It is a proven fact that an excess of things and stuff can actually impact our health and the way we live our lives. I wasn’t really aware of this until I started experiencing (for the first time in 26 years) what it was like to have clutter and hoard things, (without even realizing I was doing it).
I learned, through my work and my own experience with clutter, that when we surround ourselves with clutter its actually coming from a deeper emotional wound. Clutter can offer a certain amount of comfort and security in the face of an uncertain future or current tumultuous circumstances. (For me it was going through a very painful divorce, moving and changing jobs, all at the same time).
Up until I had this direct experience for myself I never understood the impact clutter can have. I didn’t realize that deep emotional pain and hurt can subconsciously cause us to surround ourselves with things, (sometimes things we dont even like, use or want), simply as a way of cushioning ourselves from the pain we are experiencing.
Even though this might soften the blow of what we are experiencing it has drastic effects on our health. Not to mention, it prohibits us from moving on from painful circumstances or past experiences.
Here are 5 ways that keeping clutter around will start to impact your health:
1 – You might try as hard as you can but you can’t lose weight
By emotionally protecting ourselves with clutter we can end up doing the same thing with our weight (especially as women). If you have tried every diet, lifestyle change and exercise plan and can’t get the weight to come off start looking around your house. Do you see a bunch of things you don’t use, love, or a whole bunch of clutter? There is a good chance that once you get rid of all the “stuff” the weight will just fall off.
2 – Chronic health problems such as re-occurring sinus infections, dry cough, or allergies
If you are constantly battling pesky health problems like these it may be due to the clutter in your home. Clutter attracts dust, mold and other airborne irritations that can cause health issues, just like the ones mentioned above. These are also a symptom of stagnation. A handy Feng Shui tip is to imagine water flowing through your house. Are there are areas in your home where water wouldn’t be able to flow, where it could pool up and become stagnant or dirty? If so, this is a clear sign that stagnation has taken over your home. Eventually, it will directly affect your health and your overall lifestyle as well.
3 – Low Energy
Do you feel tired all the time and like you just don’t have the energy to do anything, especially when you get home from work? This is a clear sign that your home is not supporting you and it is likely that clutter and disorganization are draining your energy. It’s really hard to get organized if you just don’t have the energy to do it. In cases like this I highly recommend hiring a professional. You can also create a de-cluttering schedule where you do just a few minutes a day to help alleviate the symptoms of your energy being unnecessarily drained.
4 – Emotional Outbursts
We all experience occasional bouts of anger, frustration, impatience and overwhelm. However, when they happen every single day and you start to feel totally out of control the best place to look first is within your home. If you are constantly trying to find your keys, your shoes or your child’s homework you are putting unnecessary stress on yourself! The best emotional therapy I know of is to start putting some processes in place to reduce your stress and your overwhelm.(i.e. create a command center) Your home should always support you and help you work toward your goals.
5 – Which brings me to my last point…STRESS
According to the APA and Stress.org around 90% of all illnesses are caused by stress! That’s a pretty big deal…If your home is the source of your stress or doesn’t provide a sacred space for you to escape from everyday stressors you can bet you will end up in the doctor’s office with a stress related illness. Your home is an extension of you and it should support you, not add to an already stressful lifestyle. You may not be able to escape all your stress (work, kids, busy schedules) but you can greatly reduce it by creating a home that is clutter-free, that works for you and that allows you to feel relaxed at the end of a long day.
What do you think? Are there ways that clutter is currently affecting your life? Let me know in the comments below!