Many people deal with anxiety every day, which can impact your day-to-day life. If anxiety or anxious thoughts are something you deal with and try to manage, look at your surroundings. When it comes to our own homes, we are experiencing everything from the flooring to sofa material, and even photos on the wall as part of our day-to-day lives even though we might not realize it. It's important to know that what occupies our space influences how we feel! Next time you're feeling antsy or anxious, consider the following things, make adjustments, and see if you can feel a difference.
Style – Our style and the way we live in our space shift over time. Ultra-modern décor taste might shift over the years as life changes. A preference for clean lines might change when you take up antiquing and add to your collection.
Sound – Turn off the phone and tv and tune in to any sounds you hear when it's "quiet." What do you notice? I had a client who was dealing with stress and needed some guidance. When I visited her home, there was a lot of noise from a busy road nearby, with vehicles constantly passing by. While she didn’t realize it, her reaction was visible every time a car passed. By implementing sound-absorbing draperies, adding throws on the sofa, and bringing in rugs on the floor, we could soften the sounds. It was amazing to hear the noise difference that the added textures and white noise machine could accomplish!
Color – Think about the colors that make you feel good. If you don't love warm tones, having too many warm colors in your space will make you feel uncomfortable, triggering anxious feelings. Did you know that viewing the color red can raise your blood pressure? If you love the color red, know that an excess of red and fuchsia colors in your space brings in the fire element of Feng Shui and may trigger anxiety. I recommend these bold, warm colors for functional areas such as a family game room or a gym space. Always opt for balance but ensure you use the colors that make you happy!
Materials/Texture – Various textures, from small woven fabrics to big chunky throws, are perfect for giving your space a cozy, comfortable vibe! As mentioned above, textures are also great for sound absorption. If your room lacks texture and has a lot of smooth surfaces, try balancing out the clean lines by adding texture.
Clutter – There is no doubt that clutter is triggering. A small pile of mail on the counter can cause discomfort to some people. Having a space full of “stuff” clogs up the energy flow. If there's a lot of stagnant energy in a room, it can make us anxious.
Lighting – Harsh lighting (especially fluorescent bulbs) can create anxiety and headaches, and affect sleep, so consider layering the lighting. Focus on overhead lighting, add task lighting for specific needs, and then accent lighting in the form of lamps with soft white bulbs. Utilize your accent lighting during the evenings to encourage your body to calm down and prepare for sleep. LED bulbs last incredibly long and save energy, but they also come in various lighting colors. Pick the one that feels soft and warm.
By knowing how your surroundings can impact you, try to implement some of these ideas in your home, and notice if you feel a positive shift in how you feel!