A tidy home is a tidy mind, we've all heard it right? This World Mental Health Day we wanted to find out if that's really true by exploring the links between cleaning and mental health.
I've long praised the joys of cleaning, and often describe it as my therapy, so I was delighted to discover there is actually some science to back it up. For instance, in 2014 the journal Mindfulness found that participants who took part in ‘mindfully’ washing the dishes reported a 27% reduction in nervousness, along with a 25% improvement in ‘mental inspiration’. And a study published in "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin," found that people who described their living spaces as cluttered were more likely to be depressed than people who described their homes as restful. Researchers also found that those with messy homes had higher levels of cortisol - the stress hormone.
So, how can cleaning improve your mental health?
🧼 It improves your focus
Clutter is distracting. Being surrounded by dirty dishes, piles of paperwork and unfolded laundry takes our minds off the task at hand by acting as visual cues for jobs we've been procrastinating. By decluttering our homes (& workplaces for most of us too) we can improve our focus, and basically just get things done.
🧼 It releases endorphins
Whether you take it slow, or boogie with your broom, cleaning is a great form of meditation and exercise, giving us all that much needed endorphin boost - the happy hormone. Not forgetting, that satisfying feeling when you sit back with a cup of tea and admire your handy work.
🧼 It lifts your mood
Our sense of smell is directly linked to our limbic system - the emotional centre of the brain, so it's no surprise a great smelling home can directly affect how we feel. Citrus scents help to energise, peppermint helps to stimulate and pine helps to calm. All of these can be found in cleen favourites - and totally toxic-free.
🧼 It helps you sleep
It's no secret that a boost in mental wellbeing can help you sleep, but did you know making your bed everyday helps too? So get those pillows plumped and enjoy a restful night's sleep.