10 Psychological Benefits to Moving
Sorting, packing, transporting, unpacking, and organizing all your belongings can be a daunting task. The process takes much longer than anticipated as decisions about the status of each item can be made several times before finalizing. It drains mental, emotional, and of course physical energy leaving a person exhausted.
Most moves are predicated by some necessity in life such as a change in family size, new vocational opportunity, or an investment possibility. While the task of moving is tedious, there are also some psychological benefits.
- Simplifies life. The goal of a move is to simplify life in some manner. Whether it is to move closer to work, family, school, or neighborhood, the idea is that life will be easier in some fashion. This type of streamlining can reduce tension and stress.
- Role shifts. New environments generate an opportunity to adjust and eliminate old and unwanted roles. This is a chance to branch out and become a better version of yourself without the construction of a former atmosphere.
- Boundary setting. A fresh start is the perfect time to erect boundaries. Think of a boundary as a fence around a yard. It simultaneously protects things on the inside of the fence while keeping unwanted items outside. This is a chance to eliminate unhealthy relationships and tasks.
- Reset expectations. Use past experiences to reset reasonable time expectations with additional time added for emergencies. Moves tend to take much longer than desired but there should still be an end time that everyone is in agreement about achieving.
- Team effort. Moving is a group effort as many items require more than one person to handle them. Whether the help is a professional mover, friends returning a favor, or family members, the coordination of people, time, and things can expand team working skills.
- Hard work. Rearranging, transporting, and redistributing items is hard work. There is a requirement of mental, emotional and physical strength that is often depleted during the process. In the end, there is a sense of accomplishment and pride when the work is complete.
- Hoarding prevention. Things can be sorted through at least twice. Once during the packing and again when the item is placed in the new home. There are three choices: to keep, to give away, or to discard. This ritual can prevent hoarding.
- Design change. The new arrangement of furniture and things creates an opportunity to reorganize, generate a new pattern, and adjust tired structures. A design change in a new environment can be stimulating.
- Color theory. Different colors evoke diverse emotions in people. A move is a great time to experiment with a color choice that brings feelings of happiness, tranquility, or excitement. If the color doesn’t put a smile on the face of a person, try eliminating it from a room.
- Rest required. There is nothing like a move to remind a person of the need for additional rest. Taking time out to enjoy the new surroundings in the midst of chaos is helpful. It is a good reminder of the natural need for unplugging on occasion.
A move might not feel physiologically beneficial in the moment, but with a few good intentions, the rewards become clear.
Christine Hammond is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor who lives in Orlando and is the award-winning author of The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook.
Hammond, C. (2017). 10 Psychological Benefits to Moving. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2017, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2017/04/10-psychological-benefits-to-moving/