POINTS TO PONDER

I read this article by Australian writer Kate Windle, and it surprised me that there would be such a thing as powerful psychology behind cleanliness. She stated that a tidy and well-organized living space could give you a sense of comfort and happiness. Cleanliness not only enhances the look of your living space but also helps in alleviating stress and anxiety. It leaves a powerful impact on your mind and soul. But, on the other hand, a messy and dirty room invites lethal germs and viruses that can lead to harmful diseases.

World-renowned psychologists say cleanliness is related to your physical and mental health. An organized home increases your concentration power, brings positivity, and reduces your stress level. Removing dust, changing bed sheets, and clearing the mess regularly can relax you. That is why hiring end-of-lease cleaners in Sydney at the end of your rental contract is imperative. Landlords inspect every nook and cranny to ensure the property is neat and flawless.

In addition, Dr. Ralph Ryback, Medical Director with Mindful Health Foundation, also commented on the powerful psychology behind cleanliness. He reports that researchers at Princeton University found that clutter can make it more challenging to focus on a particular task. Specifically, they found that the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently.

Furthermore, a survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that people who make their beds every morning are nineteen percent more likely to report regularly getting a good night’s sleep. People surveyed also reported benefits from having clean sheets – specifically, seventy-five percent of people said they get a better night’s rest when their sheets are fresh and clean because they feel more comfortable.

Therefore, maintaining an organized schedule and a list of short-term goals can help you stay in shape. A study in the Journal of Obesity found that people who carefully plan their exercise regimen, set goals, and regularly record their progress are likelier to keep up an exercise program than those who show up at the gym without a clear plan.

Also, on GuardIT Blogs, in an article about the powerful psychology of cleanliness, Billy Jean wrote: What is it about looking at an organized room that is so satisfying? Why is a show all about organization one of the most-watched on Netflix? Why do people spend hours of their life looking at blogs that teach them how to organize and re-arrange their closets? The fact is, keeping your workspace and living space clean and organized is extremely powerful, and it is good for you. It is something proven by science that cleaning or hiring a commercial cleaning company will benefit your mental state.

A study showcased that people with clean houses were much healthier than those with messy houses – this study was led by NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D. from Indiana University. The study tracked the physical health of 998 African Americans between 49 and 65. It was a demographic well known to be at a heightened risk of developing heart disease. The participants in the study who ended up keeping their homes cleaner were found to be much more healthy and active than those who didn’t spend the time to do so. In the study, the cleanliness of a house was a more accurate predictor of health than the walkability of the neighborhood where they lived.

Then, Annie Murphy Paul, an acclaimed science writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, and The Best American ScienceWriting, among many other publications, wrote how Cleanliness is Next to Sanity. She exclaimed that you would think it was 1950. Experts are singing the praises of housework and its possibilities for excellence. But this new take on Domestic Drudgery has a contemporary twist; this is cleaning as a refuge from hectic and hassled lives, even as a substitute for Prozac. “Simple household tasks such as ironing or doing the laundry can offer drug-free ways of coping with stress,” says Vivien Wolsk, Ph.D., a New York psychologist who counsels her clients to turn daily chores into a kind of therapy.

While washing windows, she tells them, imagine that your perceptions are becoming as clear as the glass; while ironing, imagine “smoothing out the wrinkles in your life” (or straightening out an irritating
Coworker). “Something is relaxing, even meditative, about these chores,” says Wolsk. “When we clean, we have a visible impact on what we do: something is dirty, and you make it clean.

She’s echoed by Margaret Horsfield, a journalist, and author of Biting the Dust: The Joys of Housework. “Housework can be used to work out frustration and even grief,” says Horsfield, who calls this activity
heartbreak cleaning.” Even if you’ve only washed a load of laundry or a sinkful of dishes, “you can feel that you’ve accomplished something in this uncontrollable world.”

BUT WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT CLEANLINESS? We begin with the story of the Syrian General who came to see the prophet Elijah based on the testimony of a captive Jewish maid. He felt insulted that Elijah sent out his servant to give him the word to dip seven times in the muddy Jordan River. Naaman became angry and left. He said, “I thought Elisha would at least come out and stand in front of me and call on the name of the Lord his God. I thought he would wave his hand over my body and heal my leprosy. Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than all the water in Israel. Why can’t I wash in those rivers in Damascus and become clean?” He was outraged and turned to leave. But Naaman’s servants went to him and talked to him. They said, “Father, if the prophet told you to do something great, you would do it, isn’t that right? All he said was, ‘Wash, and you will be pure and clean.’” So Naaman did what the man of God said. He went down and dipped in the Jordan River seven times, becoming pure and clean (2 Kings 5:11-14).

King David might have seen a spiritual lesson in Naaman’s experience when he cried to the LORD, “Remove my sin and make me pure. Wash me until I am whiter than snow! God, create a clean heart in me and strengthen my spirit again” (Psalm 51:7, 10). David’s son Solomon referenced that same thought when he asked, “Can anyone say their heart is clean? Who can say, ‘I am free from sin?’” (Proverbs 20:9).

The prophets also saw the value of cleanliness. So, God spoke to the prophet Isaiah and told him to tell the people, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil.” (Isaiah 1:16) And God told Ezekiel, “I will take you out of those nations, gather you together, and bring you back to your land. Then I will sprinkle pure water on you and make you clean. I will wash away all the filth from those nasty idols and make you clean” (Ezekiel 36:24-25).

Jesus was also not silent on cleanliness when He told the Pharisees, “You are blind! First, make the inside of the cup clean and good. Then the outside of the cup will also be clean” (Matthew 23:26). And on another occasion, He said to His followers, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch[a] of mine that does not produce fruit. He also trims every branch that produces fruit to prepare it to produce even more. So you are already clean because of the teaching I have given you” (John 15:1-3).

The Apostle Paul was also a proponent of cleanliness. He told the Roman believers, “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food is unclean, in and of itself. But if someone believes it is unclean, it is wrong for that person” (Romans 14:14). Then, to the Corinthian church, Paul wrote, “Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So we should make ourselves clean – free from anything that makes our body or soul unclean. Our respect for God should make us try to be completely holy in our lives” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Finally, he urged the Ephesians “to love one another as the Anointed One loved the church and gave His life for it. He died to make the church holy. He used the telling of the Good News to make the church clean by washing it with water. The Anointed One died so He could give the church to Himself like a bride in all her beauty. He died so the church could be holy and without fault, with no evil, sin, or anything wrong” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Also, the writer of Hebrews encouraged the believers with these words, “We have a great priest who rules the house of God. Sprinkled with the blood of the Anointed One, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with clean water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in the Anointed One” (Hebrews 10:21-22). And the Apostle James joined in by telling his followers, “Come near to God, and He will come near to you. You are sinners, so clean sin out of your lives. You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. So clean up your mind.”

And not to be left out, the Apostle John wrote that we should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean. If we say we have no sin, we fool ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. We can trust God to do this. He always does what is right. He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7-9).

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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