Relaxing At Home Just Got Easier!

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Get Rid of Clutter to Promote a Relaxing Home

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De-cluttering can leave your home with a more relaxing feel that lasts. Charlie Dean/ Getty Images

Relaxing at home is easier if you have a relaxing home to enjoy! Sadly, many of us feel more stressed in our homes because they're not decorated in a relaxing way. Elements that impact stress levels—clutter, smells, sounds and color, for example—can be altered, and probably more easily than you think. To create a relaxing home, it’s a good time to de-clutter and remove elements that cause stress, and add elements that create serenity. The following tips can help:

Sometimes less is more, and this is rarely truer than when the topic is clutter! Being in an environment that’s overly cluttered can create feelings of fatigue and of being overwhelmed as your subconscious mind tries to process the chaos surrounding it. If it’s your home that’s cluttered, you may unconsciously be thinking of all the work you'll need to do to clean and organize the mess; if it’s someone else’s home, you may find it hard to feel comfortable as you see so much of the other person’s life on display.

While you can’t go around cleaning up your friends’ homes (or maybe you can, if it’s that type of friendship), you can put a little work into your own space. Luckily, a little often goes a long way. A little clutter is common, but if you have enough clutter that you feel uncomfortable (and everyone has their own comfort level with this) you would do well to take a few chunks of time and devote your efforts to de-cluttering and organizing.

With a long winter ahead, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy your space more when you unclutter.

Here are some ideas to create a less-cluttered, less-stressful environment:

  • De-clutter for 15 minutes each night, and you’ll make amazing progress in mere days
  • De-clutter one room at a time, and get your whole house clean after only a few sessions
  • When you’re on the phone, work on de-cluttering a tabletop or corner of a messy room
  • Put on music as you clean—the time goes by faster and you have more energy
  • Create organizational systems so you don’t have to de-clutter repeatedly​

The Cost Of ClutterHow To De-ClutterMaintain A Less-Cluttered Space

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Aromatherapy Tips for a Relaxing Home

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Lavender aromatherapy can add a soothing dimension to meditation, and help create a relaxing home. SolStock/Getty Images

The scents in an environment can be inviting, distracting or downright repelling! We’ve all been in a place that just smells funky, and it often creates a sensation of discomfort that’s tangible. Likewise, pleasant scents can literally de-stress you.

If you’ve ever wondered if aromatherapy claims have any basis in fact, there is some research that shows certain scents can soothe, invigorate and affect our moods and stress levels. How does your home rate in this area?

The good news is, it’s easy to create a soothing feel in your home with a few aromatherapy candles, oils or other tools, and the effect is immediate. I challenge you to find a few scents you like and make them a permanent fixture in your home.

Here are some ways you can use scent to relieve stress in your home:

  • If there are any foul odors, try to deeply clean them out if at all possible.
  • Place at least one scented candle in each room to transform the mood easily; you can use a different scent in each room or a signature scent throughout your home.
  • Put a cotton ball scented with essential oils inside your vacuum cleaner bag. When you vacuum, you'll spread a pleasing odor around the room. (Seriously, try it!)
  • Use peppermint essential oils and a room diffuser to wake yourself up in the morning.
  • Bathe with a few drops of lavender essential oil in your tub at night, as a soothing way to get ready for sleep.​

Aromatherapy ResearchLavenderPeppermintOther Aromatherapy

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Relaxing Sounds for a Relaxing Home

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Music can energize or soothe, and can change the feel of your environment. Sam Edwards/Getty Images

What you hear impacts how you feel. Noise pollution can create real stress, along with measurable negative effects. Similarly, soothing sounds can make you feel more relaxed inside. In fact, music has been used therapeutically to relieve pain, decrease stress and bring other positive benefits, with success that’s encouraging.

There are everyday ways that you can use sound and music to enhance your environment, create the mood you’d like to feel inside and promote a mood in those around you. Generally speaking, calming tempos create calmer feelings; livelier tempos can energize you when you’re feeling sluggish. Calming white noise can help mask undesirable noises in your environment, such as traffic sounds or fighting neighbors.

Here are some more ways you can use sound to reduce stress in your environment:

  • Get a sound spa and play ocean waves as you meditate.
  • Play dance music while you clean house.
  • Play classical music while you eat.
  • Choose a ringtone for your phone that you truly enjoy hearing -- and change it frequently.
  • Get into the habit of playing music to passively relieve stress.

Music TherapyUsing Music For Stress ReliefNoise Pollution

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Use Color to Create a More Relaxing Home

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Color can make a real difference in home decor. See how to decorate for stress relief. GetCreative Rf/Elizabethsalleebauert/Getty Images

We all have color preferences that are unique to our personalities. It can be more enjoyable to be surrounded by colors that we innately like. We’re also affected by color in different ways—certain colors affect our moods in ways that are common to most people. For example, blue is said to be calming, red exciting, etc.

You can change the whole feel of a room with a few cans of paint (if you’re feeling ambitious and want a big change) or even a few accent pieces (if you’re pressed for time). Here are some ideas you can use right now to use color to reduce stress in your environment:

  • Choose a room in your home that doesn’t thrill you -- and paint it.
  • Change the bedspread and throw pillows on your bed; this can alter the feel of the whole room.
  • Change the towels in your bathroom. (Choose the softest and fluffiest ones you can find!)
  • Too many colors can feel chaotic; try to stick with a color scheme of no more than three colors per room.
  • Decorate with colors you truly enjoy and that promote the mood you hope to achieve in each particular room.

Psychology of Color 

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Relaxing At Home -- Make It a Habit!

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Meditation, exercise, journaling, and other habits we enjoy at home can all help to bring a more relaxing existence. Brand New Images/ Getty Images

Relaxing at home is easiest when it's something you do on a regular basis. This is because emotions and moods can become habitual; when you're used to feeling relaxed in your home, you may find yourself relaxing at home more easily simply because this is your usual state in this place.

Even if you don't end up relaxing on cue, regularly practicing relaxing techniques can relieve a lot of stress. The following relaxing rituals can relieve stress effectively, and can be easily practiced at home.

Meditation

Most people know that meditation is a great way to relieve stress, but not everyone has actually researched the benefits or found a way to work regular meditation into their lifestyle. If you do one thing for yourself, I'd recommend you do that, because meditation can not only bring short-term relaxation, it can help you to become less reactive to the stress you face in the future.

Read more about the benefits of meditation, and find simple ways to get started.

Exercise

Physical exercise provides top-notch stress relief and other benefits. You don't need to have a home gym set-up to find effective exercises at home. There are many options for getting exercise at home, which in itself can bring less stress because there's less expense and preparation involved. Working regular exercise into your schedule and creating a space for it in your home can encourage you to maintain this healthy habit for years to come.​

Read more about the benefits of exercise and how to incorporate it into your life.

Journaling

Writing in a journal is a time-honored and research-backed practice for effective stress relief. Whether you write a gratitude journal, process emotions on paper, use your journal to document the important events of your life or journal to brainstorm solutions to your particular stressors, journaling is one of those relaxing habits that's worth working into your schedule. While you're creating a relaxing environment, don't forget to create a cozy place for journaling.

Learn more about the benefits of journaling and ways to use it for stress relief.

Source
Lehrer, Paul; Woolfolk, Robert; Sime, Wesley. Principles and Practice of Stress Management, Third Edition. (pp. 291-332). New York, New York: The Guilford Press.

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