When it comes down to it, your home is essentially a few walls, windows, a roof, and a couple of doors. While window placement can make a difference on how your home feels, it’s actually what’s inside the home that makes the greatest impact on mental health. How your choices in paint color interact with your layout and furniture play a major role in whether your home feels safe and comfortable.
You may have actually had experience with this. Have you ever been in a large house that looked extravagant on the outside but felt empty and sterile on the inside? Or visited a home that looked humble on the outside but felt tasteful and inviting inside?
That’s the difference taking a little extra care inside can make. Let’s talk about 3 ways you can manage anxiety with changes you can make right now in your home.
The first thing that hits you whenever you walk into a new house is the paint color (or the owner’s fist, if you’re breaking in). The research on paint colors is as extensive as it is inconclusive. The gist of what scientists found out is this: certain colors evoke different feelings in different people. That boils down to painting your home how you like. Looking online at interiors can be a good way to discover what pallets feel most inviting to you. In general, fiery colors like red or yellow with high-contrast counterparts are bad for anxiety, so aim for cooler pastels or even earthy colors.
For some, airy blues and grays resemble the sky. These pallets are unrestrictive and convey a feeling of freedom. If your anxiety leans toward the claustrophobic side, you may enjoy how open this makes your home feel.
For those that lean the other way (agoraphobes, I’m talking to you now), you may enjoy earthy browns and tans similar to a log cabin. These colors can make you feel cozy and secure, like you’re tucked away in a snug hobbit hole.
These color pallets are only suggestions. Everyone is different, so stay true to what makes you feel at peace, not what designers say is “in” right now. You’re the one living in your home, after all!
What furniture you choose is another big player in dampening anxiety. The appearance of your tables and couches will add to the aesthetic begun by your choice of paint colors. For example, choosing industrial, iron-wrought tables and chairs might not gel well if you’ve got a log-cabin vibe going with your color scheme. Choose furniture hues that compliment your color scheme to increase the feeling of well-being in your home.
More importantly, choosing furniture that is comfortable will be a major boon in managing your anxiety. The appearance of your furniture should be secondary to how it physically feels when you’re using it. The anxiety-managing effects of having cozy furniture have been well documented elsewhere, so we’ll just touch on some of the high points. First of all, don’t skimp on pillows. Having something to hold, or that can make you feel like you are being held, can help you feel safe and in control.
Choose furniture that is well built and sturdy; having a chair leg break while sitting in it never helped anyone’s anxiety! You can find durable home furniture on 1stopbedrooms. Next, don’t skimp on materials. Cozy, plush couches and memory foam mattresses give you the support you need while simultaneously making you feel like you’re resting in a warm hug. Don’t forget to choose furniture that matches your body type. Extra-long couches can help larger-framed individuals feel accepted by their surroundings, but those of a slighter build might feel lost in something too big.
Also, throw in some comforting blankets. Choosing a blanket color that matches the theme of your home can further bring things together. And never underestimate the power of a weighted blanket to make you feel safe and secure in any room!
Lastly, how you arrange your home furniture may have the biggest effect of all on managing your anxiety. It’s important that each room’s layout reflects your intended purpose for that room. For example, if you want your living room to be a place of conversation, organize a sitting arrangement with sofas and couches facing each other. If the primary role is entertainment rather than entertaining, then don’t feel bad about making the TV the focal point of the room.
You also might be underutilizing an often ignored portion of your rooms. According to an article from Today, placing a chair in a corner can create a safe space that gives you both comfort and control. When in a corner, you have the ability to monitor what’s happening in an entire room without actually being in the middle of it. At the same time, the walls on either side keep anyone from approaching you unawares. The same trick can work in a bedroom. Moving a bed into a corner creates a safe little nook for you to cozy up into.
It turns out that just the act of rearranging furniture can help manage anxiety. Trying out some new setups gives you positive control over your living environment. The action is also a safe way to increase your resilience to change. By rearranging your furniture, you are gently opening your mind to new possibilities in your personal safe space, which can help you become more mentally resilient to such changes in the world. It can also boost energy and creativity while fighting off lethargy.
Bringing it all together
Most of us got all too familiar with the inside of our homes during the pandemic. That shouldn’t have to be a negative experience, however. Your home is where you spend most of your time; it should reflect your personality in a way that makes you feel comfortable and safe. By choosing appropriate paints, settling into cozy furniture, and choosing a setup that fits your purpose, you can successfully create a home that helps you manage anxiety.