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Do you ever come home exhausted from a long day and just wanting to plop down and relax? How can you make your home a place of relaxation and rejuvenation? Numerous studies by psychologists, psychologists, and even cellular biologists have proven that our surroundings deeply impact our bodies, minds, and spirits. In an ever-increasing stressful world, having a home of relaxation, beauty, and comfort is more important than ever. Here are six quick and easy ways to bring more relaxation into your home and into your life.
Add Plants and Flowers
Rutgers University did a lengthy study on the effect flowers have on human emotion. The result of the study was that when we see flowers, our bodies respond by releasing “happy” hormones like serotonin and dopamine. The University of Washington also did a study on the effect houseplants have on human behavior and found that productivity went up 28%, blood pressure decreased, and positive moods increased. Additionally, some plants actually work to purify the air and reduce harmful electrical fields. Keep your plants healthy and they’ll help to keep you happy.
Let the sun shine in!
When exposed to sunlight our bodies produce “happy” hormones that help regulate mood and sleep patterns. If you have rooms in your home that have no access to natural light (think windowless bathrooms and kitchens), then replace the regular light bulbs with full-spectrum alternatives. Full-spectrum light bulbs mimic the natural light spectrum. You’ll see that the light in the room will be cleaner and crisper, the colors in the room will be brighter instead of yellow and dingy, and you’ll feel better too! Full-spectrum bulbs come in LED energy-efficient styles and they make them to fit almost every size outlet, including fluorescent fixtures. Check online or at your local home improvement store to purchase.
Minimize Sharp Points and Angles
Sharp points and corners make us feel defensive and tense. When choosing furniture, opt for rounded corners instead of sharp right angles. Choose plants that have soft leaves and avoid those with thorns or spikes. Your room will feel calmer and more relaxed with these small changes.
Having too much “stuff” around can make us feel distracted and unorganized. It can also make us feel guilty (“I should clear off that counter, I should organize the garage, I should donate those old books to the library, etc., etc.) You get the picture. Donate, gift, sell, or toss those items that you no longer want, love, need, or use, and you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you and your home will feel.
Rooms with a lot of smooth surfaces (large glass windows or mirrors, sleek stone or wood floors, glass tables, shiny metal décor items and furnishings) can feel cold and unfriendly, making it difficult to relax. Nature is full of texture. The bark on a tree, the sand on a beach, the fur on an animal, all add their own special tactile experience to our world. To make a room with large, smooth surfaces feel better, add rugs, upholstery, drapes, stones with texture, distressed wood, and throw pillows. The once cold, uncomfortable room will instantly feel more comfortable and relaxing.
When you drive up to your home do your spirits rise or fall? First impressions are lasting impressions, so it is very important that the first thing you see when you arrive home is something that you feel good about. Use some touch up paint on those chipped gutters or fences, plant some colorful flowers, weed the garden, throw some fresh mulch or wood chips in the bare areas, and you will find that your entire mood will change when you get home. If you have an apartment and you don’t have much control over the outside, purchase a new, colorful door mat. That bright spot by the front door is a wonderful way to greet yourself (and your guests) after a long, hard day.
There are many other things you can do to make your home feel more relaxed and less stressful. Play soft music, diffuse calming essential oils like lavender and geranium, pour yourself a cup of tea, sit in a comfy chair in comfy clothes. No matter what you choose to do, remember that your home should be a place of rest and rejuvenation. Our homes are powerful metaphors for our lives. Make sure yours is as positive and nurturing as possible.
Copyright 2015 Cathleen McCandless ALL RIGHTS RESERVED