Beautiful Space, Beautiful Mood: How a Beautiful Physical Space can Improve your Mood

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Beautiful Space, Beautiful Mood: How a Beautiful Space can Improve your Mood

Our physical space can impact our moods. I have found that having a pleasing and comfortable space, whether it’s my home or office, makes a difference in how I feel. I have also had clients tell me that they are overwhelmed by messes or clutter in their homes and this contributes to negative feelings.

Clutter and unfinished projects can be overwhelming and anxiety provoking. They can also be reminders of all the things we have to do. In contrast, an organized space can decrease stress, giving us a sense of peace, and positively impacting mood. The viral success of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo seems proof that Americans are hungry for the emotional peace and freedom of decluttering and simplifying our homes.

I don’t mean to suggest that our homes need to be immaculate or look like they came straight out of Martha Stewart Living in order for us to be happy. Nor would I have you believe that decluttering or beautifying your space will cure you of depression or anger. However, I do think most of us benefit mentally by having a reasonable amount of organization and pleasant surroundings.

The good news is that it’s not that difficult to create a relaxing physical space. Small changes, can make a big impact. Here are a few ideas that you can easily implement:

  • Tackle those piles of clutter 15 minutes at a time.
  • Create a clutter free zone in one room.
  • In warm weather, open a window and enjoy the fresh air.
  • Put out photos of good memories or soothing places.
  •  Add some houseplants, which will also help create clean air.
  • A vase of flowers from your yard or store also create a fresh, pretty atmosphere.
  • Adding an extra light or increasing the light bulb wattage can help “lighten” the mood.
  • Create a quiet corner/reading corner with some comfortable pillows.
  • Don’t forget to turn on some soothing music.
  • Painting is a little more work, but doable for most of us. Consider repainting in a soft hue that makes you feel good.

Now it’s your turn. Have you found that beautifying or decluttering your physical space can improve your mood? Please add to the list by adding your ideas in the comments.

 

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in the San Jose area, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Campbell, CA where she is available for in-person counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism.