Could Cleaning Help Your Anxiety?

There are some people out there who really like to clean. Some people clean for their profession. Other people don’t like to clean. Typically, they avoid cleaning or they pay the people who clean professionally to do the cleaning for them. Cleaning can be a tedious task. It requires noticing when things need to be cleaned, taking the time to do the cleaning, then actually clean something. It would be much, much easier if everything was just clean already and stayed that way. Unfortunately, there is no such perfect world. Even in a household where a cleaning staff is cleaning every day, the dust is still collecting somewhere. We loathe cleaning and avoid it as much as we can because we learn different lessons about cleaning when we are young. We might have been punished with chores instead of rewarded for them. We might have experienced something traumatic having to do with cleaning. Or, we might have positive experiences that can change the way we look at cleaning forever.

There is an art to cleanliness. Countless books have been published about organization, decorating, maintaining a home, and keeping things clean. Ancient practices of feng shui are focused on keeping energy in the home clean, for example. Endless amounts of blogs dictate how to clean, when to clean, what to use to clean, and even ways to make the home more organized and cleanliness friendly in order to reduce cleaning.

However, cleaning can be a zen like practice. Breaking a room down into small pieces (metaphorically) and tackling one at a time is a greater metaphor for life. You reduce the fear and stress of cleaning a whole room into just one small section at a time. The more you clean the more clean it gets until you have a whole clean room. Anxiety is defined by creating a storm in the brain of fears, insecurities, stresses, and doubts. People who live with anxiety often say that trying to cope with anxiety is like trying to face a storm all at once. Cleaning can be a helpful practice when you’re dealing with anxiety, either as a passing phase or as part of a dual diagnosis disorder. Cleaning helps you focus your mind, which is critical for the anxious mind which is focused on a thousand different fears at once. Cleaning also helps you realize that you are capable of accomplishing something even when you’re anxious. The next time you’re feeling anxious reach for a broom and pan and get sweeping. You’ll sweep your anxiety away.


Lakehouse Recovery Center is a dual diagnosis treatment program offering residential care to men and women struggling with alcoholism and addiction in addition to other mental health issues like anxiety and depression. For information on our residential treatment programs, call us today: 877.762.3707


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