More Mess Means More Stress: How Clutter Affects Your Brain
It might not feel like it, but Spring is almost here. We’re all longing for those first signs of spring – those visible signs of change. Spring is a season of change. New leaves. New flowers. New baby animals. It’s a fresh start, which is why many of us choose this time of year to dive headfirst into "spring cleaning."
You might be surprised, but spring cleaning could be a great choice for your brain health. Why? Clutter can affect your brain. More mess means more stress. Clutter can affect your ability to focus, your sleep, and your anxiety level. It also triggers coping strategies that make you more likely to grab junk food. That mess may even make you less productive.
Clutter – Why It’s So Bad for Your Brain
Stacks of mail, bursting closets, and disorganized drawers may seem harmless. But clutter and disorganization can have a cumulative effect on your brain. Your brain actually likes organization. When it constantly sees disorganization, it can drain your brain and make it harder for you to focus. Just seeing clutter distracts your brain enough to potentially reduce your working memory.
Researchers have looked closely at the effects of clutter. They found that clearing away clutter at work and at home improved focus. It also increased productivity and made it easier for the brain to process information.
It's Not Good for Mental and Physical Health Either
Clutter has negative effects on your mental and physical health, too. It can leave you feeling anxious, stressed, or even depressed. Studies have shown that cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are higher in people who have a cluttered home. Chronic clutter can leave your body constantly in a low-grade fight-or-flight mode, which is taxing on your body and mind.
Another bad thing – clutter is linked to poor eating habits. A messy environment can make you indulge in more unhealthy snacks. And the wrong foods have a negative impact on brain health and your overall health.
Research shows that cluttered home and work environments take a toll on your brain, your mental well-being, and your overall health. If you were thinking of skipping the spring cleaning this year, think again! Do it for your brain!
Tune in next week, and we’ll dive into some helpful tips to help you eliminate that clutter for your brain health. Don’t miss it.