Happiness at Home

Simple Ways to Create a Happier Home

By SaleCore for MiamiRE

The outside world can be a stressful and uncertain place, especially these days. Our personal priorities pull us in so many different directions, from work calls and meetings to children’s activities, online schooling, and the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Creating a home that promotes daily satisfaction and moments of joy is key for pursuing a happy life. Being happy doesn't have to be complicated, but our environment can significantly impact our mood, anxiety levels, and our overall mental health. That is why it’s so important that our homes are a sanctuary for relaxation, rest, and happiness. There are many simple tasks and low-budget design tweaks you can implement to instantly boost the happiness at home.

Daily Habits

Bedroom with a neatly made bed
  • Make Your Bed: As strange as it may seem, the simple act of making your bed each morning can set the right tone and increase productivity. Making your bed takes just a few minutes and can prepare you for success from the moment you wake up, as it is thought to be an initiator of other good habits.
  • Tidy Up: Clutter and mess adds to stress and can feel very overwhelming. Everyday tidying up can be incredibly impactful on your mood. One of the easiest ways to keep your home tidy is to get into the habit of keeping all surface areas clean. Put away toiletries in the bathroom, keep dressers and desks free of clutter, and put away the breakfast items. In addition, the sight of a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink after a long day can be a huge stressor. Clean as you go, it might feel like a chore in the moment, but a clean home is sure to increase your level of contentment.
  • Practice Mindful and Healthy Cooking: While not always convenient, plan and cook healthy meals with members of your household as frequently as possible, rather than just throwing something in the microwave or ordering in. Cook with others when you can to engage in conversation. If you are cooking alone, listen to music and try letting the act of cooking anchor you in the present moment. If you can hone in on the details and experiences that make it enjoyable, your kitchen will be a happier place to be. Organize your kitchen in a way that makes cooking a seamless, methodical process.
A man relaxing in a chair listening to music on headphones holding a smartphone
  • Play Music and Dance: Play uplifting tunes and dance like nobody is watching. These are collectively good for the soul, and can boost your mood instantly, as well as those around you.
  • Meditate or Exercise: Taking a few moments to meditate or exercise is a great way to refocus each day. Stepping away from your thoughts and emotions can reduce stress and anxiety, making you a more satisfied person.
  • Talk to People: Talking to someone who knows you well has also been proven to reduce stress. Make sure to set aside time to sit down and talk with your spouse/partner, children or roommate. Try to invite friends or family to join you for dinner often. Chat about work, hobbies or whatever else is on your mind. The company and conversation will be an uplifting end to the day.

