As humans, we’re highly influenced by our surroundings. The things in our immediate environment can either promote good mental health or stress and anxiety, and often it’s a subtle but significant impact. We might not realize exactly why we’re stressed, but our surroundings are affecting us subconsciously. With that in mind, there are ways we can make adjustments in our home to improve the way we feel. Here are some examples.
Clean and declutter
Research has shown that mess and clutter contribute to stress levels. Even if you’re not particularly house proud and don’t mind a bit of mess, it contributes to your mood subconsciously. It’s even been shown that a messy room can affect sleep levels! Designate a day to declutter, get three big boxes and label them ‘toss’ ‘sell’ and ‘donate’. This can make it easier to make decisions when it comes to items you no longer need or use. Getting rid of things that have no use in your life clears your environment making it a more peaceful and serene place. It can also help you feel like you’re on top of things and in control of your life. Clutter and chaos promote a negative state of mind.
Consider color psychology
We evolved the ability to see in color to help us survive as a species. For this reason, it makes sense that certain colors will affect the way we feel. From natural colors like blue and green promoting calm, to red which can fuel adrenaline, making us feel powerful, angry or passionate. Again, the color of your rooms can make a subtle but significant impact on your mood so bear in mind the psychology behind them. Calming colors work well for sleeping areas, while hues promoting productivity are great for spaces like the home office. There are even combinations that can make us feel hungry- ideal for the kitchen and dining room! Clever marketing agencies utilize these shades in fast food and restaurant logos.
Get the lighting right
Lighting has much more of an impact on you than you might think. Our bodies work to circadian rhythms- essentially, our ‘body clock’. Light is a huge ‘wake up’ signal to the brain, and again different lighting colors can impact our mood. Think about lighting in terms of stress relief, using soft shades and nightlights in the bedroom in the evening to help you wind down. Too much light can disrupt the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy. If you have a smart home, you could set up your lights for certain times a day - so they’re brighter earlier in the evening and get dimmer closer to bedtime.
Different smells can impact our mood and the way we feel. Lavender is well known for promoting relaxation and good sleep. You can buy aromatherapy diffusers, lavender pillow mists, bath products, room sprays and even tea which can all be helpful when used with other relaxation techniques.