Declutter for Better Mental Health

Don't Agonise, Organise

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Are you constantly late or unprepared, often stressed and find yourself moving in all directions in order to get things done? Do you struggle to find items when you need them? Disorganisation can come from having lots of physical and mental clutter in their lives, whether they are attachments, fears, old letters or clothes.

By decluttering your mind and physical space, you can increase your focus and free your mind to get things done and enjoy life along the way

Related: Positive Mental Wellbeing — The Foundation for a Flourishing Life

What is Clutter?

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Clutter is anything that we don’t need or use that saps our time, energy and space. Most importantly, it prevents us from doing what is most important to us. It can be something physical like books and clothes, but clutter can also be mental and emotional.

Related: Signs You're Too Stressed Out

Why Declutter?

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Have you ever noticed how much clearer and focused your mind is when it is not cluttered? A cluttered mind is restless and unfocused. It can mean your vision is clouded, as your mind is moving in different directions at once, adding to your stress level when very little gets done.

What about that jumble of excess stuff around you? Research[1] has shown that physical clutter affects our brain’s ability to concentrate and process information. Neuroscientists at Princeton University found that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress[1].

A study[2] by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) explored the relationship between 32 families and the thousands of objects in their homes and concluded that clutter has a strong effect on mood and self-esteem. The study found that the amount of stress the families experienced at home was directly proportional to the amount of stuff they possessed.

In the end, decluttering is the first step to creating more open space both physically and in your mind — enabling your mind to sharpen, focus better and lead to you taking better care of other aspects of life. For some, decluttering has spillover effects, resulting in weight loss, stopping bad habits, and getting out of toxic jobs and relationships. What are you waiting for? Take these positive steps towards filling your life with meaning and possibility!

This article is part 1 of a 3-part series. Continue reading parts 2 and 3 here:


Read these next:

  1. 10 Easy Ways to Manage Stress
  2. Disconnect to Reconnect — Why a Social Media Detox Might Be Good for You
  3. Stress Relxation Techniques

References

  1. McMains S, Kastner S. (2011). Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex.The Journal Of Neuroscience, 31(2), pp.587-597.
  2. Arnold, J.E., Graesch, A.P., Ragazzini, E., Ochs, E. (2012, July).Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors. Los Angeles, CA: The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.