If you’re feeling down, take a look around you. Your space can impact your mood and increase symptoms of mental health conditions.
Here are five ways an unorganized, cluttered home can impact your mental state and some ways you can make improvements.
It Can Increase Anxiety
Having a disorganized or cluttered home can increase anxiety.
Your mind can be chaotic when you’re surrounded by clutter, making you stress over the little things. This can increase anxiety symptoms.
It Makes It Harder to Focus
Staying focused on a single task is hard when there are too many things to get done, especially if clutter is in your eyesight.
Focusing on important tasks can be challenging when several things compete for your attention. Focus wanes in the presence of disorganization. This is especially true for those who live with conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
It Creates Physical Stress
The more clutter in your home, the more you risk having physical stress. Stressors include dust and dander that can collect on knickknacks and tripping on misplaced items. These things affect you physically, and that discomfort can snowball into mental stress.
Research shows that your mental state suffers when you don’t feel your best, increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It Can Lead to Isolation
An organized home makes it easy to invite guests and enjoy time together. If it’s messy, you might feel embarrassed and be less likely to have people over. This can lead to feelings of isolation and subsequent depression.
If you frequently visit loved ones’ homes but never host yourself, you might feel guilty and stop going out, leading to loneliness.
It Can Cause Memory Loss
Research shows that people have horrible working memories when living in cluttered homes.
Clutter overloads your brain, hindering its ability to keep track of details. You can only process so much information at once. When overwhelmed, you can’t remember vital details.
Ways to Improve Your Space
There are ways to improve clutter and your mental health. Here are some easy ways to start feeling better:
Start With a Small Section
The prospect of cleaning a chaotic living space is daunting. If you start small, you’ll have a clean house before you know it. Divide your home into sections. It doesn’t even have to be by room — you can start with a corner. Each day, clear clutter from an area, throw away things you don’t want and organize what you do. Ensure that you don’t refill the cleared spaces as you remove items. It’ll surprise you how quickly you start feeling better.
Incorporate Nature Into Your Home
The art of feng shui has been practiced for more than 3,000 years and incorporates elements of nature, like earth and wood.
Adding things to your home might seem to defeat the purpose of cleaning it out, but there are many benefits to bringing a few houseplants to your living space. Research shows that being around greenery and other natural elements can boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression, including the loss of motivation to keep an organized home.
You can incorporate aromatherapy in your home to relax and start feeling better.
Lavender, eucalyptus and other scents can help you de-stress, while citrus and peppermint can help energize you. You can incorporate these aromas naturally or use a diffuser.
Reversing a Negative Mental State
Your home should be a sanctuary, not a place you feel overwhelmed or ashamed about. You can start feeling better by knowing how clutter impacts you and taking small steps to reverse it.
Photo by Patrick Perkins.