Common sense dictates that bad habits will eventually catch up to you. However, in a post for Psychology Today, Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project suggests that bad habits may also diminish your happiness. Her source? Police work.
Image: Eric Schmuttenmaer.
Rubin cites the "broken windows theory", which posits that a society that tolerates minor infractions like broken windows will make it more likely for people to commit serious crimes. Therefore, small signs of disorder in our lives — clutter, chronically unmade beds, a lack of pride in one's appearance — can negatively affect happiness.
Does fixing a broken window really matter? After all, in the context of a happy life, a pile of unsorted mail isn't a big deal. In themselves, perhaps, these broken windows don't matter much. But enforcing small signs of order make us feel more in control — and happier.
We've spoken a lot about the benefits of decluttering, but fixing broken windows can extend into other areas of your life. Check out the link for more.
What Are Your "Broken Windows?" Here's a List of Mine [Psychology Today]