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The Science of Relaxation: How Your Home Environment Impacts Stress Levels


The environment you’re surrounded in and your mental health are intrinsically connected. The place where you spend a lot of time, especially your home, has a significant impact on your mental well-being. This certainly includes your stress levels.

Do you feel as if your home is making you more stressed? You may be right. Identifying the environmental factors that can affect you in this way is important to know whether or not your home is contributing to or detracting from your mental wellness.

This quick guide can help you recognize if changes are needed to start feeling better mentally and emotionally.

What to Look For

Understanding that the environment you call home plays a role in your mental health is the first step.

The next step is to identify if a change is needed. Consider the following:

1. Aesthetics

For many of us, cluttered spaces often create feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. You are likely included in this group.

Just the opposite, tidy spaces invoke a sense of peace and calm. Need proof? Research shows that clutter increases our likelihood of making poor food choices. In a study with college students, participants in chaotic environments ate more cookies.

Having colors and objects in your environment that are meaningful can boost your mood, but if you have too much “stuff” around you, it begins to have a negative impact instead. Take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and clear away that clutter!

2. Senses

Everything from the lighting, temperature, sounds, and smells to the actual color palette of a room are very important to how you feel while in it.

Are you comfortable, relaxed, and safe? Or perhaps you feel a bit uneasy.

Harsh lighting and loud noises can lead to anxiety, stress, and agitation. Dark and cold spaces can lead to feeling unmotivated, making it feel just plain hard to get out of bed in the morning.

3. Presence of Toxins Inside the Home

Toxins in an indoor environment can include both cleaning products and mold.

The effect of mold in the home can create or exacerbate mental health issues. After all, nothing is quite as stressful as facing the choice between health side effects and a massive mold remediation bill!

Lowering Your Stress Levels by Making Positive Changes Around the House

If you feel your home is causing you more stress than it relieves, it’s time to do something about it. Start with the things you have control over and can accomplish relatively easily.

Organize your space so it’s no longer so cluttered. If you live in a big city and feel the traffic noises make you feel anxious, get a sound machine to cover up what you hear down on the street.

You can also create a spa-like experience at home, and it takes much less effort and money than you may imagine.

To make the most impact, begin with the room you spend most of your time in. This could be your home office, bedroom, living room, or den.

Below Are Some Simple Solutions to Go on From There:

#1 Increase the amount of light in the room, either with soft bulbs or natural light from open blinds/shades.

#2 Paint your room a brighter or more calming color.

#3 Declutter your room in a way that helps you feel more focused or relaxed.

#4 Engage different senses to help improve your mood. If you want to slow down, opt for quiet music or soothing ocean sounds. The scents of lavender have been shown to help reduce anxiety.

If your mental health is more down in the dumps than stressed, try a peppermint-scented candle and brighter lights to boost your energy levels.

#5 If you don’t have a view of nature outside your window or a window at all, bring nature inside! This can be done with potted plants, a tiny herb garden, or fresh flowers.

It’s common to see your mental health affected by environmental factors. A dark, cluttered room evokes different feelings than a cheery, light-filled space.

By following a few simple tips, like lighting a lavender candle and opening up the drapes, you’ll be well on your way to feeling relaxed, happy, and at peace.