7 Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Brought on by Clutter

May 10th is National Clean Your Room Day. I’m sure kids all over the country are ready to celebrate! ha!  At any rate, it is the perfect time of year to declutter and clean up messy rooms. It seems like by the end of the school year (which I can’t believe we are approaching) everything just gets pushed aside. It can get overwhelming quickly!

Did you know that cleaning your physical space can also improve your overall mind-body wellness as well? According to the experts, decluttering your physical space in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing is a real thing. I had the opportunity to ask Jaya Jaya Myra, former immunologist turned mind-body wellness expert and bestselling author about how clutter impacts health.

“Physical clutter equals mental clutter: it’s impossible to have a clear head when your space is dirty or unorganized. When someone comes to me to learn meditation or mindfulness, one of the first things I have people do is clean their house and keep their primary living space organized and clutter-free. Eliminating external clutter makes it much easier to meditate and be mindful, and it will also improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and more,” says Jaya Jaya Myra.

Jaya Jaya Myra’s 7 Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Brought on by Clutter:

Tip #1: Start Small

Pick the room you spend the most time in. Commit to keeping your it clean and clutter free. Once you do this it will become easier to tackle those other places that need more work. (I do this all the time, it helps me to feel like I’m accomplishing a lot and pushes me to do more!)

Tip #2: Identify How Stuff Makes You Feel

Take time to feel how things in your space make you feel. If something you have doesn’t make you feel good, for any reason, get rid of it to make space for something that does. This could be a piece or art, furniture, clothes, dishes, or just about anything. The stuff we have becomes a trigger for different emotional states, so when you choose to only have things around that evoke happiness or contentment, you create that in your life. (And, I’d suggest that going forward, only purchase and bring things into the home that makes you feel good – don’t just buy it because it is a good deal or you’ll be the next person on Hoarders!)

Tip #3: Breathe

Even cleaning your space can be daunting, so take a moment to breathe deeply and focus on the space you want to create for yourself. Breathing is connected to good mental health and lowering stress levels, so take a deep breath or ten before you start. It will help you focus and get motivated.

Tip #4: Create Beauty

Committing to creating beauty in your space is a powerful way to ensure you focus on feeling good and keeping your mood up. Maybe this is a bouquet of flowers or potted plants, a beautiful piece of art, or something handmade. Whatever you find beautiful, add it to your space. This will help you create what you want and be willing to let go of things no longer serving you.

Tip #5: Show Kids Benefits of Clean Room

Kids are always trying to emulate mom and dad, or their older siblings, so by setting a good example and emphasizing that keeping things clean and tidy can help them be a “big kid” it’ll help build this good habit. My young children loved to keep things clean and tidy – they know it would make me smile and be happy, and that it was just expected of them when they were done playing.
For older kids, it may come down to this chore being a part of their allowance or something that helps them cultivate responsibility. Kids always want to grow, to take on more, to have more authority and responsibility given to them. Learning to keep things clean is a good way to show they are responsible and able to take on more.

Tip #6: Work WITH Kids to Purge and Donate

I would always ask my kids to go through their stuff with me there and ask them what they really don’t like anymore or are bored with. They had no problems with that – it’s very easy for kids to be honest about what they want and don’t want. And it would help me purge their stuff and show them the value in what they chose to keep.

Tip #7: Set Teens Up to Succeed

With being a teenager comes added responsibility – aka, adulting. This is a great lesson for all teens. Set clear expectations for your teenager as to exactly what needs to be accomplished and when (bed made by 8 am, floor clutter cleaned daily before bed, vacuum once a week, etc.) so that they have attainable, actionable goals they can accomplish. By doing this, you set them up to succeed. And don’t be afraid to give them a reward in terms of an alliance or other perk they value.

Tip #7: Everything Has a Home

I would encourage parents and kids to understand that everything needs to have its own home and space to live. Every toy, every book, has a place to call home. Ensure that kids are putting their toys away when done, and it WILL become a habit they maintain if you set a good example and do this too. The only time kids aren’t able to keep their space clean is when mom and dad don’t emulate the behavior.
Having things out and playing with toys, even lots at once is fine, as long as when playtime is done, everything goes back to where it belongs.
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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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