If you’re like so many of us who are struggling to maintain a sense of peace and balance in this big crazy world—especially as of late—then it’s time to consider how your home might be contributing to your daily stress. As it turns out, your home’s design can have a major, scientifically-proven impact on the way you feel each day. From your daily mood to your emotional stability to your perception of the world around you, your abode carries a lot of weight when it comes to creating a happy life. Fortunately, optimizing your home for happiness is actually a lot easier than you might think. Apply a few (or all) of these tried-and-true tips to your nest to experience the happy-making magic for yourself.
Let in the light
Natural light does more than enhance your selfie game; it can seriously boost your happiness throughout the day, too. Studies suggest that sunlight washing through your windows can increase your serotonin levels—AKA your happiness hormone—which helps to combat depression and boost your mood.
Ditching heavy-duty curtains for sheer ones and adding reflective surfaces and mirrors that the sunshine can bounce off of will go a long way in maximizing your daily feel-good dose of natural light. (Also, never underestimate the power of washing your windows, either!)
Play with plants
Sunlight isn’t the only natural happy-maker; nature has another mood-boosting tool to add to your home decor arsenal: Plants. In addition to inspiring Pantone’s color of the year, greenery is packed with ways to make you feel good.
Not only do they purify the air you breathe each day, but they can also make you feel calmer and improve your concentration. So, use ’em with abandon! And if you’re worried that you’ll struggle to keep them alive, don’t be. There are plenty of low-maintenance options, like succulents and air plants, that are a breeze to care for while bringing you a ton of benefits.
Color your world
The colors you choose for your home can make or break the way you feel while you’re in it. Studies suggest that some colors can drag you down, others can energize you, and still more will evoke feelings of calm and relaxation.
That said, when you’re planning your space’s revival, think about the way you want to feel in the room. For instance, soothing neutrals are great for mellowing you out before bed, while bolder and more vibrant hues tend to be awesome for your workspace due to their energizing power. But keep in mind that the way colors make one feel is subjective, so be sure to pay attention to your unique vibe with a hue over anything else.
Declutter your space (and your mind)
You know that overwhelming feeling you get when you come home after a long day and there are piles of stuff…everywhere? Well, you feel like that for a reason. Researchers discovered that the more items we have cluttering up our line of vision, the more difficult it is to focus, which can lead to feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
So, take a cue from the ever-popular minimalist aesthetic and work on decluttering and simplifying your space. But rather than pare back everything at once, tackling one small area a day—such as a countertop or drawer—will give you momentum to continue without the stress of trying to take on a complete overhaul in one day.