‘Mindfulness’ is one of the latest buzzwords being tossed around by journalists and bloggers these days. Based on a buddhist tradition, it differs from meditation in that its aim is to reduce anxiety and aid a feeling of calm by helping you to focus on the present in a non-judgemental way. In the belief that much of our problems stem from focusing on something that happened in the past or worrying about something that might happen in the future.
Now, as the word has seen such a dramatic rise in popularity there has become a great number of ways to practice mindfulness, from iPhone apps, to colouring book, we even found a guide to how eating a chocolate bar can help you practice mindfulness.
But, what about your home? We think that your home decor can also aid your feelings of calm, and can help you unwind better after a hard day at work. Here’s our top tips to breathe a tranquil air into your home.
1. Go for a peaceful colour-scheme
Colour-schemes can have a dramatic affect on how a room feels, for example colours such as bright or powerful reds, which are associated with rage are not recommended for bedrooms as they can inhibit sleep, the same can be said for particularly busy looking wallpaper patterns. Calming colour schemes include neutrals such as creams and browns, blacks, whites as well as blues.
2. Invest in decent linens
It may be possible to pick up man made fibre bedsheets and throws incredibly cheaply these days, and while some may actually be of incredibly good quality, this is rarely the case. If your bedsheets or living room blankets and throws are itchy, static or scratchy, it’s likely that they make you feel more stressed when you’re trying to relax on them than calm!
Because of this it’s usually better to go to an actual store where you can feel how the materials feel before you buy them, rather than purchasing online. If you do buy some over the internet, don’t be afraid to return them if they’re not to your standard.
3. Declutter your spaces
One of the best sellers in Amazon’s ‘Home improvement’ book category is Marie Kondo’s 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' which, as the name suggests is built around the philosophy that thoroughly tidying and decluttering your home will make you happier and calmer.
While, we can’t vouch for her belief that you should thank your old socks and pants for their service before you throw them out. We think the overarching belief makes sense. Too much visual clutter in a room can be stressful make smaller rooms seem claustrophobic and generally detract from the beauty of your home.
Lighting also plays a crucial factor into how calm a room will make you feel. The best kind of light will always be natural light, therefore it’s important to make sure you maximise each room's ability to let it in. Try not to block or obscure any windows therefore.
When it comes to artificial lighting, having some ambient lighting is important especially in dining areas, living rooms and bedrooms. Generally having some dimmer, warmer hued lighting on a separate circuit from your main task lighting, allows you to create more cosy, intimate atmosphere which will help you feel calm.
5. Sauna / Hot tub
Ah, what could be better than a relaxing steam or soak to carry your cares away? Of course, being able to slink off to a gym to have one each night may not be a reality for those of us with commitments and busy lives. Enter the home version!
This may seem like a large and unruly home improvement, but both saunas and hot tubs are increasingly popular additions people are making to their homes. Hot tubs come in the large wooden outdoor variety, as well as high-tech bathroom tubs. Saunas can either be bought pre-fabricated and installed into the garden or you can have a costume model built into the bathroom or another area of the home such as a home gym.
A few studies have shown that houseplants cannot only boost our mood, they can make us more productive too. The NASA Clean Air Study, found that a range of house plants could filter pollutants from the air we breath in our homes, and help to prevent sick building syndrome.