Clean Room, Clean Mind

What are the benefits of having a clean room?

Our environment has a greater effect on our mental health than we may think, here I discuss some of the benefits of having a clean room…

Living with a healthy mind can be dependant on a lot of outside factors, some of which we are more aware of. Our job, for example, can be both helpful and harmful to our mental health as can the people we interact with, though, there is one external factor that we often forget and neglect to care for, a factor that can have a serious effect on the health of our mind. That factor is our environment.

Our surroundings, naturally, can have an effect on the way in which we are feeling. This is, of course, an obvious statement and in keeping, I’ll give you an obvious example. Let’s imagine ourselves in a dark dungeon. There is little light, it’s cold and damp with a musty smell in the air. The ground is hard stone, there are no windows and no comforts. This is not an environment that we will feel good in, especially if we spend any significant amount of time there. A warm beach, however, with a shining sun and gentle breeze, is. A mountain top walk or a lodge in the forest, a bench by a lake or a run by the river are all healthy environments depending on our personal preferences. Though when we tone down these extreme examples and go back to our everyday lives, things become a bit less obvious, underappreciated and ill-maintained.

The first and most basic layer of our environment is, of course, our bedroom and keeping it clean has many benefits. It is the space in which we spend most of our time, the space in which we sleep and in which we relax. It is the space that we have to ourselves, a space that we can unwind in. This makes our bedroom a vital environment in regards to our wellbeing. It makes perfect sense that the room we spend most of our time in has the greatest effect on our minds. In fact, someone’s bedroom can often be a reflection of their inner workings. For example, during my depression, you can bet that my room was not clean, it was messy, stale and dark, just like my mind at the time. Each had an effect on the other, my mind and my bedroom. My room was dark and messy because my mind was messy and dark. My mind was messy and dark because my room was dark and messy. (At least, it played a part) Each was damaging the other in a continuous vicious cycle.

Things like prolonged darkness or lack of natural light, bad smells, loud noises and too little or too much comfort, can all be damaging to our mood and our minds. Whereas, natural sunlight, fresh air, peace and quiet, with just enough comfort, can be very healing and beneficial to us. To have a healthy mind and benefit from our surroundings we must strive to have a clean room and a healthy environment in general.

These days my room is, for the most part, very tidy. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is open up the blinds to let in the light, then, after I’ve showered I’ll make the bed and ensure my room is clean before sitting down to meditate. I can then get to work on writing or whatever I’m doing that day in a fresh and clean environment. Remembering that room to brain link, this helps to keep my mind clean and fresh. A cluttered room is a cluttered mind, a clean room…well you get the idea.

The difference is clearly noticeable for me now. There are times where I’m particularly busy or just feeling a bit lazy and over a few days, a mess will accumulate in my room. If I neglect to tidy and clean it, the mess will only grow. Have you ever noticed how mess creates more mess? It’s like we don’t feel bad about leaving dirt where it already exists, but are much less likely to leave rubbish and washing up in a clean room. While my room is in this unclean state it is stressful for me. I can clearly see a shift in my mood when my living environment is unclean. I become more agitated, unmotivated and lethargic, often finding myself far less happy, healthy and productive. Though, as soon as I clean up my room, I feel that mood start to shift and my mind begins to benefit. With less mess in my room, I feel as though my mind is clearer. I feel more free, having more space in the room and feel as though I am able to achieve good rest in that space. For me, a clean room helps to maintain a clear mind and contributes to my mental health and well-being.

Of course, our bedrooms are not the only environment that can affect our mental state. Where we go and where we spend our time when we step outside of those four walls is also very important in the upkeep of our mental health. Starting within our own homes, a clean kitchen can be very beneficial to mental and physical well-being. Cooking is far more appealing in a clean kitchen, making us more likely to eat healthier foods and save money. Clean bathrooms are important as well, making us feel fresher, washing yourself in a room full of grime and mess feels restrictive and can leave us with a lingering sense of dirt, whereas, stepping out of a clean shower onto a recently washed bath mat, drying myself with a recently washed towel and brushing my teeth at a clean sink, leaves me feeling completely refreshed. That fresh feeling makes me feel good and gives me an added boost to the start of the day and an added boost to my mental health.

We can then extend outside of our own home, to the big wide world. This environment can also be vitally important. Are you stepping out to an environment that you love or are you stepping into one that mentally drags you down? As human beings, we have a certain connection to nature, to the earth beneath our feet and what grows from it. When we cut ourselves off from that I believe it can have a negative effect on us, mentally. An effect that can be tenfold if we reside in big, busy cities. Polluted air, crowded streets and constant noise aren’t the most beneficial things to our mental state, so, it is vital that we are able to unwind, relax and recharge in nature. Spending time in the woods, on the beach, by a lake, along a river or on a mountain top can be very soothing and healing for the mind. Healing us with beautiful sights, sounds and smells.

So think about it, are you living in an environment that you love, that is healthy and good for you? Or are you living in a detrimental environment? If so, what are you going to do about it? We can’t all live in our dream home, in our dream location. Some of us are so stricken with poverty that we may not even have a home, but there are lots of little things we can do, that can have a big impact on our environment and its effects on us. So, if you are fortunate enough to have a home, take care of it. Clean your room, wash your dishes and take a walk in nature, then watch as your mental health benefits and improves.

If you have enjoyed this post and know of someone who could use the benefits of a clean room and perhaps a clearer mind, then please share this post with them. If you liked this then check our post on the positive effects of healthy habits and our Healthy Habits page.

Thank you.

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