how your home can help your mental health: tips for a relaxed living space
Your living space and your head space cross over more than you might be thinking. According to the Architect’s Journal, we spend between 80-90 per cent¹ of our time indoors, so it’s really important we consider how our day-to-day living can impact our mind.
Creating peace and harmony is no easy task, but our six living room ideas are here to help you bring positive vibes into your home.
6 simple tips for creating a relaxed, living space for your mind
1. Bring the outdoors inside with house plants
According to a recent study by herbal tea brand Honest, less than half an hour of our time is spent outdoors² . It might sound bizarre at first, but it doesn’t seem that shocking when you think about how busy our lifestyles have become, or how unpredictable our weather can be. On the brighter side of things, by introducing a few more plants around your living space, you can bring the outdoors into your home.
Our Home Transformation survey revealed that 81% of participants thought having an outdoor space at home is something of importance to them – proving the importance of bringing some life into your home. From the decorative evergreen autograph tree, to the high-maintenance citrus trees that emit refreshing scents – indoor plants help purify air and bring that needed touch of nature to any area of your house.
2. Use mood lighting to your advantage
The colour and intensity of lighting in specific areas can influence your mood, or even your sleep. Recent research shows we spend around six hours staring at screens³ , meaning we spend more time exposed to blue light that keeps us from feeling sleepy in the evenings. Coloured lights allow you to make the choice between cool and warm tones – the latter giving you cosy glow that allows your mind to unwind and prepare for rest at night. With endless options available today, thanks to LED technology, it’s cheap and easy to find a light that suits your living space areas.
Warm up corners with a standing lamp, or try putting fairy lights in a clear vase for a cheap and effective way of bringing mood lighting to any space. From light strips and colour changing LED lights to funky designer filament bulbs – you can match the light to your mood, or let the light lead the way.
3. Stimulate your five senses
Bold colours and geometric pattern rugs, essential oil diffusers, scented candles, fluffy pillows – what do these things have in common? They all stimulate at least one of your five senses, and it’s one of the ways of adding onto the relaxing nature of your living space. Lavender based essential oils for example, can have soothing or calming effects on the mind and help with sleep, whereas orange essential oils can give lift your mood with a refreshing energy boost.
Using bright accent colours in your décor can also induce these feelings. For example, yellows are colours associated with optimism and confidence, greens and blues introduce harmony, and colours like reds and oranges carry warmth and excitement.
Combining the stimulation of smell, sight and touch in your living space, is bound to give you positive energy when you are relaxing at home.
4. Find storage solutions for clutter
A cluttered house is a cluttered mind, but with modern storage ideas it’s easier to manage all your precious and not-so-precious things. Although this may not apply to the hard believers of organised mess methods, finding new storage places for bits and bobs allows your living space, and your mind, to breathe and lighten up.
Things like shelving units, standing cupboards or even storage beds, can help you clear areas of stuff you don’t need in constant reach – something to consider this spring clean.
5. Feel the impact of natural materials in the home
Marjut Wallenius, Ph.D an Environmental Psychologist, states that “wood reduces stress in a person and has a calming effect”. She further explains that “this is based on the positive emotional experience that wood causes, such as proximity to nature, warmth, homeliness and a relaxing effect". Including natural materials in ways such as wooden flooring, will not only offset the human-made parts of your home visually, but also will have positive effects on your mind by bringing a dead space to life.
If you want to find out even more about how nature fits around wellbeing in a spiritual way, why not check our article about Feng Shui and more tips about creating Zen using the elements.
6. Make your space all about you
Of course, the most important factor of all, is simply making your living space all about you. Things like photographs of happy memories, memorabilia, unique furniture pieces or artwork, bring all the happy feelings that you need when winding down.
Home organisation expert and Netflix show host Marie Kondo has taken the internet by storm with her trademarked ‘KonMari’ methods. By only keeping items that “spark joy” within you and discarding those that fail to have the same effect, you declutter whilst surrounding yourself with things that give you positive vibes on top of the comfort of your own home.
And there you have it! Hopefully you are now ready to look at your home and see the places where you can build on your relaxing home bubble.
- To care for mental health through architecture we must care for ourselves from Architects Journal
- Millions of Brits spend less than HALF AN HOUR outside each day from the Express
- Over-reliance on screens can be 'damaging', psychologist warns
- Wood construction reduces stress and offers a healthy living environment