Some people destress by doing their hobbies, like dancing, playing video games, or going hiking. Some people, on the other hand, pick up their cleaning tools and get to vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing.
It may seem surprising to some, but cleaning truly is a great stress reliever. While there may be times when hiring a professional cleaning company is the best choice, there are also instances when it’s better to do the cleaning yourself.
Here are some of the reasons why cleaning can prove to be relaxing or even therapeutic:
Cleaning Can Be a Form of Meditation
Some people get stressed because they’re either thinking about too many things all at once or too preoccupied by a single thought. These can get compounded by dirty, cluttered surroundings. Indeed, it’s been proven by research that a disorganised home or workspace can make it more difficult to focus.
These negative feelings can be alleviated by cleaning, because the act helps you focus. With your efforts being poured elsewhere, your brain doesn’t have the time to worry. By the time you’re done cleaning and everything is in order, you’ll realise that your mind has also been refreshed and purged of negative thoughts.
Cleaning Can Release “Happy Hormones”
Cleaning is quite literally a chore, which is why a lot of people don’t like doing it. However, it can also be a good form of exercise. For one, it gets you up off your chair and moving about. Some tasks, like scrubbing the floor and mopping the floor, can even get your heart pumping like a good aerobic workout.
What you have to remember is that exercise releases endorphins, a hormone that helps relieve stress and pain. As a result, you’ll find yourself actually feeling refreshed after a cleaning session.
A Clean Space Is Better for Your Mental Health
As previously mentioned, the act of cleaning can serve as a form of moderate exercise. Obviously, exercise is good for your physical health; aside from making you fitter, it also reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and similar diseases.
In addition, cleaning can be good for your mental health. In particular, studies have found that the act of cleaning can help reduce anxiety. It’s also been scientifically proven that clutter can limit your ability to focus; cleaning, therefore, can help make you more productive, improve concentration, and reduce fatigue.
Finally, cleaning can help you destress in that it helps you create an environment that’s more conducive for a good night’s rest. When you get enough sleep, your mood, creativity, and ability to think critically all improve. Studies also suggest that sleep allows you to better process emotions so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Cleaning Can Give You a Sense of Control
It’s not a good feeling to lose control over some (or all) aspects of your life and when you’re uncertain, you feel more and more stressed. One solution to overcome this situation is to perform repetitive activities like cleaning.
In fact, you don’t even have to clean your entire house. You can start with smaller, simpler tasks such as organising your socks. The routine can help you clear your mind and give you a sense of control over chaos.
The way your environment looks and feels also contributes to how you feel. If things are in disarray, you may feel like even the smallest thing is an insurmountable challenge. Once you start tidying things up, you’ll realise that the situation is actually manageable or even downright easy.
Cleaning Can Give You a Sense of Accomplishment
Endorphins aren’t the only hormones produced when you clean. Once you accomplish your tasks, your body also releases dopamine. If endorphins are called the “happy hormones,” dopamine is called the “feel good” hormone.
In short, dopamine is what gives you that sense of accomplishment and pride about the task you’ve just finished. This is a powerful feeling, which can easily influence other areas of your life. You may feel inspired to finish a long-standing personal project, for example, or finally sign up for an online learning programme that can be your ticket to a work promotion.
Cleaning Can Be Your “Alone Time”
Sometimes, stress can be caused by running out of “people energy.” While humans do need social interactions, there are also instances when being around others can be too much. If this is the case, cleaning can be a perfect activity for your alone time.
Aside from all the above-mentioned benefits, another great thing about cleaning is that you can do it while engaging in other activities you love. For example, you can listen to your favourite songs or podcasts. You can even play a movie in the background, if you prefer.
Through cleaning, you can replenish your reserves of “people energy” to take on your social obligations without feeling like you’re only going through the motions.
As you can see, cleaning is more than just a chore. It’s also a way to help your mind and body relax and feel less stressed. If you haven’t tried cleaning as a way to destress yet, try to find the opportunity. You’ll be surprised by its positive effects!