Who can believe we are already in November? These autumn days are filled with luscious colours: reds, oranges and yellows dominate our countryside, yet the season itself can really influence how we are feeling. This is because the lack of sunlight reduces our production of serotonin, which is the hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep. Design can have a positive affect on mental health; at NEXA we have put together some ideas on how your home can improve your well-being.
Back in the 1950s an American doctor was one of the first to observe how spaces can influence your emotions. Whilst spending some time in Italy, he realised that he became more creatively inspired whenever he visited the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. Today, studies in neuroarchitecture aid architects to design buildings based on emotions, creating spaces that make people happy and, as a result, improve their well-being.
When it comes to our homes, having control is crucial. It is a place where we can decide how our furniture is arranged, add items that give us comfort, and personalise to our own tastes. Yet with this control there needs to be order, as homes which are filled with clutter or mess can make us feel overwhelmed and release the hormone cortisol, which makes us stressed. You may know yourself that when your home is in a state of disorganisation, it can make you a little anxious, and yet when it is all organised and looking beautiful there is an ultimate sense of pride.
Bring the outdoors in
It has been well documented how spending time in nature can improve our mental well-being, it improves our memory, reduces stress and even makes us more creative. In these winter months when we are not spending as much time in our gardens, it is important that we still find ways to connect with nature and this brings the outdoors in. It isn’t just by adding some plants to your home décor, but you may even decide to add some colour to your walls. According to colour psychology, the colour green promotes healthy living and is associated with optimism.
The right shade of green can help you to recharge; when paired with cosy textures and natural materials it creates a comforting space within which you can’t help but unwind. You may not wish to change the entire colour of a wall, but adding artwork that reflects nature or your favourite landscape will bring your exterior and interior together.
Let in the light
Exposure to sunlight during the day is important for helping to maintain our body’s natural circadian rhythm and regulates our sleep and wakefulness. Daylight is more powerful than artificial light, as this causes changes to our circadian rhythm and as a result can lead to sleep disorders and, notably, depression. Therefore, how you make the most of your home’s natural light in these darker months is essential for your own personal well-being. Where possible, move furniture around so you make the most of the morning sunlight through your windows, and if you work from home make sure your desk is close enough to a window so you can take a moment or two during the day to enjoy the view and also take in some sun.
Shut out the noise
Sounds have the ability to evoke memories and cause distractions, but they are also a way we communicate and can aid productivity and happiness. Silence is not always calming: for many it can increase that feeling of isolation and, as such, result in a decline in mental well-being. Therefore, it is all about balance, cutting out the noise that provides negative emotions and adding positive sounds or music to improve our mood. Maybe it is putting on your favourite hits and dancing in the kitchen, and why not, when you listen to your favourite songs your brain releases dopamine, which improves your mood and, consequently, reduces stress and anxiety.
It’s all about the senses
We know that our homes may bring us stress over the coming months due to the pressures caused by the cost-of-living crisis, which is why it is essential to focus on what changes you can make to ensure that your home has a positive impact on your well-being. Whether that is by having a really good sort out (and what an ideal time with Christmas around the corner), by bringing the outdoors in through colour and plants, by letting in light, by considering where furniture is placed and making the most of your home’s natural sunlight, and by shutting out negative noises and bringing in music that makes you happy and relaxed.
If you are wanting a clear picture of what is in store for the property market over the coming months, give your local estate agent team a call today.