Imagine going back home after a long and stressful day in the hopes to relax only to find that your house is in a mess, which will make you even more stressed to clean it all up. Even though stress is unavoidable, being too stressed can cause you health and mental problems in the future. Doing household chores such as washing dishes, mopping or even organizing your drawers can significantly help reduce your stress levels. Studies have also shown that doing chores like washing dishes, vacuuming the house and tending the garden has the potential to calm your mind and decrease stress levels. Chores can act as informal contemplative practices which can promote a positive state of mind. Repetitive activities also help you induce a relaxed state of mind similar to meditation.
On average, an adult spends 2 hours and 11 minutes a day feeling stressed, this means that over a lifetime, you would have been stressed for 5 and a half years, and that is just the average, some of us could be feeling stressed for much longer than that. According to research, 60% of people who were polled claimed that having a clean and tidy house made them feel much calmer and less stressed instantly. By just coming back home from a stressful day, you will be more calm without needing to do anything at all. Furthermore, 40% of the people said that a dirty home was the cause of their stress in the first place.
Cleaning provides you with relief from all the clutter in your house. Imagine walking into a home that has piles of paper and random things scattered around the whole place, with clothes on the floor and coffee stains on the table. That is not a pleasant place to be entering by any means. Most of us want to live in a neat, tidy and clean home, however, too many of us live in a cluttered mess that makes us stressed the moment we walk into our house. Only 10% of people interviewed live in a clutter-free home while more than 33% of them live in places so cluttered they don’t even know where to start cleaning. Another way cleaning may help reduce your stress is by making you save money. Imagine you can’t find your bills etc. in your cluttered home and you have to pay late fees etc. or you’re always eating out because your kitchen is a mess and you do not feel like eating at home. Cleaning your house has the potential to save you money in ways you don’t even realize. Furthermore, cleaning as a mindful task also gives you an opportunity to be thankful for your life, which will immediately reduce your stress and anxiety. This is done by admiring the things that you have when you clean them and be grateful of the modern technology you have in your house as you use them as there are too many people living in this world that has none of those things, this will make you have an added appreciation of your life which will significantly make you less stressed. Another benefit of doing chores is that it can make you get a little exercise and active, which is an excellent way to relieve stress. Running around your house cleaning windows and scrubbing the floors in every room will give you a significant workout so you can accomplish three things at once, you will be able to clean your house, exercise and relieve stress without going to the gym.
There are many chores you can do to help you reduce your stress such as scrubbing or washing dishes, especially after a domestic fight or argument. ‘Mindless’ chores such as these are ideal to relax your mind when you are stressed out. In order to make your tasks mindful, you should try to focus on your senses, such as the temperature of the water when you wash dishes, the weight of the clothes when you hand them to dry etc. If your mind drifts back to its original thoughts, try to bring its focus back to the task you are performing. Gardening is also a popular stress-reliever. Easy gardening tasks such as trimming the hedges requires a fixed and constant attention and it can transport you into nirvana. Another task that helps reduce stress is to clean up and sort out your junk drawer, cleaning and sorting out all junk requires your mind to focus which can be a soothing sensation as well. By sorting out all your junk and clutter, you will also prevent stress everytime you look into your drawer and cupboards in the future. Cooking is also an excellent way to reduce stress, but you really have to try and be mindful because if you let your mind get distracted about your stresses while cooking then the end result might not taste good. Try to be mindful and use all of your senses such as by smelling the ingredients etc.
Stress is unavoidable, however it is crucially important to learn how to manage it in order to not let it affect your mental health and well-being. Doing chores is an excellent way for you to calm down and reduce tension when you are stressed about something. Doing chores could also help you get your workout in and get your house cleaned at the same time, saving you a lot of time to focus on other things and be more productive. Keeping your house clean will also increase your mind’s ability to focus as there is no clutter constantly distracting it which is particularly useful when you work from home. If you need professional help or someone to talk to regarding your mental health in order to find ways to reduce stress please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Narindr at one of the links below.