Did you know that cleaning carpet at home could help you to reduce your anxiety?
Studies have found that household cleaning can have a positive psychological effect. It can also help you to improve your mental health.
A survey by Kärcher found that more than three in ten adults start cleaning as soon as they get home because it helps them to unwind. And, a study in the US found that 61% of people said that tidying their home makes them feel ‘destressed’.
So, for Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re pausing the carpet care tips. Instead, keep reading for 3 reasons that cleaning can help you to deal with anxiety.
Clean spaces are linked to positive emotions
Clutter and untidiness are often linked with negative emotions such as tension and worry.
Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says that, conversely, a clean space is more likely to be linked with positive emotions such as calmness and a sense of wellbeing. So, cleaning carpet at home, tidying, and carrying our general chores can help your mental health.
“In our minds, we view clutter as unfinished business, and this lack of completeness is unsettling and stressful to most people,” she says.
A 2010 study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin backs this up. This research found that women living in a cluttered home showed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Cleaning can make you feel more in control
A 2015 study by the University of Connecticut theorised that people gravitate towards repetitive behaviours – such as cleaning – during times of stress.
“We want to be able to do something when we get anxious, and what we really want is to be in control and take action,” says Alicia Clark, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Hack Your Anxiety: How to Make Anxiety Work for You, in Life, Love, and All That You Do.
“While there are times we have to accept some situations in life, we do not have to accept an untidy home,” she adds.
Darby Saxbe, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, agrees. She says: “[Cleaning] gives people a sense of mastery and control over their environment.
“Life is full of uncertainty and many situations are out of our hands, but at least we can assert our will on our living space. Clutter can be visually distracting, too, and serve as a nagging reminder of tasks and chores undone.”
Cleaning can keep you active
Studies have shown that exercise is good for anxiety. However, you don’t always have the time to exercise. And, if you’re more anxious, you may be less likely to want to exercise.
Cleaning your home is a way to do some light exercise and increase your heart rate. Your body will release endorphins and you’ll feel better – all without having to go for a run or make a trip to the gym!
Turn your housework into a workout by:
- Tightening your abs while you’re doing chores
- Climbing on a stepladder every chance you get
- Putting on fast music, as this helps you work faster
- Doing lunges while cleaning carpet at home (keep toes pointed straight ahead, and don’t bend your knees further than 90 degrees). You’ll feel it in your thighs!