Why Cleaning Makes Your Heart Race (It’s Not Because of Terrifying Messes)
Don’t sweep on this.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 2:57 PM
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We’ve all been there: confronted by a messy countertop, an undone bed, or a crumb-scattered floor, you take a few minutes to clear away clutter and find yourself left with a clean, neat space. Cleaning has therapeutic effects, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your surroundings, and now, a new study conducted by Mr. Clean shows that a bit of scrubbing around the house can give you an adrenaline rush comparable to the one you’d get from watching race car driving.
“Within reason, cleaning can be a great way to regulate your emotions and find some balance. Creating a clean space can create a sense of calm,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein. “We also know that cleaning can give you a positive adrenaline rush, boosting your mood and helping to reduce stress.”
Measuring participants’ physiological responses to cleaning, specifically their galvanic skin response (GSR) and heart rate, the study showed high reports of people feeling inspired and determined after cleaning, with 85 percent saying that having a clean home had a positive effect on their emotions. So, if you’ve been looking for the motivation (or the gentle nudge) to finally give your home a good, deep clean, consider these facts and follow Dr. Hartstein’s advice for making the most of your cleaning sesh’s psychological benefits below.
Make it mindful
“In order to get the most psychological benefit of cleaning, focus solely on the cleaning,” says Dr. Hartstein. “If you’re mindful about what you’re doing and are really and fully engaging in it, you’ll get a greater benefit to your mental health.” If you’re not a fan of meditation, practicing mindfulness as you clean can have just as great benefits.
Use cleaning supplies you actually like
Here’s a simple fact: If you actually like your cleaning supplies, you might just feel inspired to clean more often. That means, yes, you absolutely should invest in the fancy broom you’ve been eyeing.
Turn on your favorite playlist
Dr. Hartstein also recommends cleaning to music that you love to make the process just a bit more fun. Whether you’re scrubbing your shower tiles or vacuuming your favorite rug, the right song can turn a chore into a bonafide dance party—isn’t that right?
See more cleaning advice: 5 Obscure Areas in Your Home You’re Probably Forgetting to Clean The Lazy-Girl Secret to Cleaning Your Shower 6 Ways Your Home Might Be Making You Anxious (and How to Change It)