Your Environment Plays a Significant Role in Your Overall Health
Have you ever felt like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders after you clean your house? Not just because you checked another item off your “to-do” list, but because the environment itself is cleaner and less cluttered? It’s as if your mood matches your clean environment: light, carefree, peaceful. It’s not in your head. Research has shown that your physical environment has a direct impact on your mood, behavior, and stress. Read on to discover four big ways your living environment can affect your mental health, and you may be inspired to make a few tweaks to ensure your home remains a peaceful refuge from the everyday.
The lighting and coloring of your living space can influence your mood. For example, a space with bright light and calming colors (think: blue, green) can improve depression and anxiety and lend an aura of calm and peace, whereas a room with darker colors and no (or very little) light can make you feel anxious and sad.
Behavior and Motivation
Ever noticed that de-cluttering a space makes you feel more motivated to keep it that way? You’re more likely to take the time to put items away instead of just dumping them and walking away. This is another way in which your living environment is at work: messy rooms may make you feel more inclined to arbitrarily set something down with the intent of “putting it away later,” but a neat area where everything is in its place will motivate you to put an item away in that room properly – right then and there.
Your living space also has the ability to either encourage or discourage interactions with guests. For example, a room that features comfy chairs and has a welcoming environment will encourage your guests to stay, chat, and visit with each other, whereas a Spartan room with very little or very uncomfortable furniture may cause your guests to bid adieu much sooner than you would like.
A dirty, messy, cluttered area could cause you to feel worried, sad, or helpless – the exact opposite of what you are supposed to feel while at home. Your home is supposed to be a calming refuge when everything else seems chaotic, but if it’s not properly managed, it can actually magnify your stressors, increasing your overall stress load. A clean, tidy living space allows you to properly reset and recharge, allowing you to manage your stress in a healthier way.
If you think a good reorganization of your home or a fresh coat of paint on the walls may help improve the serenity of your living environment, go for it! Just remember to tackle one thing at a time. Doing too much at once will cause you to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Besides, focusing on one area at a time will give you the motivation to keep going and build on the foundation you already started – leading to a home that is a peaceful, calming refuge.