Although sometimes just the thought of picking up a broom or plugging in the vacuum can make me nauseous, other times I feel that scrubbing a few pans or folding laundry is a real stress-reliever. And there’s always the satisfying feeling afterward of seeing the home neat and tidy.
So what is it about cleaning that, even while being laborious, often offers a soothing effect on stress and anxiety? Actually, there are many reasons why this may be the case.
1. Tidy Home, Tidy Mind
Your environment largely affects your mood, for good or for bad. Research shows that people with cluttered homes often feel anxious or depressed. But that almost goes without saying! I mean, how many people do you know that are excited to come home to a messy, smelly living situation? The cleaner your house, the more your mind can be at ease. And that satisfaction of living in a clean environment is what gives cleaning a calming effect. (1)
2. Nature Calls
The psychology behind the soothing effects of cleaning goes way back before swiffers and roombas. It’s in your nature. The human brain likes to be in control whenever possible. And when that control is taken away—due to the chaos of a messy room—we may experience a certain level of anxiety. Keeping the home in order is just another way of staying in control of the world around you. (2)
3. Cleaning Is Constant
Yes, there is the downside to constant cleaning, which is the fact that no matter how many times you do it, you will always need to do it again. But this also means that cleaning becomes a sort of ritual, and that can actually be extremely soothing. While your body goes through the repeated motions of scrubbing a pan or washing a window, your brain has some peaceful time to think and process. Even a small amount of cleaning during your day can do wonders for your mood.
4. A Sense Of Safety
Chaotic and disorganized environments tend to make people feel uncomfortable on on edge. The cleaner your home, the safer and more at ease you can feel. That’s right, cleanliness can literally help chase away your anxiety! So in a way, even if it’s at the back of your mind, you understand that the more you clean, the better you will feel. (3)
5. Pristine Personality
We gotta be honest. No matter how positive and necessary it can be, some people just hate cleaning with a burning passion. That’s probably because it has a lot to do with personality. If you tend to have a spontaneous or laid back attitude, maybe cleaning isn’t your cup of tea. But for those people who are more detail-oriented and conscientious, chances are keeping things clean is one of your favorite pastimes.
Cleansing In More Ways Than One!
Keeping your home clean is about more than just impressing your neighbors, it’s about your mental health! So whether you’re one of those people blessed with a love of cleaning or not, remember that taking time each day to tidy up a thing or two really works wonders on your anxiety. And cleansing your mood along with your home just might be worth it!