Five ways your home impacts your mental health
Our home should be our sanctuary – a safe place to escape the world outside. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our home can harm our mental health.
To find out more about your home impacts how you feel, DotcomBlinds reveals the five most common household issues that can effect our health, and how to combat their effects.
1) Rental accommodation doesn’t always feel like ‘home’
An estimated one in five UK households reside in rental accommodation. Generation rent, a term coined by British media, refers to the fact that much of the UK will live in rented properties for the foreseeable future.
Our homes act as an extension of our personality. When we enter a space that displays our likes, hobbies and interests, the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells of the brain.
Dopamine is the brains ‘reward hormone’ and makes us feel good. If something good happens unexpectedly, dopamine is released. If we enter a space that we deem aesthetically desirable, we experience a release of dopamine.
Most tenancy agreements disallow tenants to implement any alterations to a room that act as a permanent change. This can include but is not limited to paint, flooring, or permanent fixtures.
Rental restrictions can act as a hurdle to making a home your own. As a result, you can feel that your home is nondescript and dull which can contribute to low mood.
Colourful blinds, distinctive ornaments, quality rugs and statement artwork can really transform a space. Such pieces can showcase your personality and make a space your home. It is also worth investing in these products as they can all be taken and used again if you choose to move property.
3) Your colour scheme is getting you down
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between colour, mood, and our behaviours. It has even been proven that colour can impact blood pressure, metabolism, and the strain on our eyes.
Here are how colours are thought to impact our wellbeing.
Red signals to the brain that action needs to be taken or that there is danger. For this reason, warning signs and traffic signals are red across the globe.
Red raises blood pressure and can increase heart rate. Consequently, red accents in a room can increase energy levels and alertness. For this reason, a room that includes red fixtures is great to socialise in or exercise. However, reframe from including red in spaces where you typically relax.
Yellow is the brightest visible colour on the colour spectrum. The human eye will acknowledge yellow before any other by processing it first.
Hello increases appetite and like red, raises our heart rate. Its association with the sun means that it lifts mood as it has been proven to boost serotonin levels. Yellow works great in spaces that you spend the most time in such as living rooms and kitchens.
The colour pink has a calming influence on the brain. For this reason, pink is often used in counselling practice. It is even used within prison cells in Switzerland to reduce acts of violence.
Sports brands also use pink in their athlete’s garments so that they can stay calm before an event. Pink blinds, walls or accents in a bedroom are perfect for initiating a good night’s sleep.
Studies have shown that students who completed their exams in spaces with blue walls were not only calmer but achieved higher grades.
If your home has evolved into your new office throughout lockdown, you can add blue accents to aid in boosting concentration and cognitive function. Research has also shown that the colour blue lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
3) Your mess is making you stressed
In times of stress, we tend to participate in repetitive actions. These actions serve as an attempt to regain control in a situation as a tidy organised space signals that we have everything in hand.
A study by personality and social psychology bulletin found that people who live within messy homes have higher levels of cortisol – a stress hormone.
A cluttered home indicates an uncomfortable home where residents are unable to relax. If your home is not your favourite space, tidying it can make it seem more desirable.
Essentially, cleaning is a physical activity in the same way that traditional exercise is. Active cleaning will release endorphins and burn calories. One hour of energetic cleaning can burn up to 250 calories. A clean space can instantly lift your mood and refresh your perspective.
4) You’re not getting enough sleep
80% of the world’s population lives-in built-up areas with point source light pollution including streetlamps, car head lights and store signage. This directly impacts the body’s levels of melatonin, the hormone that works to regulate our sleeping patterns.
Melatonin responds to light and cannot differentiate between superficial sources and natural day light. The common assumption is that unnatural levels of light supressing the body’s levels of melatonin will only interrupt our natural sleep cycle. However, the symptoms of reduced levels of melatonin can lead to insomnia, obesity and even high blood pressure.
Black out blinds are the fastest way to combat light pollution and restore sleep hygiene. Lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are seeking ways in which to improve your sleeping pattern, black out blinds can be a great option to improve environmental factors that can disrupt sleep.
5) You don’t have enough greenery
In uncertain times, many people are looking for ways to combat the symptoms of anxiety. According to Google trend data, the search term Indoor plants has seen a 208.13% lift in searches.
Of course, indoor plants can have a positive effect on our mental health however, the uplift is also a result of people without a garden bringing elements of the outdoors inside.
Living in large complexes can lead to ‘sick building syndrome’. Sick building syndrome causes hayfever like symptoms with itchy eyes, sore throats, headaches and blocked sinuses. This is a result of airborne mould, synthetic materials used in the manufacturing of buildings and a lack of air circulation.
As we spend more time than ever indoors, we are even more exposed to the symptoms of sick building syndrome. However, indoor plants break down toxins and transform them into by-products to store as food. Essentially, plants really do clean the air and can aid in creating a home that boosts your wellbeing.
Photo by Soroush Karimi