Our homes are an extension of who we are. what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.
It’s amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home.
Keep your home clean:
You’ll feel better about your place and being there if it’s tidy – and you’ll be broadcasting the message that your life is under control to everyone who enters, including you. That helps keep stress levels low. And all that scrubbing ‘til it shines will generate endorphins that will buoy up your mood and help shed unwanted pounds. Isn’t everyone on a diet this time of year?
Minimize the clutter:
Totally banishing clutter is often impossible, but it can usually be reduced. Seeing clutter really does make us tense. Also, all the piles and debris (be real, you know when souvenirs and art become annoying litter that impedes forward motion) can keep you from accomplishing what you want to do in a space – from balancing your checkbook or doing yoga to moving from one chair to another.
Look around and try some easy fixes first:
before you call in the demolition crew and the contractors. Often, a new coat of paint on the walls can make a room more comfortable. Same with some fresh throw pillows on the couch or a new pair of drapes. Things that are obviously worn out – such as threadbare rugs – should be the first candidates for replacement; they’re demoralizing.
Make sure that the place where you live says the things about your life that you want other people to know. While you’re sending messages to others, you’ll be reminding yourself what’s important to you, and that helps you keep your life on an even keel. Fancy that you’re a sailor? Add a model sailboat to the décor. Do you volunteer to improve the world? Put up a photo of yourself in this mode. Not a chef, but have an expensive collection of pots and pans hanging from an overhead rack in your open-plan kitchen? Find those pots and pans a new home. A place that tells your story is a place that will make your life better.
Decorate in a style that makes you happy and relaxed:
Who cares if your taste matches what is being displayed in the high-end furniture stores? If sitting on wicker furniture makes you blissful, fill your living room with it – even if most people you know would banish it to the sun porch. You live in your home, so please yourself.
Cue people in to desired behavior:
People read messages in their environment to determine what they should do there. For example: Do you prefer peaceful meals in your dining room? Put a tablecloth on the dining table then, even if it has a great finish you love showing off. That tablecloth will make people think about observing those rules of etiquette that were so important to their mother when they were growing up.
Let the daylight in:
All of your other problems may evaporate in the sunlight if you open the drapes – daylight boosts our mood and helps us think great thoughts.