Feeling the winter blues? Here are ten easy ways to make your home happier!
By Katy Caric
When we think of ways to boost our mood, most of us immediately think of doing something fun, like watching a comedy or hanging out with friends. But what you may not know is that your environment can significantly affect how you feel.
Architects and interior designers are keenly aware of the fact that as you scan your surroundings, your brain gets messages through what you smell, see, hear, and touch. It then translates the information and relays it to the cellular system, which then produces emotions – both positive and negative.
If your home’s atmosphere doesn’t evoke positive emotions, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and breathe some new energy into it. You don’t need to have your own personal interior designer, architect or custom home builder to come in and overhaul your house to make it a happier place; you can do it quite easily yourself! This is especially important to do during the winter months, when you’re inside more often.
Here are 10 easy ways to make your home happier.
Easy Ways To Make Your Home Happier
1 Add Load of Light
A lack of natural sunlight in winter is one of the main causes of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. But even if you don’t suffer from this very real form of depression, there’s little doubt that a dim house feels unhappy and even a bit claustrophobic.
According to research by Zayed University, exposure to more light is associated with improved mood, so be sure to expose windows as much as possible by opening the blinds and curtains all the way to brighten your house during the day. For nighttime, have soft overhead lighting or floor and desk lamps to soften the mood. You can add sconces, pendant lights, use different bulbs, or install low ambient or customised lighting to vary a room’s lighting.
It’s equally important to ensure working spaces such as kitchen sinks and counters, bathroom mirrors and desktops have proper lighting too, but note: use only incandescent lights, not fluorescent and energy saving bulbs, as the latter cause stress responses and lower mood.
2. Keep Less Junk
Daily viewings of dirty dishes, laundry on the floor, old newspapers and bills you already paid all add to your subconscious stress by fueling feelings of failure and laziness. Studies show that a sense of order eases your mind.
If you don’t have closets to store things away in, no problem. Simply purchase baskets or decorative boxes to do so. Put things into neater piles and stacks, eliminate unnecessary accessories and knicknacks, make your bed daily, and do the dishes after every use to create a feeling of calm and order.
Image credit here.
3. Change Colours
The colours of your walls, linens, artwork, and furniture influence your mood subtly – but significantly. The best combination of colour to choose varies from one person to another. However, according to a study by researchers from Vrije University, using touches of yellow or green evokes the best positive vibes, whilst soft blue hues can be the most relaxing.
That doesn’t mean all your walls should be in these colours. Instead, paint a feature wall in the colour of your choice; use artwork in those colours, or just add accessories like cushions, rugs and curtains.
4. Make It Smell Nice
Your olfactory response is linked to your brain’s emotional center, so it’s no wonder scents can affect your mood. For example, lavender essential oil is known to have a calming effect and promotes better sleep, whilst citrus ignites energy, pine helps alleviate stress, and jasmine can ease the blues. One of the best ways of filling your home with the pleasing aromas of these oils is by running an essential oil diffuser.
5. Save Sentimental Stuff
Studies show that pleasant memories provide a sense of joy and decrease stress responses, so surround yourself with photos of your family, vacations, childhood, and other pleasant memories. So, another way to make your home happier is to keep family heirlooms, travel souvenirs and other things that bring fond memories somewhere conspicuous.
And don’t forget to pamper yourself with little touches around the home that make you feel really special, such as quality sheets, thick towels, a favourite coffee mug, or a comfortable chair.
Image credit here.
6. Bring Nature Indoors
Houseplants have been proven to help increase productivity, reduce stress, and improve your mood. They also purify the air. Pot up a few plants in pretty containers and place them in different parts of your home like near windows and on the nightstand to help boost your mood. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider easy-to-grow varieties, like the spider plant, snake plant, or succulents.
7. Mind Your Frequencies
There’s no doubt that we’re all happiest in a home where we can enjoy a good rest. But many studies have proven that wifi radiation reduces brain activity (especially in women), causes sleeplessness and lowers energy. Since cities today are bombarded by wifi radiation, blocking exposure is difficult. But there are a few small steps you can take. For one, never keep cell phones, laptops, and tablets close to your body.
At home, be sure you shut off your wireless router at night, and try to use your laptop unplugged and in battery mode whenever you can. This alone can reduce EMF emissions and exposure by 50-80%.
Also, set it on the desk or table, not on your lap. If possible, connect to the internet using an ethernet cable. And above all, ensure your bedroom is a sanctuary, free from wifi routers, laptops and cell phones.
All of these measures may help to improve sleep quality and energy levels, which can lead to a better mood overall.
8. Add Some Texture
There’s a reason the seats at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s are made of hard plastic. They want you out of there as fast as possible!
But on the other hand, soft, cushy furniture invites you to cozy up and stay awhile. Even take a nap. Or have a hot, soothing drink. And that’s exactly what you should have in your house!
Add some soft textures to every room. Think: soft cushions, fluffy throws, or deep, shaggy rugs. It will feel – and look – more comforting.
9. Create A Gallery Wall
What inspires you? Is it a photo of a place you’ve always wanted to visit? A person you look up to? A slogan you deeply believe? Whatever it is, it belongs on a gallery wall! Every time you feel a bit blue or under the weather, that visual cue will lift your spirits.
Image: The White Company
10. Remember: Sound Helps, Too
Music in the home can seriously impact your mood. According to a study by the University of Missouri-Columbia that was published in Science Daily, listening to upbeat music for a few hours every day can improve your mood and boost your happiness in as little as two weeks.
You can play calming music to lower your stress and mood-boosting music to increase your happiness. Be sure to invest in whatever sound system you prefer – from an old-school turntable or bluetooth speaker. And then, use it!
Image: @Emily Jane Lathan on IG
You spend a lot of time in your home, so it’s important to make your home happier. Apply a few of these tips, and it will transform itself into a sanctuary of happiness and positive energy!
Main image credit here.