Décor Ideas

A large collection of paint color swatches fanned out
  • Choose Mood Boosting Colors: There is a robust power in the colors you choose, and how it affects your mood within the home. Along with its ability to make a small room feel bigger, or a big room feel more intimate, certain colors speak to you, directly affecting your disposition. To optimize your space for positivity, choose the mood you want to create, and paint your walls accordingly. Use yellow for an energizing feel, blue for a calming space, and green for comfort. If you prefer to keep your walls neutral, choose colorful pillows and accent furniture for a similar effect.
  • Look for Furniture with Rounded Edges: Furniture with soft, round edges creates a feeling of relaxation and comfort. Your eye picks up the visual cues of a rounded-edge coffee table or a sofa and your mind becomes happier and less stressed. Or simply add a throw blanket and a few pillows to break up the hard lines for your existing furniture.
  • Display Sentimental Items: There are so many ways to express yourself in the home, but there’s nothing quite as meaningful as décor with sentimental value. Don’t try to force yourself to create a home that looks impressive and stylish, but doesn’t suit your natural style. Instead, choose the décor, furnishings, and trinkets based on your unique personality, passions, and preferences. Display photographs of loved ones, meaningful relationships, and happy memories and experiences that bring joy. These items will provide a sense of comfort, while also decreasing stress. In addition, hanging artwork that you love is another way to make your home happy. When you walk by these items, it will surely brighten your day.
A modern living room with couch, office desk and modern hutch
  • Embrace the Power of Plants: Live plants are amazing gifts of nature, and can boost your happiness, productivity, concentration, and creativity. Plants clean the indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. They can also absorb noise, provide privacy, and reduce stress. Greenery makes an excellent addition to any room. Try incorporating plants in your bedroom for better sleep. If you don’t want the commitment of a houseplant, add a colorful bouquet of flowers to your countertop or nightstand for an instant mood boost.
  • Let There Be Light: Exposure to light has an incredible impact on mood, both good and bad. The brightness and color of the light can directly determine your mood. Blue light can increase productivity, bright light can heighten emotions, and natural light can boost happiness. It’s particularly important to maintain optimal indoor lighting in the winter months when natural light is scarce. The amount of light our eyes perceive during the day plays a significant role in our sleep cycles. On cloudy days, it’s not uncommon for people to feel sad or drained of energy, but when the sun is shining, that solar power goes right to our inner beings. Ideally, you should look for bulbs that closely mimic natural light, and consider simply using candles when you want to relax with a book, meditate or write in your journal. Candles create coziness and a sense of safety, which are conducive to a happier mood. Meanwhile, try to avoid fluorescent lights, as studies show that they can trigger feelings of anxiety and melancholy.
A room with a floor standing mirror
  • Expand Space with Mirrors: When seeking to balance energy throughout your home, thoughtfully placed mirrors can create an illusion of more space and add a bright, airy feeling to an otherwise confined space. This effect is perfect for smaller rooms and bathrooms. In addition, a mirror with colored glass can bring in the psychological effects of color, while adding the illusion of light and space to a room.
  • Add Natural Materials: The use of natural materials in your home décor is called Biophilic Design, which connects you with nature, even when indoors, and correlates directly to improved sleep and stress reduction. Consider eliminating synthetic materials like fleece and polyester, and replacing them with natural materials like cotton, silk, or wool. You will feel happier, calmer, and more rested, all proven beneficial to your psychological well-being.
  • Use Aromatherapy: Our olfactory response is linked to the emotional center of the brain, and a mere scent can cause similar feelings of those experienced in past memories, or even transport us to another place or time. Try filling your home with fragrances that remind you of good memories to lift your spirits. Incorporating calming scents into your home can help fight off gloomy feelings and replace them with happy, relaxing ones. Look for candles or essential oils in specific scents known to help reduce anxiety and boost happiness and productivity. Certain scents can also stimulate happy or calming mood states. Cinnamon and peppermint can support your clarity of thought and boost productivity; lavender and lemon can bring calmness; fresh cut grass can stimulate joy; pine can decrease stress; and citrus, jasmine, and rosemary are invigorating and can ignite energy. Find the right scents to promote the feelings you’d like to experience while at home.

A "Happy Place"

Gratitude list concept with paper and pencil

If your home is busy all the time, you could benefit from creating a designated space for unwinding. Pick a spot that’s comfortable, and surround yourself with furnishings that are emotionally satisfying. Decorate your space using the things previously mentioned, and cozy items that make you happy, like pillows and candles. Set aside some time each day to go meditate, read, write or just think. Use it for just about anything that emphasizes self-care, the feeling of cozy contentment, and well-being through enjoyment of the simple things in life.

An Attitude of Gratitude: Taking a few moments out of your day to focus on what you’re grateful for can dramatically increase your happiness. To get into the habit of doing this, create a gratitude wall where you list a few things each day. Your gratitude wall can be a chalkboard in the hall, a whiteboard on the refrigerator, or even a dry erase marker and your bathroom mirror. Include words of affirmation or quotes to live by. Try doing this activity as family to teach your children to be grateful as they grow up.

Which happy home habits or décor ideas are you going to try today? Whether you plan to fill your home with fresh flowers or plants, de-clutter your surface areas, or paint a couple of walls, creating a happy home is just a few changes away.

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