Our guide to creating a calm living space

14 June 2018 - mindful living

Like the idea of coming home to a calming and uncluttered space after an exhausting day? Our living space is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. A cluttered home with headache-inducing lighting and uninviting colours, for example, affects us more than we realise. If your current living space isn’t making you feel relaxed and comfortable, here are simple things you can do to transform your space.

1. Bring nature into your home

House plants are the easiest and most affordable way to add calm to your home. They provide a relaxing aesthetic and many help purify the air, improving the air quality of your home. Research also indicates that plants reduce stress levels and mental fatigue.

If you’re not sure which house plant to get, have a look at this helpful infographic from NASA that shows the best air-filtering plants.

2. Lighting

Do you feel an instant headache forming whenever you’re under harsh or bad fluorescent lighting? A living space can be instantly transformed by changing your lighting.

Nothing beats natural light, but if you find that too glaring, simply get translucent curtains or blinds that soften the light. Soft white lights or mood lights are the next best options, especially for the evenings.

3. Colours

Colours affect us more than we realise—research shows that they influence our mental wellbeing, moods, thoughts and behaviour. Notice which colours make you feel more at ease and use them at home.

- Warm colours (such as reds and oranges) are good options for cooler climates as they make the temperature feel warmer than it is. The opposite is true for cooler colours (blues and greens).
- Less saturated but bright colours (such as a bright sage green) feel more relaxing.
- Certain colours are associated with certain thoughts and behaviours. Greens have been linked to creative thinking (great for home offices and art studios). Blues are associated with feelings of calm and trust.

4. Declutter

Decluttering doesn’t just make your space more comfortable. It helps you gain clarity of mind, reduces stress and frees up valuable time for the important things. It’s not difficult to start. Marie Kondo’s famous The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up offers easy decluttering tips. Our favourite tips from her book:

- Declutter by category (clothes, books, etc.) rather than by room.
- Decide whether to discard something by asking if it ‘sparks joy’ in you (i.e. whether it has a positive effect in your life). This makes the discarding process meaningful and efficient.

5. Designated spaces

Our homes are used for many things: working, resting, entertaining, exercising. Multi-purpose spaces are great, especially for smaller homes. But when it comes to relaxing and finding calm, it’s useful to have a separate space. Being in a specially designated “comfy spot” (your bedroom, a small corner or even a rocking chair) instantly puts your mind at ease. And while you’re at it, why not make this space a phone-free zone in the evenings?

6. Aromatherapy

Nothing says calm better than a scented candle or diffuser. Here are some of our favourites: Candles of Light, Diptyque, Maison Louis Marie.

7. Reminders

Display pictures, quotes and items that encourage you or have a significant meaning behind them so that you’re always surrounded by positive affirmation and reminders.

8. Music

We’ve curated a list of the best calming music.

9. Appreciate the little things

Material items may help create a calm and relaxing environment, but being able to appreciate what is around you (meaningful objects, shafts of light, your family members etc.) is what creates calm mentally.

- The Mindful Company Team