When we face a difficult situation, our body’s primal instincts prepares to react to it. The changes that follow will get us ready to face the circumstances. This process takes up a lot of energy and persistently being in such a state can do more harm than good. Stress is what happens when we repeatedly face crises. It is a prolonged reaction that, if not managed, seriously affects a person’s health.
There are a number of ways to manage stress; relaxation and meditation are commonly picked techniques. However, there is a much simpler method to reduce stress levels; something that your mother has been telling you to do since you were a messy little kid refusing to pick up after him/herself. Being organized significantly reduces the amount of stress you feel, and also changes how you react to stressful situations. Additionally, it brings an increase in productivity, efficiency, and creativity.
Here are four explanations for how being organized lowers stress levels:
Clutter – an unnecessary evil
A messy house or office is a preventable source of stress. When things are not in their place and cluttered everywhere, at any given point you are bombarded with a multitude of visual stimuli. All of these things can’t have a neural representation in your visual cortex at the same time, so these stimuli compete for your attention. Research shows that this potentially limits the capacity of your visual systems, which affects your performance.
If your kitchen’s sink is overflowing with dirty dishes and the table is piled with magazines, dirty clothes and open packets, your mind will find it very hard to focus on the act of cooking. Moreover, clutter always tells your brain that work is never done. It can cause feelings of anxiety and restlessness. If you get rid of all the junk you’ve been hoarding and tidily arrange everything in its place you’ll notice a surprisingly pleasant change in mood.
You’ll know exactly where things are
A disorganized space results in a disorganized mind. Ever faced the frustration of not finding something that you had just used two minutes ago? It can become very hard to find things when there’s clutter all around. When a person’s belongings are never in order, they often experience frustration. Over time, the delays and inconvenience caused by this can build stress. A study conducted by psychologists found that people who describe their homes as cluttered had flatter, diurnal slopes of cortisol, a profile associated with adverse health outcomes.
Clutter may cause feelings of guilt or embarrassment when guests come around. Having the in-laws over can become a day long ordeal of tidying up. Keeping things in order can easily avoid these things and also leave plenty of open spaces around you; something required for the flow of positive energy.
It makes you feel better
An organized lifestyle instills a sense of control. Being organized in your day-to-day work can save you a lot of valuable time. You could use the time you gain for doing the things that make you happy and bring you peace. A little tidiness can even improve your sleep! A survey done by the National sleep foundation found that people reported getting a better night’s sleep when they had clean sheets and if they made their beds every morning.
You manage to manage stress
Being organized requires you to plan ahead of time. Planning gives you the benefit of being prepared for what may come. If you are aware of the possible setbacks that you may face, you can ready yourself beforehand. That will prevent unnecessary worries or feelings of stress.
Though a lot of people rely on their memory to keep track of things, it is not the best strategy in times of chaos. Overloading your memory can cause stress to your body. Writing things down makes it a lot easier for you to remember important things. Making to-do lists can also help you avoid stress. When work is broken down into steps to be followed, even overwhelming tasks seem manageable.