8 ways to make your home look and feel more zen
Home is such an important part of our everyday life. It's our first port of call when we need to retreat from the outside world, recharge our batteries, and spend time with family. For some, spending time at home can prove a mental and emotional challenge. If spending time within the confines of your home is making you feel anxious or stressed, it may be time to 'zen-ify' your personal space. Here are 8 simple ways to make your home look and feel more zen:
#1 Marie Kondo your clutter
Clear out unused possessions and keep your space organised. According to numerous studies, clutter within the home has major negative impacts on our mental health as well as our general perception of our relationships and life satisfaction. A 2016 study by the University of Mexico, led by Dr Catherine Roster found:
"Clutter is often an insidious and seemingly harmless outgrowth of people’s natural desire to appropriate their personal spaces with possessions… when [clutter] becomes excessive, it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person in dysfunctional home environments which contribute to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation."
#2 Keep your space clean
Thorough regular house cleaning is super important for maintaining hygiene and reducing allergies. Cleaning kills germs and prevents mould from developing in the nooks and crannies of your home, and improves the quality of indoor air by preventing dust and mildew from accumulating.
#3 Embrace greenery
Research by NASA scientists found that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxins in 24 hours. Numerous studies have also found that indoor plants can help improve concentration and productivity by up to 15 percent and improve mood and reduce stress levels.
#4 Let in plenty of natural light
Research shows that the amount and quality of light we absorb throughout the day affects our mood and energy levels. Poor, artificial lighting (e.g. fluorescent lights) can contribute to depression, diminished concentration, eye strain, insomnia and other deficiencies in the body. Make sure you let in plenty of sunlight during the day, draw back your curtains, and let your home soak up some sunshine. Too bright? Consider installing sheer curtains to soften the glare.
#5 Opt for a neutral colour palette
Some studies suggest that colour can have a remarkable effect on our moods and emotions. For a calming environment, opt for a neutral colour palette such as white, beige and light grey with pops of pastels like baby blue, mint and lilac. Add wooden textures and details for warmth. Keep your colour palette simple and limited, the fewer colours you combine the more cohesive and calming your room will feel.
#6 Freshen up your room with aromatherapy
While studies on aromatherapy is still limited, some smaller studies suggest that it might have health benefits, including relief from anxiety and depression, improved sleep, better concentration. Freshen up the air in your home with soy candles, wax melts, or scent diffusers.
#7 Invest in luxurious soft furnishing
The key to adding more cosiness to your space is with luxurious textures that make you want to curl up and chill out. Invest in quality cushions, throws, and lush floor rugs in natural fibres such as cotton, linen and wool.
#8 Add nature to your walls
What's more calming than the sight of nature? Dress your walls in framed artwork of natural scenes. Adding visuals of nature not only adds more personality to your space but may help reduce stress, anxiety and mental fatigue. According to a study by the University of Reading:
“Scenes of nature, particularly those depicting water, had a beneficial influence on the psychological state of participants.” - (Ulrich, 1982)