Is your home making you more anxious?

Stress

This blog discusses how to make your home calming and tranquil. Read on ....

5 simple tips to make your home a peaceful place instead of an anxiety inducing nightmare

Let’s look at a few ways in which your house could be causing you unwanted anxiety and the simple design changes that can help.

1) Go green

Whether it's a splash of colour with some flowers or a few indoor plants, nature is amazing for helping reduce anxiety. In addition to improving the air quality inside, there have been countless studies that show the positive effect that having plants has on boosting mood and reducing stress. Specific plants also have different effects. For example, lavender is commonly associated with a calming feeling while plants like sweet peas have been found to have an association with happy childhood memories (though I suspect this association will depend on the type of flower you associate with childhood - my daughter for example finds this with sunflowers).

2) Clear the clutter

There's a reason we shudder when we hear stories about people hoarding or why we shrink into ourselves when we walk into a confined space as if desperately hoping it will leave us with that little bit of extra room. The truth is, clutter is overwhelming and your body knows it. It draws our attention in 100 different directions at once (which our poor brains are not designed to handle), shrinks the amount of open space available and for most of us and drives your cortisol levels (stress response hormones) way up. So even if you don't go with the minimalist route, try and adopt the approach of less is more and limit the number of things on display and spaces filled with stuff. Not only will it give you the opportunity to better appreciate the things you do keep out but it will reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you experience when you walk into a room.

3) Tempered tones

In the same way that a bold red will rev you up, soft pastel colours will help calm you down. Mellow yellow, baby blue and even a dove grey can help soften your mood and reduce anxiety. Similarly, take a look at the kinds of paintings you have on the walls. Are they busy and filled with movement and bright or bold colours?  

4) Lighting

If you've ever been stuck in a room where there's no natural light, you'll know how unsettling it can be. What's interesting is that it's not just artificial light that can mess with mood. Rather, light has an ability to intensify mood so if you're already wired, going into a room that's a bit more dimly lit can actually help calm anxiety. Natural light and some really good blinds can be a great design strategy as the natural light will boost things like melatonin which will both improve mood and sleep quality.  

5) Feeling welcome

You know when you walk into a hotel or apartment and instantly feel like reclining with your feet up? That welcoming feeling is absolutely vital when it comes to helping you relax. The last thing you want is to feel like you're walking on eggshells or not welcome in your own home. So whether it means putting your favourite painting up, lighting a candle or decorating in a certain style, make sure your house feels like a welcoming home you can't wait to return to.

Wishing you great health,

Dr Pete

PS. you are welcome to share this with friends and family

About Dr Pete

Dr Peter Holsman is a qualified Medical Practitioner, Naturopath and Professional Speaker based in Melbourne. An expert in his field with over 30 years experience, he specialises in treating people with fatigue related illnesses including stress, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid and adrenal hormone problems.

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