We know that clutter can weigh us down.
We know that clutter can distract us.
But did you ever think that clutter might be making you sick, or that it could be preventing you from healing?
I knew stress made me feel sick and contributed to feeling rundown and overwhelmed, not to mention to MS relapses and symptoms, but I never thought my clutter was stressful, until I took a closer look.
- My clutter was a constant reminder of my debt and discontent. That’s stressful.
- Walking into a cluttered home at the end of a stressful work day made me even more stressed.
- Managing my clutter; organizing, cleaning, and worrying about my stuff was stressful.
- Dealing with the emotions about the clutter was very stressful.
All that stress was in the way of my healing and overall well-being.
Clutter might be making you sick physically and/or mentally. Motherly’s Article, It’s Science: Clutter Can Actually Give You Anxiety explains the science of cortisol: “
Ok, so what does that really mean? How does the stress from clutter make us sick?
- Disrupted sleep
- Increase in blood pressure, blood sugars and heart rate
- Decreased immune function
- Depression and/or Anxiety or both
Even when the stress of clutter isn’t the cause of these things, it still contributes to them. For a deep dive on the science of stress, go here.
There is good news though! Decluttering can help.She says, “
Fundamentally, we know how to declutter, but approaching it as a challenge or experiment removes some of the stress around letting go or starting something new.
Here are three decluttering challenges to consider:
- 21-Day Decluttering Challenge
- Anti-procrastination Decluttering Challenge
- The Decluttering Burst (let go of 100 items in less than an hour)
It takes more than decluttering to combat chronic stress, but it’s a strong start. Every positive change you make and every step taken towards a healthier life will provide confidence and momentum to make the next change.
Other things that have helped me eliminate chronic stress include, creating a morning routine, moving my body regularly and meditation.
Does this mean I am perfectly healthy all the time? No. While living a simpler life with less stress can add more health, wealth and happiness to our lives, it can’t prevent every mess. Invite simplicity in to improve your life, not to perfect it. Even the messes have something to offer.
If clutter is making you sick (or even if it’s not) …
Even if you are as healthy as you want to be, ask yourself how clutter is contributing to your life. Is it weighing you down or adding value to your life? Does it make you happy or frustrated? What purpose is it serving? Are you holding on because you want to or because letting go is hard?
If you discover that your clutter is stressful and that clutter might be making you sick, prioritize your mental and physical health and let go.