There’s nothing quite like plopping down on your couch after a long day’s work or whipping up a home-cooked meal in your kitchen. After all, our homes are our personal sanctuaries away from the rest of the world. But when things go awry in our life or relationships, they can feel like less of an oasis.
If you’re looking to clean up for spring or want to change up your décor, there are ways to alter home design to increase happiness. Various studies have shown colors, scents and décor can improve the overall mood in your home for a healthier environment.
Allowing natural light to flow freely in our homes does wonders not just for broadening spaces, but for improving our moods too. Touted an effective and simple way to makeover moods by designers and therapists, natural light increases serotonin and endorphins -- our body’s feel-good conductors. The Mayo Clinic suggests not getting enough natural light can lead to seasonal affect disorder (SAD).
Color Your World
Color has the ability to sway cognitive patterns and decision-making. According to the National Institute of Health, color not only has the power to motivate us, but enhance our relationship between arousal and memory. While red and violet hues stimulate energy levels by causing our bodies to pump more adrenaline, green and yellow have been proven by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to increase happiness, hope, and excitement; while blue brings a sense of peace.
Not only are minimalistic homes easier to clean, but they’re less stressful as they allow you to focus on present needs. We know de-cluttered homes are de-cluttered minds, but did you know this influences mood? Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin, who wrote Happier at Home, says you’ll feel a significant mood change by reducing excessive amounts of anything. Due to the “endowment effect,” we only place importance on things once we own them -- meaning, get rid of what you don’t need and be wary of bringing something home.
Buy Fresh Flowers
Tulips, daisies, roses -- they’re all among an infinite list of floral favorites that hold the key to better moods. A study out of Harvard suggests flowers chase off anxiety, and Rutgers found evidence flowers not only produce an increase in serotonin, but also heighten feelings of life satisfaction. Both studies found flowers are so effective at uplifting moods that they offer many people a healthy, natural way to control emotions.
Embrace Soft Geometric Shapes
No need to go all out with 1970s décor with this tip, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. The University of California found rounded décor like angular sofas, round cushions and vases encourage more brain activity, thus increasing productivity and contentment through memory strengthening. Moreover, a Harvard study concludes curved designs are preferred to straight, boxier shapes as the curvature stimulates increased positivity.
Hang Up Sentimental Photos
Whether it’s photos of family, friends, pets or even locales you wish to travel to, it’s time to make room for them on you walls. The University of Portsmouth found looking through photographs that are of sentimental value results in a sense of calmness. As effective self-soothing tools, photographs have the ability to elicit feelings of positivity and optimism that drive motivation and inspiration forward.
Candles are not just for romantic dinners, but also helpful tools in relaxation. A study from the University of Oxford reports scents have the power to alter mood for the better, and even counteract stress. This form of aromatherapy is one reason you’re so inclined to take a bath when you get home from work. Triggering parts of your brain that signal relaxation, candles with rose, vanilla, lemon, orange, sandalwood or honeysuckle help sooth nerves.