House cleaning is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of stress relief, but for many years, this has been one of the best ways for me and many others to tame agitation and worry. There are a number of ways cleaning can stimulate positive thinking and decrease mental anguish. These are just a handful of ways:
Clear the Clutter, Clear the Problem
Elizabeth Scott, a wellness coach, author, and health educator, states that clutter plays a huge role in triggering stress. The fact that clutter is visible is an added strain. Clutter is a constant reminder that there is work to be done. Decreasing and eventually eliminating the clutter often relieves those nagging thoughts. Clearing out unnecessary items from the house can be a physical representation of cleaning out the unwanted thoughts and feelings cluttering the mind, weighing an individual down.
Completing a chore and seeing the immediate, impressive results of labor can be very satisfying, mentions Alana Morales, a stay-at-home mom and author of “Domestically Challenged.” Too often, long hours are spent in attempts to accomplish a task, and no end is in sight. With cleaning, the chores are often short, and the result is beneficial for those functioning in the space.
Morales goes on to explain that cleaning is a creative way to bide the time, assuming an appointment or the arrival of another is anticipated. It certainly helps the minutes go by as opposed to glancing at the clock every few minutes. Cleaning tasks that have been postponed can be accomplished.
The Mayo Clinic, a group of over 3,000 physicians and researchers, lists house cleaning as one of its top ten recommended stress relievers. House cleaning can be as vigorous an activity as one makes it. Endorphins are pumped through the body with increased movement. Irritable moods are altered and feelings of high energy and motivation take center stage.
Add some tunes to the workout! Different genres of music can determine the speed and mode of cleaning. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music has the power to create an improved mental state of focus and positiveness by diminishing feelings of stress and pain.