A recent Harris Poll shows that general happiness is at an all-time low in the U.S. Another poll by the insight and analytics leader shows that factors such as politics, the job market and relationships can affect emotional well being.
While you can only do so much about the world around you, there are some things you can control to increase your sense of contentment. Happiness starts at home, so check out these simple ways to fashion a mood-boosting environment in your humble abode.
1. Create A Restful Room
Something as simple as a good night’s sleep can make you happier and healthier. Design an atmosphere that encourages deep, restful, adequate sleep. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Top the bed with soft sheets and lush bedding. Remove distractions that might keep you up, such as a television, and hang window coverings that block out lights or sound that might interrupt your snoozing.
2. Let In The Light
Moderate sun exposure can boost your mood and strengthen your immune system, so open the curtains and soak up some vitamin D. If you’re up for a slight reno, consider installing a skylight or two for natural lighting throughout the day.
3. Get A Green Thumb
Everyone knows that plants help clean the air, but did you realize they can also boost your mood and more? Studies have shown that plants can improve your memory and concentration, accelerate healing and improve relationships. Flowers and ornamental plants in particular generate happiness, so bring on the houseplants.
4. Declutter Away Depression
Piles of stuff have been linked to stress and depression. Organizing your home or even a single area can help you feel happier. If you feel overwhelmed, start small. Tackling one area that makes you miserable, such as a closet, kitchen counter or even just a junk drawer can improve your mood and inspire you to keep decluttering.
5. Choose Pleasing Paint Colors
Colors have the power to improve or worsen your moods, so choose the shades you decorate with carefully. For instance, a light shade of yellow or brown in the living room can be warm and welcoming, while pale blue bathroom walls can impart a soothing, spa-like feeling. Surround yourself with hues that make you happy.
6. Decorate Like A Dane
Pronounced “hooga,” the Danish word hygge roughly translates to coziness. Hygge can apply to food, atmosphere and life in general. Applying this concept to the way you furnish and decorate your home—think candles, soothing colors and soft textures—can help you feel comfortable, relaxed and happier.
7. Incorporate Nature Sounds
Research shows that natural sounds can improve your mood and make you more productive. Bring pleasant outdoor noises into your home by setting up a small tabletop fountain, investing in an aquarium or streaming ocean, wind or rain sounds from the internet.
8. Rearrange The Furniture
A little change can do a lot of good. If you feel stuck in a rut, try rearranging the furniture in one or more rooms. It doesn’t cost anything and the fresh look can lift your spirits. In addition, the physical activity of moving things around can also improve your mental state.
9. Include Uplifting Scents
Perhaps the aroma of vanilla whisks you away to your grandmother’s kitchen or the smell of fresh pine needles reminds you of picking out a Christmas tree with your parents as a child. Scents that you associate with fond memories can put you in an upbeat frame of mind. Trim your home with potpourri, candles, essential oil diffusers or other fragrant décor.
10. Add A Personal Touch
Think about things that bring a smile to your face and find a way to incorporate them throughout your home. Your tastes are as unique as you are. Perhaps a grouping of family photos, an assortment of figurines or a stack of your favorite books makes you feel cheerful. Ultimately, whatever brings you joy is ideal.
[h/t: Apartment Therapy]