Most people are not aware that an excess of things and stuff in your home can actually affect your health and the way you live your life. I wasn’t really aware of it either 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).
Through my experience I learned that when we are surrounding ourselves with clutter and hoarding things its 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 and on top of that having a deep, painful and very buried childhood memory resurface).
Up until I had this direct experience for myself I never understood this, I always just thought some people were disorganized and some were great at organizing and it was that cut and dry! (I tend to be a little naive).
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 and on helping us move on in life 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
When we are emotionally protecting ourselves with clutter we tend to do 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. If all you see are things you don’t use, love, and 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 constantly are 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; in the practice of Feng Shui you imagine water flowing through your house if there are areas in your home where water wouldn’t be able to flow, where it could pool up and become stagnant and dirty this is a clear sign that stagnation has taken over your home and 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 that the clutter and disorganization in your home is draining your energy. It makes it 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 or creating 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; but 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 and 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) Remember, 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 and the one place, most of us are lucky to have, is a home; but if your home is the source of your stress or doesn’t provide a relaxing and 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!