Have you ever noticed that when your home is clean and tidy, your mind feels the same?
In fact, a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people with messy or cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol in their bodies – that’s the primary stress hormone in our bodies!
To mark World Mental Health Day, we’re explaining why this happens, and sharing some useful tips on how to maintain tidiness in your home when you least feel like cleaning.
Why does an untidy space make our brains feel cluttered?
An untidy space can really impact our mental health. A study even found that women who describe their living spaces as cluttered or full of unfinished projects are more likely to be fatigued and depressed, compared to women who describe their homes as restful and restorative.
This is because mess exposes our minds to excessive stimuli that causes our senses to work overtime, making it difficult to relax both physically and mentally.
Let’s face it, after coming home from a hard day’s work, cleaning up is the last thing we want to be doing.
However, researchers have found that a clean, litter-free environment can make people feel less irritable, less distracted, more productive, and better able to process information.
A great way to get started is to spend small amounts of time cleaning. You’d be surprised at how much you can get done in just 10 minutes, such as loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counters and taking out the rubbish bin. When you begin to clean your space, it will begin to minimise the stress you experience.
Sleep and mental health
36% of adults in the UK struggle to get to sleep at least once a week, with nearly half of the British population having trouble falling asleep once a month.
Cleaning your sheets regularly and getting into the habit of making your bed every morning are both associated with a better night’s sleep. Our lavender scented laundry liquid and fabric conditioner can also aid feelings of relaxation with its calming scent.
Wash up to reduce nervousness
Did you know that those who take the time to take in the fragrance of washing up liquid whilst doing the pots feel a 27% reduction in nervousness, along with a 25% improvement in ‘mental inspiration’? Believe us, it’s true! We recommend our pink grapefruit washing up liquid for a refreshingly zingy scent.
Exercise your endorphins
When exercising, endorphins are released which help to relieve pain and stress. Exercise can also activate positive emotions; improving your mood and helping you to relax. Believe it or not, the same happens when cleaning – leading to that wonderful sense of achievement when you’ve done a big clean! Like exercise, cleaning is beneficial for both your body and your mental health.
If you find it difficult to get started on a cleaning task, professional organising Ingrid Durosiova recommends taking it slow and in stages so not to feel overwhelmed.
Practising mindfulness is also a great way to improve mental health – read our guide to 20 minutes of mindfulness here.