Maybe it’s the clutter?

I always thought that was a great word “clutter” I don’t know why I just did. What if though clutter is contributing to your increased anxiety? I found a good article here That talks about how clutter can trigger stress and anxiety.

From the article: “Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says: “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.” 

Its so true isn’t it? We aren’t talking about hoarders, that is a much deeper psychological issue but what I am talking about is general clutter in your “spaces”. As an example, before I leave my office every night I try and put things away and or make it look as neat as possible.

Prior to doing this when I would come in in the morning, I would feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. I still feel this way at home, in my car etc. and no I am not a neat freak. I think what happens to many of us, at least me anyway, is all this clutter creates sensory stimulus that requires us to account for multiple things at one time.

Piles of clothes, kids’ toys, food wrappers in cars, books, make up kits on and on. We have more stuff now then most of our ancestors and it requires mental effort to categorize and prioritize each one. This can be overwhelming, and anxiety can take over and you collapse back into your safe space of hiding out.

I found one technique that has helped me over the years. I try and designate 5 minutes a day to “decluttering”. Before leaving work, I clean up my desk, before going to bed I clean up the spaces I uses. As best I can of course, I’m not bring out a mop and pail, but I am picking things up off the floor.

This is a little thing that happens to a lot of us with anxiety. Clutter can pile up fast and can over stimulate you, particularly on bad days. Pick up, clean up, straighten up a little bit everyday and try and rid yourself of yet another trigger.

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