Your mental health is something that affects every aspect of your life, and is something that should be looked after. This can be done in a variety of ways from exercise to meditation and even down to your environment.
Interiors hold a strong power at being able to affect your mood and can improve your mental health. Through creating a personalised space that caters for your needs, you can improve your way of life and your overall health.
90% of an average adult’s time is spent indoors. With this time increasingly being in our own home since Covid-19 means working from the office is less likely. This means that it’s even more imperative that we look at how we create and build our home spaces. To create a haven and safe place through our decor.
Stress has a huge part to play in good or bad mental health. Building a retreat away from external stressors and a place to truly switch off creates a positive link to our homes and improves the way our mind can function.
With small tweaks and amendments to your home space, you can create a safe space and environment that helps your overall mood, stress levels and ultimately your mental health.
A Place To Relax
Ultimately, this first point may be an obvious one – but there are some things to note. Interior space should be a place that is seen as a safe space and somewhere to truly relax.
With working from home becoming the norm for many means the lines are becoming more blurred between home and work. This means that work stresses are bleeding into your home space.
To help prevent this, ensure that you have clear spaces in your home that are divided. Your living room and bedroom should be a place to relax and spark feelings of enjoyment. A home office space or corner should be just that. It may be tempting at times, but don’t use the sofa or bed as a place to lounge while replying to emails.
Let There Be Light
It’s well documented that sunshine and light improves moods. Exposure to sunlight and brighter spaces triggers the release of the hormone serotonin to your brain. Serotonin acts as a mood booster and stabiliser. So it’s only logical to try and build spaces that encourage this to happen.
Use lighter wall colours and embrace all natural light possible from windows and other light sources. Using pale colours on the wall can help to amplify the light that does already come into your interior space.
Opt for mirrors and reflective wallpaper to amplify this light even further, and to let sunshine flood your home space.
Spacious, Decluttered Rooms
Allowing there to be space and less clutter is integral to building a calming feel to your home. Having a lot of excess items and mess can be anxiety inducing and can easily distract you leading to lack of focus.
A messy or cluttered home has been proven to trigger the stress hormone cortisol, building a negative response to what should be a relaxing space.
A decluttered home has links to better routine. Starting a habit of keeping your home space can in turn help to promote productivity. Each home will have a different definition of tidy, decluttered doesn’t have to mean spotless. Some creative households will find inspiration in certain spaces that may be more cluttered – but try and isolate these spaces to areas of creativity.
Invest in easy storage solutions, and ensure you tidy up and keep a routine of top line tidiness to improve your space and mental health.
Plants in the home improves mood
Plants not only help to bring life into your interior, but are also proven to be great for the mental wellbeing of those who live with fauna in their decor.
Indoor plants have been proven to help reduce stress levels when placed in an office space. Beyond this direct link, it’s therapeutic to care for plants and can encourage a sense of achievement which can boost mood.
There is of course the obvious benefit that is the improvement of air quality through the use of indoor plants. This helps to improve your home space and ultimately improve your health.
Use of colour
Colour is a powerful tool when controlling mood. So considering the colour of your walls is integral when building a home space that is positive for your mental health.
The choice of colours, shade and tone can have a big impact on a room and can help to build moods for different spaces. For example, a soft pink is calming and warm when a bright pink is energetic and reviving.
A bright pink would be less suitable for a bedroom space, or room where you want excess calm. But may be suited to an office space where you want to feel energised and inspired.
If there’s a colour you love, that may not be suited to mood, instead use that as a complementary colour rather than a dominant colour. This means you don’t have to forgo design, but still care for your overall health through your decor.
Pieces within our home hold a great amount of power, and choosing the lines and shapes of each piece is important to a part our decor plays in our mental health.
Rounded shapes and soft lines ensure our home space feels comforting and safe. It helps to promote the idea of a cocooning and relaxing space that we can use as a retreat.
Angular and square shapes in the home can trigger feelings of anxiety and a coldness from a space. So if they are to be used ensure they are done so sparingly and balanced with opposing softness.
Use Natural Elements
As with having plants in the home, the use of natural elements has been proven to be positive to both physical and mental health. This is called biophilia and is a core component to the concept of Japandi – an interior style that is becoming increasingly popular.
Using natural elements such as wood, flowers or bamboo creates a discernible link to the natural world in a household space. Similarly to being in an outdoor space, this helps to remind us of serenity in the outdoors. It helps to link our decor to a space away from stressors such as work, laptops and iPhones.
It helps to promote calmness and a feeling of wellbeing, which can markedly improve mental health.
Balance A Room
In the same way of having clutter in your home, balancing a room and creating space is positive for mental wellbeing.
Creating balance in a room means that each piece of furniture feels like it belongs and is placed correctly. This is down to symmetry and Feng Shui, which can help to give a room cohesion. Feeling a decor is cohesive helps to reduce anxiety and promote calmness – boosting moods.
Achieve cohesion by assuring the space has a way to flow. Not all items have to be matching, but choose a certain style or way that all the pieces marry together.
Include Social Spaces
Socialising is a key way to ensure that our mental health is in good shape. Human beings are naturally sociable animals, and allowing space in our homes that promotes dinner parties or move nights is a good thing.
While it’s not directly your interior that is improving your mental wellbeing in this instance, it’s key to ensure that your decor promotes socialising over hermit-ing and isolation.
Art That Sparks Joy
Artwork in your household can have a powerful effect when chosen carefully. Art is a form of expression, and helps us release complex feelings when seeing art that we personally enjoy.
Choose prints, paintings and sculptures that spark joy or evoke a reaction when you see them. Don’t opt for pieces to merely fill wall spaces, but choose art that you truly love and enjoy.
Your brain reacts positively to pieces that you truly connect with, and this can help to promote surges of positive moods and productivity.
This again builds on one of the most important components to bear in mind, which is to create a space that you enjoy.
Mental health is an important part of everyone’s life. Small tweaks to your lifestyle and home space can markedly improve your physical and physiological well being.
Let us know in the comments what changes you’ll be making to your home!