Personal development by the household?

Lessiver, ironing, cleaning ..., a chore ? For some, it's a quasi-nirvana! Without being freaks of the scrub brush, they feel a real well-being by storing their interior. Brooms and other vacuum cleaners, new tools for personal development?

Christilla Pellé-Douël

A discussion about the household often begins with a complaint - "I hate it" - and almost always ends with a sociological statement about the absence of shared tasks at home. Since the distribution of ironing, cleaning and other cupboard storage times remains as hopelessly inegalitarian (in 2010, women spent three hours and fifty-two minutes a day on domestic activities, men two hours and twenty-four - INSEE 2010 ), praising the merits of the household is turning you into an advocate of women returning home. Now, let's face it: some people like it. Cleaning, taking care of the house gives them sensations of fulfillment, as buried as they are ignored, because to engage in these obligatory tasks is not "noble" and that to take pleasure in it quickly makes them pass for a hysterical or broomsticks, or a maniac cleanliness. Yet, it is another matter.

It releases endorphins

Anne de Chalvron, author of Apology of small chores, the secret pleasures of the household (Lattès 2012), confides: "A survey carried out in England put me the The majority of the women surveyed said they like to clean up, because it allows them to stay in control of their home.They admitted to love more than making love, and I wanted to understand what could to hide behind such an affirmation, at the time of the end of the alienation of women.For me, there was necessarily something deep behind that. "

But what? Alberto Eiguer, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been working for a long time on the question of the house, opens a door: "There is a relationship between the order - to make order, to cleanse ... - and the psyche.The first has a direct echo on the second, it is the "doing" that is important, which sets in motion a psychic process, in other words, the mental activity is stimulated by the body, the gesture. "

Anne de Chalvron, quoting the neurobiologist American, Kelly Lambert, explains that our brain is conditioned to face important physical tasks, and that these would be necessary to our mental equilibrium. Cleansing releases endorphins that provide soothing and well-being. Anne, 56, business consultant, confirms: "When my companion left me, one day I found the strength to clean.As I tidied up, cleaned, I found energy. Until the moment I saw myself in the mirror very clean. I thought, "You're better than that. "And I started to dance."

Everyone can experience a similar sensation, without going through the trial of sorrow: by cleaning, one also cleans one's psyche, one puts things in their place. feng shui rule which specifies that every broken object must be thrown away.The household is also a ritual in all religions and, in all cultures, a symbol of purification: before Easter among the Orthodox, spring among Christians Passover among Jews, for Eid among Muslims, but also in Japan and China for the new year.This is a universal reality, which has nothing to do with statistics or sociology: man or woman, we need order and cleanliness.

Patricia, 48, navigator: "I do not have any particular spirituality, but what I feel while lightening my cupboards, throwing the useless, is close to the meditative state as I imagine it. "And men are not excluded:" R Anger, it's a great thing to refocus, says Robert, 48. I sort, I release. If I have a cockroach, emptying the cupboards helps me. Afterwards, I feel better. "Sculptor, he cleans up without passion, but loves to sit in his sofa and contemplate his work.

It puts the ideas in place

Because it is good to a work, a creative process, aesthetics, as well as writing or painting.In fact, "refurbishing" his house follows the path that puts ideas in place, soothes tensions, the two activities are related Marguerite Duras was making her bed before going to her desk.For 40-year-old Sophie, an independent journalist, "no way to start an article without storing, vacuuming and putting a machine on the way. As I am anxious, doing so allows me to appease myself, to think about the organization of my paper. "

And then the domestic activity generates an aesthetic pleasure, via the sight and the smell. "jubilation" in front of "well-aligned piles of linen": "It's an aesthetic satisfaction. So much so that I reopen the cupboards to savor the result. "It also evokes the importance of the light, and the clarity that passes through the transparent tiles, and that of the smells, like the bleach of which it floods its toilet and that she "lets think" during the night.


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