Even before the pandemic hit, did you know Americans spend about 90% of their time inside? How your home is arranged and designed can vastly impact happiness. Choosing the right color, changing the lighting, and eliminating clutter are some easy ways to start creating a more mindful existence. Consider these five tips:
Bring the outside in
Biophilia refers to the idea that humans have an innate desire to be connected with nature. Numerous research studies have shown the outdoor environment improves self-esteem and mood, increases productivity and improves overall happiness. Some studies have found that working near plants improves memory retention and concentration. Other studies have found employees working in offices with natural light were happier and more productive.
There are ways you can make the inside of your home feel outdoorsy without spending a lot of money. Start with maximizing natural light in your home as much as possible. Move furniture and dark objects away from windows to let the light in. Next, bring in houseplants. Create a living wall or use indoor trees and flowers to brighten a room and cleanse the air.
Don’t stop there. Incorporate wood, stone, or other natural elements, in your home to add texture and warmth to a room.
You might also consider a water fountain to hear the sounds of running water and scents associated with the outdoors to evoke calmness. Studies have shown even having images or paintings of nature surrounded inside a building can improve your mood.
See the light
As we mentioned, it’s always best to maximize natural lighting, but where that’s not possible, try using different light bulbs to evoke a certain mood.
Light bulbs come in all different colors and shades. Lighting that’s too harsh can make you feel anxious while lighting that’s too dark leads to less productivity. How much lighting you want to use in each room will depend on the function of the room. Warm, soft lighting can make you feel calm and may be best in bedrooms and other areas of the house where you spend quiet or relaxation time. Bright bulbs, on the other hand, can energize you in places you want to be alert, like the kitchen, foyer, and office.
Show your true colors
Color is an important part of creating a soothing atmosphere. Red shades can be anxiety inhibiting, while lighter colors make a space feel more open. White is a perfect neutral color that makes a room seem bigger while also allowing natural light to bounce off it. Warm blue hues can be calming while green is also an increasingly popular indoor color. Since green is associated with nature, studies show it makes us feel refreshed and happy. Consider using green in the entrance way to a house to ease the transition from being outside to inside.
Rearrange the furniture
Try basic Feng Shui methods to improve your home. Look at the daily path you walk inside throughout the day, from the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed. Make sure to keep this path clear of any furniture or clutter. Having too many obstacles, like a light fixture that doesn’t work, a sticky door, or a cluttered hallway can drain your energy.
Go ahead and use Marie Kondo’s method to get rid of the extra clutter. Kondo-ing encourages you to find a place for everything in your home and only keep objects that spark joy. This type of minimalistic lifestyle gives your mind space to recover and recharge while reducing depression and anxiety.
Written By Katy Savage