If you’ve ever had anxiety, you will know that it’s a complex illness that can have a debilitating effect on every day life. According to the Black Dog Institute, anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia.
It’s important to seek help to manage anxiety. While there are many effective psychological and medical therapies to help treat anxiety, it’s also important to establish a therapeutic home environment, free from unhelpful emotional triggers.
Here are seven design changes you can make at home to improve your sense of wellbeing.
Clutter and disorganisation can make you feel like you’ve lost control, contributing to stress and anxiety. Keep a clean and ordered space and regularly cull unnecessary items, while ensuring you have adequate storage for everything.
2. Open and airy
Give yourself room to breathe at home. If you have small rooms, consider removing internal walls to create a bigger living space. Otherwise, swap dark and bulky furniture for light and streamlined designs. Keep doors open to other rooms to create the sense of open space.
3. Light and bright
Exposure to natural daylight can help improve our mood by regulating our natural body clock. Pull up the blinds in the morning and allow fresh air into your home. If you don’t have direct sunlight, use a higher wattage in your lighting to brighten a gloomy space. Combine several forms of lights to create a warm ambience, such as down lights, floor lights and table lights.
The therapeutic benefit of plants to your wellbeing has been well established, so bring the outdoors in and fill every room with plenty of greenery.
5. Comfortable bedding
Having a relaxing and inviting bed is vital to your overall health, so don’t scrimp on a high quality mattress and bed linen. Research has found that weighted blankets can help reduce insomnia and anxiety.
6. Subdued colours
Soft and serene colours have a relaxing and soothing effect, so replace bold or dark walls and drapes with pale blues, lilacs and pinks.
7. Flower power
Research has found that fresh flowers can trigger positive emotions and improve your sense of wellbeing. Pick a bloom from your garden and pop it in a vase for an instant lift.
For more information on anxiety, talk to a GP or health professional or contact:
SANE Australia Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263)
beyondblue support service line 1300 22 46 36