Does Your Home Promote Your Wellbeing?
Wellbeing is the trendy buzzword of the moment and for good reason. Studies now show feelings of wellbeing are essential to overall optimal mental and physical health. But what exactly is ‘wellbeing’?
Wellbeing can be described as the complex combination of emotional, mental, physical and social health of an individual. When needs are met in each of these areas it can promote life satisfaction, resilience to difficulties and overall happiness.
The environment around you can play a huge factor in your level of wellbeing. Emerging research is showing how pleasant surroundings can improve your mood but it can also affect your immune system and promote longevity. So does your home promote your wellbeing and, if so, how can you improve it so that it makes you feel better?
De-clutter to de-stress
It is a well-known fact that a key contributor to poor wellbeing is stress. Stress causes and exacerbates many modern physical health problems from IBS to hypertension; therefore stress management is an important consideration when developing your home environment.
Visual “noise” can increase stress levels. A cluttered, dirty, or overwhelming environment can cause us to feel worried, sad, or helpless. Whereas an organised, well presented space gives us a feeling of calm.
Queen of Minimalism, Marie Kondo and her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ has taken the world by storm. People across the globe are taking on her method of discarding items in their homes that don’t ‘spark joy’, with the goal of achieving a clutter-free joyful space. Achieve this in your home by having a spring clean and letting go of items that don’t serve you.
Satisfy your senses
When thinking about your space at home, it is tempting to only consider visual aspects such as colour combinations. Whilst colour is a key factor in creating a calming space, the other senses should also be considered.
Reflect on the smells in your house – fresh flowers and scented candles can bring brightness to your home and create a sense of wellness. Likewise, consider texture within your space. Plump cushions and fluffy blankets can bring about feelings of cosiness and contentedness.
Light up the room
Studies show natural daylight is associated with improved mood and optimal energy levels. So, it is important to make the most of the natural light you have. Opt for light curtains or blinds in dark rooms and ensure you don’t block windows with heavy furniture. Using mirrors, opposite sources of light can help to bounce sunlight into darkened corners. To help your natural body clock, use dim lighting, such as table lamps and candles, in the evening at least three hours before bed. This has been shown to improve the quality of sleep.
Humans have evolved with a strong need to feel safe and secure therefore it is important to consider this in your home environment. Physical comforts, such as the right temperature, are key to feeling relaxed and at ease. Optimising home accessories like bed linen and throws can help with this. In winter you might consider small carpets and rugs over cold floors, which you can then store away throughout the summer months to feel the coolness under your feet.
Science shows that even short contact with nature can significantly reduce stress. If you are lucky enough to have a view of nature, place tables and chairs in a space where you can enjoy it. If not, use indoor plants, terrariums, and art featuring natural scenes to create the effect of bringing the outside in.
Creating a space that feels positive, peaceful and tidy will help you to reflect these same values within your current state of mind. So, have a look around and see what you can change within your environment that you’d also like to change within yourself.