How Decluttering Can Benefit Your Mental Health

The next time your mum asks you to tidy your room, do it. 

Does your brain often work on overdrive? Are you a hot mess? Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut, surrounded by chaos? If the answer is 'yes'—to one or more—it may be time to get orderly and streamline your day-to-day affairs. I mean, seriously, your brain is begging you to free up some headspace. And, while your mum's words "tidy up your room" may still be ringing in your head so many years later, you must know that she meant well—especially for your mental health. 

It's quite simple: Hoarding and stacking up things that you may not necessarily need can do more harm than good. While the force of habit may provide an odd sense of satisfaction, it can contribute to a chaotic, turbulent mind overflowing with disorderly thoughts. Thereby, the route to decluttering your headspace may begin with decluttering your personal space first. 

Founder of 'ImPerfect’ and a Counselling Psychologist who consults on Practo, Urveez Kakalia tells you how this seemingly straightforward practice can bring about a monumental change in your life. 

 

Clarity of Thought

 

There's no denying that setting aside a designated living and workspace allows us to think more clearly. With clutter all around, our brain is faced with increased stimuli that it is required to process, further clouding our thinking and interfering with parallel thoughts. 

 

Focused Attention 

 

Listen up, if your space is decluttered you're less likely to get distracted by the competing stimuli in your environment. This, in turn, enables you to focus better on the task at hand rather than juggle around multiple thoughts that may reduce your efficiency. 

 

Mindfulness 

 

If you're engaged in the process of decluttering, it can turn out to be a mindful activity. It will help you be more grounded in the present moment and will bring to your awareness whatever it is that you're directly experiencing via your senses. 

 

Stress Reduction

 

Studies indicate that decluttering your space can help reduce stress by keeping a tab on your stress hormone, cortisol. The over-activity of cortisol release can be curtailed as you declutter multiple spaces in your surrounding environment—such as your living space, workspace, and also your cyberspace. "In today's digitally-driven world, organising your online folders helps as much as sorting out your physical environment," explains Urveez. 

 

Mood Booster

 

As a result of mindful awareness, reduced stress, and a clearer thought process, your mood is bound to improve. So with all these benefits up for grabs, why not get started? Spending as little as 5 minutes a day is a great way to kickstart the process and can make a world of difference.