How is Cleaning Therapeutic to Some People? Reasons Why it is Not Funny

Cleaning Therapeutic: Cleaning as Therapy to Some People

Do you know people around you who have this natural habit of cleaning all the time? People who don’t feel being in a peaceful state of mind if don’t if their surroundings are not clean enough. Or in fact, it is not about their clean surroundings from them, but they prefer to clean things on their own and find satisfaction in it. Well, if you are missing the context, let’s go back to everybody’s favourite sitcom, FRIENDS and recall the character of Monica Geller, the absolute cleanliness lover. This woman has had a different kind of liking towards cleaning things and remaining to be organised. And she didn’t find it as a burden but it was her trait. She used to enjoy it. And that’s how cleaning can be to some people. It can be therapeutic.

Predictable and repetitive behaviours such as engaging in washing, chewing nails, repetitively praying, getting up and down can be as severe as dealing with transient anxiety. “if there is an order in the house or the atmosphere, we may feel comfortable and we may be able to walk in space – A 2015 study.

Studies have shown that cleaning can relieve temporary anxieties as it provides a sense of control over the things around, and hence, keeps people in sense. It is just like the grounding technique of counting 5 things that you can see, four things you can hear, three things that you can touch and so on, that people often use to stay in senses while they get in spells of anxieties. Cleaning gives an acknowledgement to the environment, an acknowledgement to the existence of the surroundings.

While some people have a natural urge to be in a cleaner and organised environment and that appears to be therapeutic to them, others can have signs of OCD i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder that makes them be so.

What is OCD?

People with OCD, as per DSM 5 possess an intense urge to repeat things, and this act of repetition can be physical behaviours or mental ones. It is basically like they try to repeat things to have them in a particular way, that’s the most organized. And it can be seen in ways and actions where people develop an intense urge to have everything in place. They possess an utter desire to working in a clean and organized environment and prefer the highest degree of neatness around them. And while most of the time, cleaning is therapeutic to them but unable to achieve the state of cleanliness that desire (eg- not being able to clean a stain) puts them under stress too.

How Cleaning helps and becomes therapeutic

1. It provides a sense of accomplishment

Once you start doing something and finally end up doing it, in that process, you tend to have a lot of sense of accomplishment in yourself. And cleaning is the simplest way to feel that sense of accomplishment. As you get closer to the cleaner state of something you have been cleaning, you get to have a sense of accomplishment of finally doing it.

2. It reduces stress

While for some, it can appear like something absurd and a waste of time, for others, it can be a way to release out stress. People, who tend to work, if don’t work for even a small while, can get insecure, and hence, in that time, cleaning gives them a sense of being and act as a stress reliever.

3. It gives control over the surrounding

As mentioned earlier, cleaning gives people, a sense of surroundings, and control over it. Just the sense of being and becoming able to control things is a lot therapeutic for people and cleaning gives that.

So, the next time you get something for cleaning, don’t find it as something wrong. Enjoy it as it is surely therapeutic.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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