The environment around you is a key contributor to your mental health, but in so many places, you have little to no control over your surroundings. At home, however, you can create a space that soothes your stress, boosts your happiness, and improves your wellbeing. Still, it can be difficult to design a happy home if you aren’t sure what exactly makes for a positive environment. Below you’ll find several tips to help you emphasize positivity and improve your mental health with your home design.

Minimize Clutter

Wide, open spaces are known to enhance one’s mood. Large rooms with high ceilings help to spark creativity and contribute to productivity. Of course, seeking a sense of spaciousness can be challenging if you live in an apartment or small home. One way to achieve a greater feeling of openness in your space—no matter how much space you actually have—is to declutter. That may mean taking an inventory of everything you keep at home and getting rid of items that aren’t serving you in your daily life.

Once you get rid of the excess, find a dedicated space for every item in a given room. Storage bins, desk organizers, shelving, and multi-functional furniture can help in this task. Finally, arrange any furniture so that you still have plenty of space to move about the room without feeling cramped or claustrophobic.

Let in the Light

Natural light is another feature that can make a space feel more open and contribute positive vibes. People thrive with sunlight—there’s a reason that seasonal depression is so common in the winter months when we see less sunlight throughout the day. But you don’t have to go outside to reap the benefits of sunlight. Allowing natural light into the home can help to improve your sleep, boost your mood, and even make you more productive.

If your home does not have many windows to allow abundant natural light, you can strategically place mirrors throughout the home to amplify the light that comes in. Hanging a mirror opposite a window can provide a significant boost in the availability of natural lighting.

Include Plants in Your Décor

People respond positively to the presence of nature in our living spaces. Therefore, adding plants to your home décor can enhance your comfort and boost your mood. Plus, the act of caring for another living thing can be a positive experience. In addition, plants help to improve indoor air quality and can offer a pleasant aroma along with a beautiful appearance. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are a few low-maintenance plants that you might have better luck keeping alive, including Pothos (devil’s ivy), snake plants, spider plants, and rubber plants.

If you really don’t have luck maintaining house plants, you can still bring in a touch of nature with artificial plants and nature-themed artwork. Creating soundscapes and aromatic experiences is also a way to evoke a natural presence in your home. Listening to the sounds of birds singing or rolling waves or using a diffuser to fill your home with the scents of plant based essential oils can help to create a sense of relaxation and wellness in your space.

Choose the Right Colors in the Right Places

Color psychology has been part of interior decorating for years, but there should be a delicate balance when incorporating color into the home. Unless you have a very large space, fully saturated colors on your walls can cause you to feel cramped. Light tints of colors, on the other hand, can be a great way to liven up your space and improve your mood. Very pale shades of green or blue can create calm surroundings in your home, while a tint of yellow can help you feel positive and happy. Meanwhile, adding bright colors as decorative accents in artwork, throw pillows, and textiles throughout each room can offer a cheerful boost to your space.

Emphasize Privacy in Shared Homes

While it is nice to have the feeling of open space in the home, it is also important to have a sense of privacy in homes with multiple people living in them. Whether you have roommates, a large family, or live with your spouse, it’s helpful to have areas where each person can have their own sense of place. Room dividers can be useful, but you might also differentiate spaces by dedicating parts of each shared room for each person to decorate. For example, the living room may feature different corners decorated by each person living in the house. Of course, a collective effort to keep all shared spaces clean and tidy is helpful as well.

Cultivating positivity through your home environment is just one of many possible steps you can take to boost your mental health in 2023. If you are seeking a positive start to the year, MeMD can connect you with a licensed therapist through our convenient, virtual platform.

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