Updated: Jan 6
Having a clean home may be more than just an eye-appealing appearance, more importantly, there are so many health benefits that can affect your overall well-being!
Do you ever feel pressure or a constant urge that you have to try to keep your house clean? If I asked you why, what would be your reason for feeling that way? If someone asked me, I would probably say "because it makes me feel better." That's always been my surface-level answer, but after diving a little bit deeper into understanding WHY I feel better has been a huge motivator for me to keep my house tidy. Here are 5 health benefits you should consider before putting cleaning your house at the bottom of your to-do list.
1. Reduces Stress (more than you would think!)
First off, what really is stress? Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand which presents itself in emotional or physical tension. Stress in small amounts can be healthy and help push us forward in our lives, but too much stress can derail our body's natural functions. Try to remember the basic science -- our bodies produce the hormone, cortisol, when faced with threats, stressful situations or even just perceived stressful situations (in our case, carrying around the weight of knowing our home is dirty). Unhealthy levels of cortisol production can alter the the immune system's responses and suppresses the digestive system, reproductive system, and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with the brain regions that control mood, motivation and fear.
Now, more than ever, we are needing our immune systems to be in tip-top shape, so it is essential that we strive to manage our stress levels (remember-- cortisol production!) for optimal health and a happy mood.
2. Boosts Productivity & Focus
The craziness of 2020 has directly impacted how and where we work. Many of us are working from home and trying to figure out how to be productive and adapt our work routine to fit an at-home lifestyle. If you maintain a clean home, you will find transition will go a lot smoother and you won't feel bogged down with feeling less productive.
A study found that clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. Specifically, they found that the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently. If you maintain a clean home (not just your desk!), then your ability to "get in the zone" or have "laser-focus" will be noticeably abundant in your work day.
3. Builds Social Confidence
Although right now isn't the ideal time to have people over, you will find that engaging in simple social activities will be easier and more enjoyable. Let's talk about Zoom meetings/socials-- whether it be with co-workers, family or friends, you should feel comfortable having that camera on. I have found myself several times trying to find the cleanest spot in my house or trying hurry and straighten up what's showing in the background so many times (stressful!). Caving in to embarrassment, I eventually just chose to edit in a background behind me or just display a thumbnail of my name. Not cool. That should be the least of my worries when having the opportunity to socialize.
I am a huge believer that a healthy lifestyle, beginning with a clean home, can be a game-changer in growing confidence & finding motivation.
4. Improves your Eating & Exercise Habits
It turns out that people with the cleanest homes are the most active! Clutter and home messes cause people to lose motivation (often due to an overload of stress) leading to choosing to sit down in front of the TV instead of go for a walk or hit the gym. The lack of motivation in movement is often directly correlated with the lack of desire to maintain healthy eating habits. This creates a never-ending cycle of hopelessness and lack of motivation.
When you have a clean home, you will feel more motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and invest your time in yourself. Having a clean home can be the biggest form of self-care!
5. Promotes Restful Sleep
We all know the benefits of getting a good night's sleep, but trying to sleep in a messy room can actually prevent you from reaping those benefits. Since humans are energetic beings, the more energy that freely circulates around us, the easier it is for us to rejuvenate with deep, restful sleep.
A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that a whopping 75 percent of participants reported a better night's sleep when their sheets and bedding were both clean and nicely made. They concluded that going to sleep in an orderly room (especially if your bed is made) will enhance comfort and signal relaxation. This comfort releases serotonin, the neurotransmitter that aids in peaceful sleep.