Clutter can cause stress and anxiety: clean up now
Ever felt like your head is about to explode whenever your house is in a mess? The kid's toys are lying everywhere, the furniture is in disarray, and a pile of dishes awaits you in the sink. At that point, you just want to scream!
Well, there's a scientific reason why you're feeling that way. No, you're not going crazy. Research shows that clutter can make you feel stressed and anxious. It can also get you angry. In short, mess and clutter have an overall negative impact on your well-being.
How clutter is linked to stress and anxiety
Almost everything about how we feel boils down to perception and brain signaling. When you see your cluttered home or workplace, a signal is sent to your brain that work isn't yet done. You become anxious as you're overwhelmed with so many things to do to put things in order.
Here are reasons why clutter leads to stress:
- Clutter puts your mind into overdrive, causing your senses to focus on what isn't important, leading to stress
- A messy environment draws your attention from where it ought to be
- Clutter continually tells your brain that work isn't finished (you have to clean up!)
- You find it hard to relax physically and mentally in a messy environment
- Clutter causes anxiety because you are never sure how much work is needed to get things organized again from scratch.
- Clutter makes you feel embarrassed and guilty
- Clutter reduces productivity as it is difficult to think clearly amid the mess.
- Clutter makes it difficult to reach what you need quickly, like searching for a particular document among a pile of old paperwork.
Why it matters
Of course, you can solve this stressor by simply organizing your space again. You feel the anxiety and stress fade away. So you can't exactly characterize this as a psychiatric disorder. Still, it affects your mental health.
But here's the big challenge: if you have a habit of leaving your environment unkempt and disorganized, you are likely to experience stress and anxiety that is hard to explain yet difficult to put away.
That's because your home or workplace is always in a mess. So the signal is continually sent to your brain.
Declutter to beat anxiety
Unlike most other stressors and anxiety triggers, clutter is a pretty easy stressor to fix. All you need to do is declutter and keep your place organized. But if it were that easy all this while, wouldn't you have always kept your place organized?
If finding time to clean up and organize your space is a challenge, get help. You don't have to do it alone. Get your family or colleagues involved, and you'll see how much your overall well-being may improve. Less stress, anxiety, and anger.