Clear the Clutter, Renew Your Health & Fitness
Rarely do we make the connection that clutter can affect our health and fitness, but it can.
Impact of Physical Clutter
- Increased Stress: Staring at piles of unread magazines on the kitchen counter, searching through the overflow of old notes pinned on the cork board and rifling through a closet full of clothes that no longer fit can cause anxiety and stress. Experiencing these annoyances on a daily basis can result in chronically elevated levels of cortisol--the stress hormone. Chronically high cortisol levels have been linked to "emotional" eating and weight gain, as well as to heart disease.
- Accidental Injuries: Book bags, clothes, toys, etc., that have been left on the floor can lead to accidental falls and potentially serious injuries.
- Fire Hazard: Stacks of papers and other items can potentially serve as fuel to spread a fire that has been accidentally started.
- Health Hazard: Cluttered areas can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew--especially when items are stored in dark, damp places such as the basement.
- Impedes Efforts to Exercise: It is hard to use your treadmill when it has become a storage space for last season's clothes. Likewise, a bike ride is unlikely if you have to wade through an accumulation of yard tools to reach your bike.
- Trigger for Mental Clutter: Holding onto mementos of yesteryear has the potential to hold you back by creating emotional clutter. Often, we use these possessions to define who we are -- which can be okay unless these items set self-identity in "stone." This can keep us from reaching our full potential. Life is a series of moments that define who we are. Past moments should be used as footholds to take us through present moments and into the future, not lock us into yesteryear.