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How Spring Cleaning Can Help Manage Stress- According to Psychologists

Yes, doing the dishes can take (some of) your anxiety

When you consider ways to alleviate stress and anxiety, what does one think of? Getting a massage? Taking a nap? Maybe exercise? Usually cleaning isn’t the primary thing that involves mind, but it seems that cleaning is truly very effective at reducing anxiety, and once we understand why, it makes lots of sense.

Over the last three months, i’ve got been coping with more-than-usual anxiety thanks toa private issue. My “normal” life which involves attending industry events, watching favorite TV shows, and socializing with friends is on hiatus while I solely juggle family responsibilities and work deadlines. And within the ultra-limited amount of free time that I’ve had nowadays, I’m not enjoying the stress-relieving activities that typically bring me a way of peace, like napping, getting a massage, or doing the warrior pose on the yoga mat. Instead, I’ve been cleaning my home and not because my place resembles a combat area, but because the act of cleaning actually makes me feel good.

The Psychology Behind Cleaning!!

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There’s some science behind the connection between cleaning and decreased anxiety, as well. alittle study published within the journal Mindfulness found that participants who engaged in mindfully washing the dishes — meaning they took an instant to inhale the scent of the soap and to permit their skin to soak upthe heat of the water — reported a 27% reduction in nervousness, together with a 25% improvement in “mental inspiration

Temporary anxiety can result in cleaning more meticulously, consistent with a 2015 study from University of Connecticut. Researchers theorized that folks gravitate toward repetitive behaviors (such as cleaning) during times of stress. Why? It’s all about control.

“We want to be ready to do something after we get anxious, and what we actually want is to be on top of things and take action,” says Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed healer and author of Hack Your Anxiety: a way to Make Anxiety Work for You, in Life, Love, and every onethat you just Do. “While there are times we’veto simply accept some situations in life, we don’tneed to accept an untidy home.”

She further explains that “healthy anxiety” (anxiety that’s not debilitating or stands within the way of one’s daily responsibilities) may be a normal emotion that may be beneficial. “It grabs our attention to the items we care about the foremost,” Dr. Clark continues. “It’s energy being generated without an outlet. Anxiety can cause plenty of angst and unsettled feelings, yet it’s purported to be motivating.

“In fact, she discusses the healing powers of cleaning along with her patients. “When we glance at our surroundings, we take it tired visually,” she says. “If we’re already managinglots in our mind and now we’re watchinglots [of dust or stuff] in our home or office space, it can make us feel stuck and over-involved.”

How Clutter Affects Your Brain!!

First of all, let’s picture a kitchen with dirty dishes within the sink and on the counter. How does that cause you to feel? It makes us feel a touchstressed just with the imaginary image in our head.

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Now picture a clean kitchen. The counters are clean. The sink is empty. How does that cause you to feel? We feel relieved and happy, especially compared to the primary image

In 2010, there was a study published within the “Personality and psychological science Bulletin” that showed a link between clutter and a risewithin the stress hormone, cortisol. Women who lived in cluttered homes had higher levels of cortisol than women who failed tosleep in cluttered homes.

Just living in clutter can cause stress. If we reduce or eliminate the clutter, our stress level goes down. That’s not the sole reason cleaning is effective at relieving stress though.

If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety from a piece, family, health or other situation, your brain wants to try and do something about it; to mend it. Sometimes there are things that we can’t fix, a minimum of not straight away. we’ve this built up extra energy from anxiety, and it can help to seek outhow to funnel that energy into something productive.

Cleaning gives you something to try and do, some way to burn off a number of that anxious energy. It also gives you a way of accomplishment. you are feelingsuch as you have control over something in your life (the clutter) which may lower anxiety levels.

Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed healer, says, “We want to be able to do something once we get anxious, and what we actually want is to be up to the mark and take action.” As far as why cleaning works to lower anxiety, she adds that “you’re taking control of something that you simply can, but you’re also making your environment more soothing.”

Have you noticed your stress levels decrease after you clean your home?