Our homes could be stressing us out, according to a new poll.
A survey, commissioned by David Village Lighting, found that one in four people were unhappy with the appearance of their home while one in eight actually considered it to be a stressful place. Homes should be a peaceful haven from the outside world but just two-thirds of those quizzed felt their property was a relaxing place to spend time.
This week is International Stress Awareness Week and it's the perfect time to give your living room a stress-busting makeover.
Mess and chaos can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Clear surfaces and create space by reducing the amount of things you have in your living room. Focus on key pieces of furniture like your sofa and coffee table and reduce the number of additional items in the room. Consider whether you really need an item and whether it enhances the room or simply takes up valuable space. Clearing your living room will help you clear your mind and make it easier for you to unwind and relax.
Getting the lighting right in your living room can help lower your stress levels and boost your mood. If you can, let as much natural light into the room as possible by fulling opening your curtains or blinds and moving furniture away from your windows. You may also want to change which kind of bulbs you use. LED lighting produces the same kind of light as natural daylight so can help you feel brighter and happier. Adding a dimmer switch to your living room lighting so you can lower the light levels in the evening is also a good idea as it helps prepare your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
Houseplants increase the levels of oxygen in our homes, remove toxins from the air and can help you feel more positive and relaxed. Choose some low maintenance greenery which looks attractive and will help you turn your living room into an oasis of calm. According to a scientific study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, regularly interacting with plants by tending to them and smelling them can also help reduce stress levels. This is because microbes in the soil act as a type of natural antidepressant. They release cytokines which send signals to your brain to produce more serotonin – a natural chemical linked to happiness and wellbeing.
Making sure you have somewhere really comfortable to take a break and unwind at the end of a busy day will help lower your stress levels and make sure your mind and body gets the rest it needs. Spend time choosing a sofa or armchair that allows you to sit back, relax and recharge your energy levels. Consider a chair or sofa with a recliner function so you can really put your feet up and forget about your worries. If you already have the perfect sofa or lounger, consider adding to your comfort levels with some extra cushions or a luxury throw to help you feel warm and cosy.
If you have the time and budget to redecorate, choosing a new colour scheme is a great way to transform your living room into a relaxing haven. Avoid reds as these can add to your stress levels whereas cool blues and greys help slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.