Decoding The Messy Room, Messy Mind Phenomena

Decoding The Messy Room, Messy Mind Phenomena

The psychological concept that links our physical environment to our mental and emotional well-being

Shloka ShuklaUpdated: Saturday, June 15, 2024, 05:41 PM IST
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Clutter in our physical surroundings has a negative impact on our minds. It can aggravate anxiety, stress and depression. When our environment is disorganised, it has the tendency to make us feel overwhelmed and out of control. “It is often believed that our surroundings define our personalities and how we deal with certain situations. So a messy room mirrors the chaotic state of an individual's mind whereas a clean, organized space reflects an individual’s organized thoughts,” says Dr Santosh Bangar, senior Consultant-Psychiatrist, Gleneagles Hospital.

The visual chaos scrambles our minds, as it competes for our attention, making it harder to focus and process information. The logic behind decluttering is largely associated with the concepts of mindfulness, and intentional living or thinking cautiously about our choices. By being conscious of our possessions and our tangible backdrop, we can cultivate a deeper appreciation and sensitivity for what we have and make more deliberate choices about what we bring into our lives. This intentional approach can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Deep-rooted issues?

A messy room doesn’t directly point to any underlying problems but it can be seen as a warning sign. “Individuals with depression, anxiety, or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) often struggle with organisation due to lethargy, lack of focus, tiredness,” says Dr. Parth Nagda, Consultant, Psychiatry at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. “Physical clutter refers to piling unnecessary objects while mental clutter is about dealing with jumbled-up emotions. It can contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed, further impacting their mental health negatively,” he added.

A clean environment can enhance our energy levels. The act of streamlining our belongings can be cathartic, providing us with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Furthermore, a clean space allows us to feel more positive and motivated. Without the constant visual reminders of unfinished tasks and pending chores, our minds are free to concentrate on the task at hand.

Benefits of decluttering

Decluttering our homes can lead to signs of improvement in our overall wellness, offering advantages that stretch far beyond just having a tidy space. This is because our brains are wired to prefer order and uniformity, which puts us at ease and allows us to concentrate. “Seeing the positive outcome after decluttering the place can itself work as therapy and make them suddenly feel energised,” says Dr Bangar.

Clutter in our rooms can be a source of distraction and tension, impending our productivity. It also makes it tougher to unwind and fall asleep. Our sleeping schedules can be improved by setting up a calm and organised environment. Decluttering is a continual process rather than an isolated event. Creating routines that bring us stability and happiness, such as putting away items right away after using them or organising our stuff on a regular basis, can greatly improve our mood.

Where to begin?

Set goals: Make sure you identify the problem spaces and items that are especially hard to manage. “Start with a relatively small area, like a shelf or a desk, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Break the task into manageable steps and set achievable goals for each session. Regular, short decluttering sessions are more effective than sporadic, intensive efforts,” says Dr. Parth Nagda.

Make time: Set an alarm every day and dedicate 10 to 15 minutes for cleaning.

Get supplies: You can easily find boxes and dividers that will make it simpler for you to segregate and organise your things. Small labels and tags will further help you in the process.

Continuous process: Once your room has become manageable, make it a habit to keep things at their place once you’re done using them. This will help you maintain your neatness and save you time and energy in the future.

Conclusion

Decluttering is a comprehensive method that fosters healthy habits and improves our overall health, not just our physical space. Maintaining a tidy and orderly environment is beneficial to our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. A neat environment promotes calmness and peace of mind, which makes it easier for us to deal with life's obstacles.

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