- De-Clutter for a Healthy Home, Body, and Mind
- September 7th, 2011
De-Clutter for a Healthy Home, Body, and Mind
Cited from August 2011 Aussie Kids.
Scientists have confirmed that clutter is not bad for our physical well-being, but it can have a negative effect on our mental health, too.
While the bacteria attracted to unclean surfaces and neglected areas in our home can cause our physical health to suffer excessive hoarders are also subjecting their brains to stress and strain because of their clutter. In a study by Dr. David Tolin, founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Centre at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living in Connecticut, a group of obsessive hoarders were found to have increased activity in the section of the brain involved with cognitive processes such as decision-making.
Their brains were “stressed to the max,” according to Tolin and showed sighs of impairment. So how do you know if you clutter has got to the stage where it is having a detrimental effect on your health?
Some people are just naturally untidy. We all know someone who’s disorganized and who will never be any other way regardless of the amount of help – paid or otherwise –they receive. But there is perhaps a thin line between someone being messy and being so untidy that they are at risk of having the quality of their life reduced as a result of their clutter. For while some people have a sanguine attitude to their untidiness, others can easily slip into depression because a simple chore such as keeping the house clean seems to be completely beyond them.
According to the website of one company offering its services to help people live a clutter-free life, clutter is a problem if it causes an individual stress, creates tension between them and their family and friends, gets in the way of having people to visit or stay, or is a topic of conversation that often crops up. While the naturally untidy among us might never give a thought to clutter, there are those individuals who now that deep down inside the untidy personal they present to the world there is a tidy individual struggling to emerge.
There are the people for whom “clean the house” is one chore that is often added to their mental to-do list and , if it is not done, can nag away causing stress and anxiety This can become compounded if an individual is the type who sets themselves high standards; not cleaning the house will be seen as failing and the longer it goes one the worse the situation gets.
Some individuals’ attitude to clutter renders them at risk of alienating their friends and damaging their close relationships. These are the individuals who cannot de-clutter because their emotional attachment to certain objects prevents them from doing so Among this group are the obsessive hoarders.
Excessive cluttering can be symptomatic of a host of psychological disorders including grief and chronic pain. Some people develop irrational beliefs about objects and think that throwing an item away reflects on their feelings towards a person or their relationship with a certain individual.
For example, a man widowed for a number of years may regard setting rid of his late wife’s item as disrespectful; as though in doing so he is telling the world that he has ceased thinking about her or missing her. Or a woman may refuse to throw away her nephew’s old picture book that was inadvertently left at her house many years ago and for which her nephew has long grown out of wanting. And it is not only emotional attachment that stops some people disposing of certain objects; some individuals have problems throwing away items because they believe they will need them at some stage in the future.
It is fairly easy to live clutter-free if you are untidy and disorganized. You can employ someone to help you become tidy and organized, or rather you can employ someone to tidy and organize for you. De-cluttering is not so simple, though, if you are unable to throw away objects you feel emotionally attached to. However, if the situation has reached the stage where you believe your quality of life is impaired because of your resistance to let go of certain objects, then you need to take action.
Set yourself a date to throw away these items and prepare yourself. Ask friends and family for support, if you feel you need it. They will know how difficult it is for you to get rid of these item s and will be able to be there for you during the process. Retain one or tow items and incorporate them into your new-look de-cluttered living space. And remember that throwing away objects from your past enables you to make space in your life for future events and experiences.
De-clutter not only frees up your living space but also wipes “tidy house” from that mental to-do list that is constantly nagging away at you. Furthermore, you brain s also free for any of those all-important decision-making tasks.