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The unexpected link between cleaning and mental health

It’s often said that cleanliness is next to godliness, however, the benefits of cleaning extend far beyond the final product. While cleaning is often viewed as an inevitable means to an end, the act of cleaning and organising itself comes with some surprising benefits. Although yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are the typical go-to recommendations for those feeling stressed or overwhelmed, for some people, washing the dishes, wiping down the bench tops, and reorganising the home office can be therapeutic.

It’s no secret that a clean home can make you feel happier and more in control of your life, however, the reverse is also true. Although a slightly cluttered desk can be a sign of an intelligent mind, excessive mess can actually contribute to depression. A recent study found that women who described their homes as cluttered or full of unfinished projects had higher cortisol levels and were more likely to be fatigued than those who viewed their homes as restful and restorative.

Clutter can also make it difficult to concentrate on — and effectively complete — tasks. A study undertaken by Princeton University researchers found that a person’s visual cortex can be overwhelmed by objects not related to a particular task, making it more difficult to focus on and complete the task at hand. All the more reason to tidy up your desk!

During times of uncertainty, whether on a global or personal scale, cleaning and decluttering can help people assert some degree of control over their lives. Eliminating clutter, mess, and disorganisation can be an effective way of introducing some order into your life, leading to an increased sense of mental clarity.

The act of cleaning is also an effective — yet under appreciated! — stress reliever. The repetitive nature of cleaning (think scrubbing, wiping, or sweeping motions) allows it to act as a ritual, forcing you to stay in the moment and in turn, encouraging mindfulness. Look to the wise words of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh who once said: “While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.”

Rather than resenting the task of cleaning, embrace it as a desirable ritual. Approaching everyday tasks like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, and cleaning the bathroom with a sense of awareness, intention, and mindfulness can be beneficial in keeping you grounded and reducing stress and anxiety levels. Plus, when you scrub, sweep, or scour hard enough, cleaning can act as a workout, producing the same neuro-chemical effects as exercise and stimulating the production of endorphins, the body’s mood-boosting hormones.

Designed to transform mundane chores into mindful rituals, our natural household products provide an efficacious clean while introducing olfactory joy into your daily life. Pairing tasks with a signature scent can aid in staying in the moment and turning tasks into mindful moments; while washing the dishes, relish the time away from your phone and allow the soapy water to caress your hands while the invigorating scents of mandarin and lemon myrtle in our Natural Dish Soap uplift and awaken the senses.

Similarly, keeping your stainless steel surfaces sparkling clean is the ideal opportunity to experience a sensory awakening courtesy of our peppermint-powered Natural Stainless Cleaner. While it buffs away stains and protects surfaces, the crisp and cool scent of peppermint works to put the mind at ease, alleviating headaches and improving memory and concentration.

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