Psychiatry Associates Blog

How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health

clutterDo you have piles of dishes and laundry awaiting your attention? Are stacks of mail waiting to be sorted and clutter overtaking the surfaces of your home? It isn't uncommon. While it can be easy to feel as though everyone else has the hang of keeping an organized space, the truth is that most people have unfinished projects around their home or office. However, when these projects begin to stack up, despair can eventually take over. How could you possibly ever take care of them all? The more overwhelming they become, the more likely you are to continue putting them off, allowing more to be added to the list and exacerbating your stress.

Studies have shown that living and working in a disorganized space can have negative consequences both mentally and physically. As daunting as it may seem, tackling your organizational tasks can allow you to reap some major benefits, including the following.

Reduced Feelings of Anxiety or Depression

Research has indicated that having large, unfinished projects such as cleaning and organizing looming ahead can increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. By tackling those projects now, you can begin to reduce those hormone levels and feel accomplished.

Motivation to be Physically Active

Setting goals, like cleaning out a junk drawer, and sticking to them in other areas of your life can help you do the same when it comes to the gym. As you continue to achieve your goals, no matter how small, you will find that the motivation to accomplish other tasks comes a bit easier. As a bonus, the more physically active you are, the more energy you will have to keep the cycle going!

Boosts in Productivity

Being surrounded by clutter can be a major distraction, particularly when you are trying to focus on work. Surrounding yourself with a clean and organized workspace will free your mind from the tasks lurking around you and allow you to focus all of your mental energy onto what really matters.

Improved Sleep

Out of sight does not always equate to out of mind. If you know you are procrastinating on something that needs to be done, it will continue to lurk at the back of your thoughts and can inhibit relaxation and sleep. Likewise, studies have shown that we all tend to rest better when we are able to climb into a bed that has been made and with bedding that has been freshly cleaned.

If you frequently feel the effects of anxiety or depression, organizing your home and office may just help brighten your mood and give you a much-needed sense of accomplishment. Of course, successful treatment of such mood disorders most often comes from a combination of therapies that include not only lifestyle changes, but the help of a medical professional as well. A psychiatrist can provide you with the tools you need to address anxiety or depression, including therapy and prescription medication when necessary. To speak with a board-certified psychiatrist in the Baton Rouge area, contact Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge by clicking below.

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