You could visit some homes and practically eat off the floor. Regardless of how nasty the idea may seem, some people take their cleanliness seriously. They can’t afford to see things not kept in the rightful place, or spot dirt without thinking of their trusty cleaning agent. Meanwhile, there are those who thrive in clutter. They aren’t necessarily lazy, but just seem to work best in disorganisation.
However hard we may try to ignore it, the state of your surrounding could impact how you feel. It could take just that made bed when you return home from a long day to boost your energy. Or you could just find the sink filled with dirty plates appalling and depressing.
A single sign of disorganisation on a bad day could take you from bad to worse. This psychology of cleanliness and mental health has become the norm.
So what’s it for you? Would you rather be in a perfectly tidy place where everything is squeaky clean? Or are you more comfortable in a room cluttered with everything that makes up your daily life?
There’s nothing wrong with being clean, especially when you find it soothing. Cleaning is a form of therapy for some. It can get your mind off what’s bothering you with every wipe and every item sorted.
Also, for those who like the disorganised environment, it’s not necessarily bad. Having everything in its rightful place could be considered boring and uninspiring. Whereas, some creatives could feel anxious in a room filled with clutter. This just proves how different and unique humans are.
But at what point does cleanliness become a cause for concern?
Cleanliness is a manner of wanting to take precautions and control your environment. Those who have a nag of cleaning want to feel safer and freer in their cocoon. They also try to mitigate surprises that could cause emotional harm. This could result in a very much craved sense of organisation.
Life in itself thrives in organisation and planning. You have to set your goals and create a plan of achieving it with success at the forefront. Some people actually ‘wing’ it and then ‘make it’. It’s all the sheer unpredictability of life.
While this is one perspective, it’s becoming when you realise the impact your clean or messy habit has on your life. There’s more to it than meets the eye as it says a lot about your mental health. Whether you’re messy or clean, here’s what it says about your mental health.
What cleanliness says about your mental health
Cleanliness in itself isn’t a problem until it turns into compulsive perfectionism. When your nag for tidiness begins to interfere in your life, then it’s an issue. Sure, you can be a neat freak and use it to stay calm or manage anxiety. That’s okay.
However, when you become an obsessive cleaner who would rather wipe a table surface than go out and socialise then it’s worrisome. When it becomes an obligation that has an adverse effect on your behaviour then you’re treading on OCD -Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
You should seek the help of your doctor – preferably a professional therapist. Another way to control this compulsiveness is to change your lifestyle. Try and find other ways to manage your anxiety.
What about me? I’m messy!
According to a 2010 research published in the scientific journal, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, women with cluttered homes are most likely to be depressed and fatigued. This is contrary to women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.”
In reality, some people just can’t find the time to clean up. In other cases, they could be overwhelmed by the mess and actually get repulsed by the sight. This is not an issue since it can be solved. Still, there are those who find the messiness soothing. It’s their way of life.
Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud was once attributed as saying, “Don’t clean up the mess. I know exactly where everything is.” Some acclaimed people thrived in messy environments. Therefore, it does not necessarily mean you’re a disorganised freak if you don’t fancy a clean environment. Some people are their most creative and productive in such messy environments. You simply have to find what works for you.
Try de-cluttering, creating more time to be more organised and just simply nose-dive into a clean lifestyle. You may find that healthy cleanliness works for you. Otherwise, if you find it uninspiring as against working in a disorganised environment, just have a blast then!
Mental health implications of messiness
If you aren’t usually messy and suddenly drift into the messy lifestyle, then read on. Drifting from a typical neat freak to someone who cares less about tidiness implies there’s something off with you. There could be something going on in your life and it could be depression.
Being depressed makes you feel too tired or hopeless to clean up or care about cleaning up. It suddenly seems too tasking, and you care less about how your home or environment looks. If this is something you’re going through then you should reach out to an expert – preferably a counsellor.