Why Our Environment Matters

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

At Create Calm, we passionately believe that a balanced environment is vital to our overall sense of well-being. Our environment impacts our physical and emotional health. The quality of our lives improves dramatically when we learn to take control of our physical environment. When we surround ourselves with people and things that we find pleasing and are good for us, we feel happier. 

Our environment can create or reduce stress. Stress plays a vital role in our overall health. This is because our brain is constantly in communication with our immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. What we think and how we feel about our surroundings changes our biochemistry.  The stress of a chaotic environment not only makes us feel anxious and helpless, but it can also result in higher heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and muscle tension. Cortisol is a hormone that is released during the stress response, and is intended to help your body respond to stress or danger. But when too much cortisol is released for a prolonged period of time (think living in a disorganized environment day after day), it can have serious consequences for your health. High cortisol levels put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) and psychiatric disorders. 

We also need to consider the products we use in our homes and on our bodies. The impact of using harsh chemicals to clean your home can range from immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, to long-term effects such as cancer. Beauty products and lotions often contain chemicals such as parabens, fragrances, sulfates and oxybenzone that are harmful to our health. Parabens have been found in certain types of cancerous tumors! 

As you can see, getting organized is much more than simply tidying up. It is vital to our health. 

If we want to lead a healthy, productive, happy life, we must learn how to create calm in our lives. This often means we need to evaluate more than just the physical clutter surrounding us. We need to take a holistic approach and also consider what we put into and on our bodies, the cleaning products we use in our environment, the people we surround ourselves with and the quality of our thoughts. 

Sounds like a life overhaul, right?! Rest assured, taking small steps to control your surroundings can have a BIG impact! The very first step starts with awareness. Spend a few days simply noticing how your environment is impacting you. How does it feel to wake up to dirty dishes? Or to come home from work to stacks of unopened mail sitting on your dining room table? Do you feel calm or stressed? It is helpful to write these feelings down in a journal. Becoming aware of how your environment makes you feel and documenting it in a journal will keep you motivated when taking on an organizing project. 

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Be bold and take that step! Start small, build on success. And know that Create Calm is here to help you on your journey to a more balanced, organized, happy life!

  1. Alison,
    Thanks for this article, which may eventually inspire me to organize my desk. Congrats on the website and advances in your career and contributions to health in your community.

    • Showit User says:

      Thank you, Jake! We so appreciate your comment. Let us know if you decide to tackle your desk. We’re cheering you on from Denver!

      Wishing you organizational wellness!

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