How to create a tranquil home for a stress-free life   

Your environment can have a huge impact on the way you feel. Comfortable hotel rooms and spas, for example, can often make us feel completely differently than when we’re milling around a busy shopping center. While you may not be able to impact your outside environment, you can create a tranquil environment at home. You may have a dark corridor or office that could use an uplift, or perhaps you have a man cave or games room without a window. Whatever way your space is presented, here are some of the ways to encourage feelings of peace and serenity in your home: 

Declutter your home

The average UK home has around 53 items of unworn clothing, 36 CDs and DVDs, and 7 pairs of unwanted shoes. Together, we also store 527 million unwanted electrical items at home. It’s no doubt that we’re a nation of hoarders, but the clutter we’re keeping at home can make us feel stressed, depressed and anxious.

Getting rid of the items you don’t need can help you feel more relaxed. It can give your eyes and your mind a place to rest without being overstimulated and it can create feelings of order and symmetry. The KonMari Method by Marie Kondo, encourages tidying by category, starting with clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally sentimental items. This method is a powerful tool for resetting and rebalancing your home. 

Embrace blank spaces

Maximalism is a style of décor that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s an aesthetic of excess, using layers of decor, colour, accessories and art to transform your home into a space of decorative overabundance. However, a maximalist home can be mentally overwhelming, and incredibly hard to live with.

Instead, paring down your life into primary essentials, and finding hidden storage solutions will help keep your home free from clutter and make spaces feel calmer and less busy. Blank spaces on walls, while frowned upon in recent years, can also help you feel more relaxed and determine the flow of energy in a space.

Separate workspaces

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people working from home. As many as 14% work from home exclusively, while 24% have a hybrid working arrangement.

While there are a number of benefits to working from home, relaxed boundaries between your personal and professional life can cause stress and burnout. Having a designated room or space purely for work can help you set clear boundaries between your home and office. 

Choose colours wisely

There is a huge amount of research dedicated to the impact of colour on mood. As early as 1810, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote a book called Theory of Colours, which linked colours to emotions. For example, red and yellow signify warmth and excitement, while blue and purple hues tend to reflect calm and tranquility.

Where your home is concerned, choosing the right colours can have a huge impact on your mood. According to interior designer Diana Sfera, choosing bold colours like red or orange can evoke warmth and passion; bright pink can encourage enthusiasm and happiness; while blue and green can evoke serenity and even lower your stress levels.

Embrace biophilic design

Biophilic design is a strategic approach that uses elements of nature to bring respite to those in man-made environments. In your home, you can foster a connection with nature by using houseplants, or other natural elements such as flowers, dried grasses, wood and natural textiles. This is especially beneficial for those who spend a lot of time working from home, without access to green spaces.

Biophilic design has been shown to reduce levels of anxiety and stress, improve your wellbeing and expedite healing. Studies have also shown that looking at pictures of greenery through an open window can offer benefits similar to those experienced when walking in nature. Therefore, embracing the rules of biophilic design can create a calming space that actively improves your health.

Consider fragrances

Similarly to colours, certain fragrances can also help create certain emotions in your home. Fragrances such as lavender and jasmine, for example, have been used historically to promote feelings of calm and balance. Using essential oil diffusers, air fresheners, room sprays or candles, can help create an atmosphere of calm and tranquility. It’s equally important to let in fresh air and natural scents from the outside, if the weather allows, by opening a window and using a fan to circulate the air.

Display things you love

Each item you display in your home has the power to evoke an emotional reaction. A painting that you love can uplift your mood and change the spirit of your room. Displaying items that evoke certain memories, such as a cherished keepsake from a family trip, can help bring those memories back.

The style of decor can be equally as important as the items you choose. Using bold, colourful accessories in your home can create a sense of excitement. Minimal wall décor using neutral colours and natural textures in your home can create a calming atmosphere. In her book Calm Sally Denning says ‘colour works hard to bring interest to an interior, but it’s natural elements like stone, wood, hessian, linen and raw brick that give it an organic, multi-layered feel.’ 

Consider lighting

Lighting plays a big part in how you feel. Increased hours of natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which can dramatically impact your mood and wellbeing. Inside your home, warm lighting can help create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere, while cool lighting can help you feel more focused and ready to concentrate.

Some areas of your home may not have access to natural sources of light, such as small kitchens or converted attic spaces. Many more people have home offices that don’t get much natural light, or dark hallways, man caves and games rooms that offer nothing in the way of natural scenery.

Lighting is an important aspect for people who have dark spaces at home. However, many people are introducing lighting systems into their homes that emulate real, natural lighting patterns throughout the day. Lighting systems such as these help to keep stress levels in check and reduce levels of anxiety. It also helps uplift tired, dull and dark spaces and helps create welcoming, comfortable and serene atmospheres.  

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