You might be thinking, here we go with the woo-woo talk... And trust me, I get it! But decluttering your life can go a long way in supporting your mental health. And there's actually science that shows how clutter and an excess of things directly affect your mental health and can actually increase cortisol levels (+ stress/anxiety)! So today we're going to talk about how living a minimalist life can be supportive to your mental health.
Katy Joy Wells is a mom, a decluttering expert, a podcaster, and a simplifier. Through her own journey with anxiety and depression, she was led to minimalism and could see just how much freedom she could experience by simplifying her life. And now, Katy loves to help people let go of their clutter and get present, so they can focus on what truly matters.
How Living A Minimalist Life Can Relieve Anxiety and Support Your Mental Health
Katy's Journey With Anxiety and Depression and How It Led Her To Minimalism
Katy shared with me that she struggled with intense anxiety when she became a mom. She often found it difficult to be present and even felt guilty that she was struggling, despite having a healthy family and healthy life. This guilt might sound familiar! But then she started to realize that the clutter in her house was a major contributor to her anxiety and overwhelm. And ultimately, Katy's desire to declutter is what led her here!
Decluttering Your Life In Practical Terms
Katy mentioned that decluttering felt really stressful at first because she was a busy mom. For her, it was a learning experience to find the time to eliminate clutter in her home! And ultimately, the reason why decluttering was so difficult was that Katy hadn't yet developed the habits and systems to keep it from building back up again. But with some trial and error, Katy was able to start addressing the underlying cause of the clutter...which is the unnecessary things we bring into our home!
Instead of focusing on what you can get rid of every few months, Katy mentioned that solving the clutter issue at the root is best. This might look like cutting unnecessary purchases, or asking yourself if you'll get your use out of something before you buy it. And if there are things in your home that you haven't used in years, consider donating them!
What Clutter Does To Your Mental Health
There have been several studies that show a link between higher stress levels and having a cluttered home. And honestly, I tend to feel much more stressed when my house is cluttered, too! Because our environment directly affects how we feel. And when we own fewer things, we have a whole lot less to clean up. And when there's less to clean up, there's a whole lot more time for peace! Not only do we experience more peace, but we also can create more intentional time with the people and activities that are important to us.
How Clutter Distracts Us From Feeling Our Emotions
Let's face it...clutter can be a huge distraction from the important things in life. It can very quickly fill all of our precious time and headspace. For Katy, impulse shopping prevented her from fully feeling her emotions. And, naturally, resulted in lots more clutter! If you find yourself impulse shopping as well, Katy says a lot of this has to do with the consumer culture in our country. And for some of us, it's the only way we know how to cope with difficult emotions. But the good news is that creating small habits can really help to maintain a decluttered home!
Don't forget to tune in to the full episode to get all the helpful insights! And until next time, keep taking healthy action!
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On Instagram: @katyjoywells