1 Jul 2016
Studies have proven that other people’s moods can be contagious. Whether we spend time with someone who is happy or feeling blue, we often mirror their frame of mind without even noticing it. Research shows that our homes can have a similar effect on how people feel, from colours to paint our walls to the power of fresh flowers. So here are some tips on how to make our home happier, according to science.
- Vanilla Candles If lighting a candle at home after a stressful day brings you comfort, there’s a very good reason. A Chemical senses study has found that scents from candles (particularly vanilla beans) lift our mood and can have a major effect on our overall happiness.
- A Journal Physical exercise is known to lift our mood and help improve our overall wellbeing. However, research published in Psychological Science found that exercising our mental health by writing in a journal can be just as rewarding. It doesn’t just contribute to our present, but also helps improve our future mood.
- Furry friends Have you ever noticed that you feel better when spend time with your pet? Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pets provide meaningful support for owners, helping them with social isolation and ultimately improving the quality of their lives
- Fresh Flowers Buying flowers for the home may sometimes feel like a waste of money, however, research conducted by Rutgers discovered that not only do flowers brighten up your home, they also trigger happy emotions and heighten feelings of life satisfaction.
- Sentimental Photos A study at the University of Portsmouth found that looking through old photos encourages positive feelings and creates a sense of calm. And no, we’re not talking about the photos on your Facebook or Instagram feed – we’re talking about printed and framed photos displayed around your home.
- Floral Scents As noted in point No. 1, scents can boost our sense of happiness. According to the Association for Psychological Science, scent receptors in our nose are linked to the part of our brain that determines our emotions. But this doesn’t stop at just vanilla candles, perfumes and air fresheners, even the smell of a flower bud has also been found to do the trick.
- Green and yellow walls Out of all the colours that we can choose to paint our walls, a study from Vrije University in Amsterdam found that using either green and yellow can evoke the most happy vibes. Of course this doesn’t have to mean all walls, in fact a single feature wall in these tones can be more than enough to lift the mood of any given space within the home.
- A Made bed It may seem too small a task to matter much, but making our bed helps us start our day on the right foot. And, according to a survey by mnn.com, 71 per cent of people who make their beds consider themselves happy, while 62 per cent of people who don’t make their beds say they’re unhappy. According to those statistics, this minor daily task is well worth the fuss.
- Less is more A research paper by UCLA’s Centre of Everyday Lives and Families, has linked high cortisol (a stress hormone) in women with a “high density of household objects”. In other words, the more clutter in the home, the more stress women experience. This is due to the association of mess with failure. So, for a better chance of a happy life at home, the clutter has to go!