Your life is probably really good. You have a ton of stuff in your house that you don’t need, but you know what? All this stuff will probably make you less healthy.
The reason? It can lead to stress, a common disrupter when it comes to getting healthy.
This is also shown in several studies. Researchers analyzed the response of test subjects to their surroundings and found out that being in a cluttered environment raises cortisol (your stress hormone) levels.
There is a saying that your home somehow reflects your inner state of mind. This is because we often unconsciously create our environment after the way we feel. Although I didn’t find any scientific proof on this, it somehow makes sense.
Living in a cluttered home will lead to stress. It will eat up your energy and your focus for the most important things will decrease.
One of the best situations that often occur, to show this process, is looking for something and you can’t find it. This causes you to stress. Often it’s something you need and these things always happen in situations when you don’t have time to start a major search.
The tendency of these things happening increases of course, when your home is cluttered.
Another interesting question is how we get all this clutter. Usually, it’s because most of our existence is driven by consumption. We’re buying stuff because marketers tell us that we need it and will be happier.
This is closely related to the concept of instant gratification. We think that we will feel better with our new item, but after a while, the excitement vanishes and leaves us with more clutter. Instant gratification has become a major part of our society, whether it’s in social media or buying useless stuff. Our lives have become too fast.
Here are a few tips on how to start decluttering:
- start small. Start with one pile of paper or one drawer.
- Think about the things. Do you really need them? When was the last time you used them.
- If you have an emotional connection to the item, think about if the feelings you have will vanish if you throw it away. Will the experiences be deleted? If not, you can throw it away but keep the memories.
- If you achieved a milestone, treat yourself to something small, if you want to get something. Otherwise, treat yourself to a nice experience, a massage for example.
If you decide to donate some of the things you want to get rid of, there might be an additional positive effect. Not only will you free up your space and your head, you will also help other people in need.
Helping or giving to others can be very healthy for you, but of course, it should come from within. Researchers found out that giving to other people or helping others in the community lead to lower blood pressure, lower stress levels and even a longer life.
Giving also releases some the “good chemicals” (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins. etc) in your body, which makes your feel good and makes you healthier.Declutter your home and donate some of your old stuff. It will make you healthier and happier.
Steps to take:
- Start to declutter. As mentioned above: start small.
- Donate some of the stuff you decluttered that is still in good shape.