Living a Healthy Lifestyle involves all areas of our lives. There is actually an intricate relationship between our health and our environments and visa versa. Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes the importance of deep cleaning and organizing ones environment for greater health and happiness.
The spring and fall seasons are the best times for releasing and letting go on all levels. We can gently detoxify our bodies, minds, and spirits, as well as our environments. This prepares us for the new growth that comes with this energetic and vibrant season of Spring. Fall cleaning helps us to clear summer debris, get organized and prepared for more hours spent inside, not to mention the upcoming holidays!
When we release our excess baggage it allows us to create spaciousness, energy, and inspiration on all levels. In turn this helps our healing potential to increase. Our physical spaces are filled with dozens of minor distractions, such as stacks of unread books, messy drawers, scuff marks on the wall, and closets filled with unused items. For most of us, these things are just annoying, generally insignificant and easily ignored. Rarely do we recognize them for what they really are – potent threats to our productivity, energy, concentration, pocketbook and peace of mind.
THE EFFECTS OF CLUTTER
We are all products of our environments, and vice versa, since the environments we create reflects and affects our physical, mental, and emotional health. When life becomes messy or disorderly, our physical as well as mental/emotional health can also get muddled and we become less energetic and less efficient.
Some of the physical health consequences are:
- Allergies and asthma worsened from dust, mold, and animal dander
- Feelings of ‘suffocating,’ or ‘I can’t breathe’ when seeing too much clutter
- Multiple studies show that when people describe their lives as messy, disorganized, or inefficient, they can experience symptoms of bloating, congestion, inflammation, and poor digestion.
- If left untreated, these symptoms can progress to more serious health conditions. According to Peter Walsh, who wrote Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, clutter may even be making you fat. He noticed an association between the amount of clutter people have and their excess weight. The common denominator is “a life of consumption — too much stuff, too much to eat.’’
- Just sitting in a cluttered room can create stress, as the clutter provides a great deal of information for the eyes to process.
Some of the mental consequences are:
- Your mind becomes overwhelmed and your senses go into overdrive to process your surroundings.
- It creates chronic restlessness because your mind constantly short-circuits giving you the feeling your work will never be “done.”
- It causes distraction. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, you might even find yourself weighed down with feelings of guilt about your home not looking the way it “should.”
- Clutter causes wasted time, money and frustration. When your home isn’t in order, you might find yourself more frustrated when you can’t find simple, everyday items crucial to your well-being, like glasses or keys.
- Clutter or disorganization constantly demands your attention draining your energy, decreasing productivity and task performance. This increases your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. As we have all been repeatedly told, long-term stress contributes to many chronic illnesses. Some of the most common conditions aggravated by chronic stress include:
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Autoimmune diseases
Some of the Emotional consequences are:
- When overwhelmed with “memory” clutter we may have an undue preoccupation with things in the past and can become depressed.
- Some people become anxious because they can’t toss out items. They are worrying they might need those items someday.
- Others may so feel overwhelmed by their physical clutter or disorganization they to go into a state of resignation. This happens when you have a sense that you can’t control the little things life, like quickly finding a stapler when you need it. Sub-consequently you begin telling yourself that you can’t have the bigger things that you want, such as a better car, prestigious job, or loving relationship.
I had so much to share on clutter that it has turned into a 4 part blog. In my next blog I share ways to start clearing through the clutter so you can experience greater peace, happiness and health!
P.S. Click HERE to learn which essential oils to use while dealing with clutter