How Your Home Affects Your Mental Health

Last updated on July 3, 2021

Here’s how your home environment affects your mental health. Every little detail counts. Read on!

The environment we place ourselves in can be quite powerful. Since we spend the majority of our lives in our homes, and naturally, where we live can have a tremendous impact on the way we think and feel on an everyday basis. This is just like how our workplace can have similar effects, and nowadays, for millions of people, their living and work environments are blended together, which makes understanding its effects on mental health more essential than ever. This article will discuss the factors in your home that can influence your mental health so that you can be more mindful of them and potentially make positive changes.

What's Inside?

Cleanliness & Organization

clean happy home
Young mother with toddler son cleaning up at home

One of the most crucial aspects of living that can make or break how you feel is how tidy your living space is.

While a disorganized environment can be a reflection of our current state of mental health, it’s also true that having too much clutter can certainly make you feel much worse.

However, even if you don’t have depression, anxiety, or any condition, in particular, an untidy living space can still create unnecessary stress on you. For example, have you ever misplaced your wallet, keys, or phone right before it’s time to head out for work?

These can actually be very annoying and stressful and potentially ruin your entire morning due to their ability to make you run late or create fear that you’ve actually lost these very important items and need to replace them as soon as possible.

By keeping your home clean and organized, you can avoid these kinds of inconveniences but also help you feel calmer and more comfortable by reducing all of the clutter around your house.

Lighting & Nature

Your lighting is another important feature that should be considered when examining the home’s ability to influence your mental health.

Dim light can be very cozy, especially when you’re starting to wind down for the evening, but in general, bright lighting can make you feel more positive and energetic, especially if it’s natural light coming from your windows.

The connection between light and mental health is well-documented, seasonal affective disorder is very common in locations where there is a lack of sunlight, and to treat it, a light box is highly recommended.

Like sunlight, though, being situated nearby nature can also have a role in how you feel each day. For example, people in highly-populated urban areas tend to be more stressed out than those who reside in rural ones or the suburbs.

If you live in an area where there is plenty of green space, simply looking out your window or taking a stroll around your neighborhood can be quite calming, similar to how many offices will try to include nature in order to make employees more positive and productive.

Aesthetics

The way that your home looks both on the interior and exterior can drastically affect your mood, and despite being something that you look at every day, it’s also an aspect that goes overlooked at times.

Take the paint of the walls, for instance. The majority of homes are painted white on the inside because it can help make rooms look more spacious but importantly, it can help attract natural light, which discussed in the previous section, is correlated with your mental health.

However, you don’t necessarily need white walls in every room to enjoy some other positive benefits. Some people love to choose bold colors, such as red, in certain rooms because it can give off a more exciting energy whereas they might have calmer colors, like light green and blue, in others.

Decorations and furniture can also be an important part of the overall aesthetic in your home; while you’ll want to avoid clutter as much as possible, having nice furniture and artwork can add a lot.

You should also consider replacing old or broken items as this can definitely have a negative effect on your mood. This includes removing old carpet and changing the blinds on your windows.

Noise Levels

Noise can be very problematic, and unfortunately, for some people, it can feel impossible to avoid it.

Aside from not being situated near nature, living in urban areas, especially in ones that are densely-populated, can be more stressful simply because it’s more difficult to escape the noise from traffic, airports, and even other people.

Noise pollution is a serious problem, and it’s contributing to increased levels of depression and anxiety due to increased stress levels from feeling overstimulated and being unable to relax.

However, if you don’t personally have this issue, extra unwanted noise can still be present in your home, and it might be affecting you more than you think.

For example, leaving the TV on alone can make it more difficult to sit and concentrate on what you need to do and communicate with those around you if you have other inhabitants.

Personal Space

Having part of your home where you can do what’s important to you is crucial if you want to achieve better mental health.

While finding the time and space for yourself can be difficult in certain households, it’s highly recommended that you establish one as best as you can where the external noise levels and distractions are kept to a minimum.

Having your own space allows you to focus on doing activities that you enjoy without being disturbed. This includes things like reading, creative hobbies like art and music, and meditation, to name a few examples.

These types of outlets will help you de-stress and give you a chance to escape (at least temporarily) and breathe. This is absolutely necessary because too much stress can build up over time if you don’t have a way to cope with it.

Speaking of coping and managing stress, you can also use your personal space to start taking advantage of online counseling and therapy services. With BetterHelp, It’s convenient, affordable, and importantly, it’s discrete, so you can be assured that you get the same experience as being face-to-face with a professional in their office.

The Takeaway

Hopefully, by reading this article, you can see that your living environment and your mental health are connected in more ways than you originally thought. By understanding the different factors that contribute to your wellbeing or create a lack of it, you can make the necessary adjustments you need to start feeling better day in and day out. Positive changes often begin by fixing your environment, and while people tend to focus on the diets and the people they surround themselves with first, they should also give an equal amount of attention to their home life.

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