The things that make us happiest seem to consistently be the worst things for us. From junk food to alcohol consumption it’s hard to make pleasure and productivity harmonious. Research that attempts to establish a link between healthy productive activities and emotional satisfaction is important for this very reason.
You might be surprised to learn that there is actually a wealth of literature championing the simple act of cleaning for boosts to wellness. A recent study examining 998 African Americans between the ages of 49 and 65, showed that the participants that kept their houses clean were healthier than those that did not.
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Another study revealed that making your bed increases your chances of a good night’s sleep by 19%. A Clorox study from last year stated that children that grow up having responsibilities like tidying around the house and taking out the garbage are 64% more likely to grow up to be empathetic, and 60% more likely to help others in their community.
The philosophy that bridges the gap between organization and well-being has garnered a notable publicity boost thanks to the work of consultant and author, Marie Kondo, and now a recent cleaning rush study furthers its intimations, in more specific terms.
Cleaning and emotional intelligence
Researchers from Ipsos examined a pool of adults between the ages of 25 and 45.
By strapping them with small medical grade, biometric devices, they were able to successfully record Galvanic Skin Response and Heart Rate while each participant completed various cleaning objectives on the sinks and stoves in their kitchen. The adrenaline rush that came from performing these tasks inspired feelings of enthusiasm and excitement.
One-hundred percent of respondents said that cleaning gave them peace of mind and a sense of control over their environment. Eighty-two percent felt a sense of accomplishment, while 81% felt a strong sense of accomplishment.
More broadly, most of the individuals in the study reported feeling more determined, inspired and less jittery and hostile. Some key participant quotes include:
“I feel like everything is in order, I have a fresh clean house that’s neat and orderly for appearance sake for when people come over but also for us to live.”
“I find it really soothing just seeing a mess, kind of like, disappear – and I also like the sound of scrubbing and the bubbles – I don’t know, I think I find that very soothing.”
The benefits are both practical and therapeutic. Many of the respondents said that this experiment incentivized them to keep things orderly. The survey reports, “Cleaning is also seen to bring about peace of mind and a sense of control over one’s environment, with all participants saying they strongly/somewhat agree with these statements. Two thirds also strongly agree that a good, thorough clean can be a mood-boosting workout.”
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