful sleep, and have a harder time focusing.
The physical act of cleaning is linked with decreased stress, anxiety, and depression. But by cleaning and decluttering you are also increasing your productivity. Depression can lead to a lack of motivation and setting small and achievable goals for productivity can help to decrease depression and increase motivation. If the idea of spring cleaning is overwhelming, consider breaking it down into small chunks, like 15 minutes per day.
Helps With Focus
Clutter can make it harder to focus, so spending time decluttering and organizing your space can help. Research supports that by decluttering you can free up more brain space for decision making and focus on more important things. So consider organizing your space.
Mindfulness is a well-known practice for reducing stress and anxiety. By approaching cleaning as a mindfulness activity, you can accomplish stress reduction and have a clean space at the same time. Start by being mindful, focusing your attention on the moment, noticing with your senses (sight, sound, smell, touch), and taking in the experience of cleaning. For example, if you’re washing the dishes, notice the sounds of the dishes, the smell of the dish soap, the feel of the water on your hands.
Contributes to Happiness
The act of cleaning can provide a sense of satisfaction. Researchers have found that vigorous cleaning can boost endorphins and provide a release for negative emotions and that spending time cleaning and tidying up your home can lead to happiness.
So if you’re looking to increase productivity, improve focus, practice mindfulness, or be happier, get out your cleaning supplies and embrace spring cleaning!
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Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Physical activity reduces stress.
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