When we imagine ways to make ourselves happier, we usually think of doing something fun. Whilst adding new hobbies to your to-do-list can certainly bring happiness, we rarely pay attention to our immediate environment and how it affects our ‘happy-radar.’
And no, you don’t need a bunch of cash to redecorate your place to ooze happy vibes. Instead here are 9 simple things that can boost your mood and turn your home into your happy place.
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Display Sentimental Items Around Your Home
There are so many ways to express ourselves in the home, but there’s nothing quite as meaningful as sentimental decor. Identify the memories that make you happy and display them around your home. Put up your wedding photos, pictures of your grandparents or display a souvenir from a life-changing trip. When you walk by, meaningful relationships and positive memories will be called to mind, brightening your day.
Adopt a pet
Nothing beats a wagging tail greeting you every morning. Studies suggest that those who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate and heart-disease risk. It’s likely that those health boons come from the extra exercise that playing and walking require, and the stress relief of having a steady best friend on hand.
Lift your spirits with indoor plants
If an animal is too much too soon, how about a house plant? You’ll still have to feed it and show it some love, but it’s definitely a cheaper and a less demanding alternative. According to research, houseplants do more than just add a touch of nature to your space. Research confirms that those who were surrounded by plants, rated themselves as more confident and energized compared to those who didn’t. On that note, choose an indoor plant that you (probably) can’t kill.
(Re)paint your walls
Whilst we are firm believers that you do not need to redecorate, a fresh splash of paint is a cost-effective way of brightening the mood – quite literally.
Colour is all around us, it’s a part of our everyday lives, our vocabulary, our emotions. Colour can describe exactly how we feel, we even say, ‘I feel blue’. Interior decorator Elaine Ryan says, “it’s all about finding the colours you respond to and that make you feel good”.
Whether safe beige walls comfort you or a flamboyant magenta, pick a colour and redefine your space to evoke the most happiness.
Turn up The Music
It’s time to crank it up a notch and have a little fun at home. It is believed that upbeat music can elevate your happiness, while calming music reduces stress. A study from the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listen to music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks. Throw in some dance moves and over-the-top singing, your happy radar will stretch off the charts.
Practise mindful cooking
Instead of tossing something into the microwave or trying to plan the next day while cooking, try letting the act of cooking ‘anchor you in the present moment’. Notice every aspect of the process, from the temperature of the water when rinsing vegetables to the sound of your knife hitting the chopping board.
If you can hone in on the details that make the experience enjoyable, your kitchen will be a happy place to be – as opposed to an absolute chore.
Making singing your happy drug
Now that the music is turned up, throw in some dance moves and belt out the chorus! Whilst singing used to be saved for the shower, we recommend doing it anywhere and everywhere. Neuroscience shows that singing releases endorphins making us happier, healthier and more creative!
Make room for aromatherapy
A happy home is a cosy home, right? Follow the lead of the Danish and add a little Hygge into your home with scented candles or essential oils. While a combination of lavender and jasmine are perfect for unwinding.
Because smell is the sense most closely related to memory, filling your home with pleasant fragrances that remind you of good memories is sure to lift your spirits.
Create a space for gratitude
Whilst this may sound airy-fairy to some, taking time out to focus on what you’re grateful for can dramatically increase your happiness. Create a gratitude wall or simply jot down one happy memory from the day. Whether you list your health, the fact that your skinny jeans still fit or even a good cup of coffee, bringing attention to the good things in your life cultivates more happiness.
The added bonus: Later, when your memory is defunct, you’ll have a list of all your meaningful memories recorded.
Hopefully, you’ve learned some new simple ways that’ll help make you happier at home. Of course, you don’t have to adopt a pet or re-paint your walls to achieve happiness. But there’s no denying that our environment impacts our mood.
Try to implement some of these ideas and let us know how it goes in the comments below. You’ve got nothing to lose – and a happy home to gain!
Written by Kimberleigh Tessendorf