They say home is where the heart is — but it also should be where your happiness resides. According to scientific research, there are specific things you can do around the house to lift your spirits and maximize the joy you get from your home. So c’mon! Let’s get happy!
#1 — Give Your Bedroom a Better-Sleep Makeover
It’s no secret that you can suffer all kinds of bad side effects when you don’t get enough sleep, whereas getting plenty of high-quality sleep yields productivity and happiness. Heck, Arianna Huffington has built a whole business around that goal. To welcome a better sleep, experts suggest:
1) Clearing out the clutter, especially underneath and around your bed;
2) Rearranging the room so you can see the door, if possible, and getting rid of any desks that remind you of work;
3) Minimizing energy-reflecting mirrors;
4) Making the room as dark as possible, using a cool color scheme –blue, purple, gray, silver, green, neutrals–to lower blood pressure and heart rate; and
5) Releasing a soothing scent, such as lavender.
#2 — Let the Sun In
Early research from the Vitamin D Council shows that folks with depression often have low vitamin D levels–so open the shades and push open those windows, because the rays that deliver vitamin D cannot pass through glass, according to the U.S. Library of National Medicine. Or, you know, take advantage of any outdoor space you have and actually sit in the sun.
#3 — Choose Room Colors Wisely
“Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it,” says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant in Old Greenwich, Conn. and a noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial decor. “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”
Need ideas? Here’s a sampling of colors believed to work best in some of the most important rooms of your home, and the moods they create.
Living room and foyer: Earth tones like brown and beige often work well in both the living room and foyer, as do warm tones like reds, yellows, and oranges as accents, because they stimulate conversation. “These are colors that encourage people to sit around and talk,” says Kate Smith, a color consultant in Lorton, Va. “You feel the warmth, the connection with other people.”
Kitchen: Color consultants say that if you have fond memories of spending time in the kitchen when you were a kid, it might make sense to recreate the color scheme in your very own grown-up kitchen. “If you grew up in a blue-and-white kitchen and have great memories, blue and white may be the best colors for you and your family,” says Smith.
However, if you’re not particularly fond of any paint scheme, yellow can be a fun, uplifting color to use in the kitchen. Associated with happiness, exuberance and positivity, yellow has the power to make us feel optimistic that our children will actually happily eat what we cook without complaint (however briefly)!
Children’s bedroom: Blue promotes rest and calm (YES, PLEASE), promoting a deep, relaxing sleep (YES, PLEASE, AGAIN). It also can help balance hyperactivity in children and promote imagination.
The room where you work out: Red and violet boost your energy level by causing your body to pump out more adrenaline. And heaven knows we moms can use all the extra adrenaline we can get.
#4 — Style a Photo Wall
The secret to creating a happy home environment could be as simple as printing out your favorite holiday snaps. According to researchers at the University of Exeter in England, images of friends and family have the ability to lower stress levels.
Try this: Gather your favorite photographs of friends and family (both human and the furry variety), and print them out. Create a photo wall with matching minimalist frames to feel instantly uplifted every time you walk past.
If your photos don’t necessarily look like they belong in a catalog, don’t fret– silly pictures and “imperfect” outtakes can be even more effective in putting a smile on your face!