Home is where the heart is; it’s where you should feel the most safe and comfortable, though unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There are many different factors in your house that can be detrimental to your health and general wellbeing. Whether those factors are obvious to you or not, it’s essential that you do everything you can to make your home your safe haven.
How Your Home Can Affect Your Mental and Physical Health
Your Mental Health
Fortunately, caring for one's mental health doesn't have the negative stigma as it once had. Self care isn't selfish, and it is urged that you talk about and change areas of your life that can negatively affect your mental wellbeing. With that in mind, you should recognize factors in your home that may be having a negative impact on your mental health, and figure out ways in which you can combat them.
Having an aesthetically pleasing home can have noticeably positive effects on your mental health. Your home is your castle, afterall, so you should live comfortably. A warm and inviting home may make you feel more inclined to invite family and friends over to socialize. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a big difference on improving your home's aesthetic, either. Painting your interiors is a DIY weekend project that's relatively affordable. According to a study entitled, "Effects of Interior Colors on Mood and Preference: Comparisons of Two Living Rooms" that was published in 2011, the study found that "warm colors tended to produce stronger participant responses when rating the scene on “high arousal,” “exciting,” and “stimulating.”" Choose paint colors in mood-boosting shades, like cream, perhaps with an accent wall of bright orange or fuschia.
Changing up the lighting in your home can have a positive effect on mood as well. Research has shown that a sufficient amount of lighting improves mood and energy levels, while poor lighting contributes to depression and other deficiencies in the body. It goes without saying that natural light should be at a maximum in your home, so make sure that windows and glass doors are not obstructed with heavy curtains or unruly shrubbery. As for light bulbs: Cooler bulbs are going to be more stimulating and can cause us to be more alert and focused, whereas warm lights make the environment feel a bit more relaxed and cozy.
Another easy change to make in your home could be with the addition of houseplants. Super affordable, attractive and with many health benefits, houseplants could help ease stress, improve cognitive function and enhance creativity.
Your Physical Health
It’s important to look after your physical health just as much as your mental health, and living in certain stressful conditions can not only cause physical pain and long-term injury, but it can also exacerbate any injury that you may already have. For example, maybe your home has too many stairs that your knees and joints just can't handle. Or, perhaps you're unable to climb in and out of the bathtub without assistance. Improving your physical health at home can be as simple as recognizing what's causing you physical duress, and remedying the issues as soon as possible.
While insomnia and a lack of sleep has a major impact on your mental health, it can cause a strain on your physical health as well. Poor sleeping habits (as well as not getting enough sleep at all) has been linked to medical conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Experts agree that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as just important to one's overall health and wellbeing as nutrition and exercise.
Sometimes, the problems aren't as obvious. Respiratory issues such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing can develop over time and can be caused by a myriad of reasons, like sensitivity to toxins, dampness, mold and mildew. Thankfully, there are companies that can test the air quality in your home to determine the cause of your respiratory issues and assist with a solution. For example, Environix in Seattle is a company that provides a full range of indoor inspection, testing and remediation services that will identify and remove hazardous contaminants in your home that can be making you sick.
So, what about the behavioural implications of interior design at home? This infographic gives you the 4-1-1 on how you can boost your mood using science!