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5 Ways to Improve Your Mood by Enhancing Your Environment

I don't know who needs to hear this, but that pile of clothes you have in the corner of your room is doing more harm than convenience. One of the easiest ways to improve your mood is by tending to your built environment. This means throwing your things all over the place after a long day creates more stress for you on the backend. Let’s look into some ways to prevent that. Most of the methods are based on design psychology or neuro-architecture. Neuro-architecture is the study of how humans psychologically interact with our surroundings. The emphasis is on 5 control centers of the brain: decision-making; emotion; movement; learning and memory; and sensation and perception. Let's explore some options.

Add a plant

People connect with other living things. Plants are known to have a positive impact on your environment like purifying the air, easing anxiety, reducing blood pressure, or just by being aromatic. An aloe vera plant is great to reap these benefits and to use for holistic skincare and hair care regimens. Can’t kill it either. Now, if you do… I’d be impressed and concerned. For those of us who may not have the attention span or time to take care of a plant, start with a succulent to place on your desk or window ledge. Look into adding a peace lily, English Ivy, or lavender plant.

Add some art

Landscape art is proven to have a similar effect on your mood to having plants and animals in your living space. Art that depicts natural life can have the same calming impact without requiring the same TLC a plant or animal needs. So, if you’re worried about killing an aloe vera plant, you may want to defer to natural scenery instead of the real greenery.

Change the colors

Different colors can evoke different emotions from your surroundings. Neutral. Warm. Cool. Light. Dark. Each of these categories of colors can change or intensify feelings. Using red in a room, like most warm colors, can make you feel passion, intensity or activity. Yellow and orange both provide an optimistic and upbeat atmosphere but should be used sparingly or the room can become loud. Purple, my favorite color, evokes feelings of ambition, luxury or can symbolize royalty. Perfect for a queen, right? White symbolizes purity and cleanliness (to the dismay of racial equality but that’s a different conversation). Black is typically used to make an intense statement or emphasis pieces in the room. Blue represents calmness and relaxation, but like other colors, the darker the shade, the more negative the impact becomes. Now, neutral colors like beige or brown can evoke calmness but also may not be strong enough to evoke a strong feeling. If you can’t get a Ben Wegmann house just yet to implement some of this design psychology, focus on accent pieces like throw pillows.

Declutter your space

Not putting things back in their place, not folding your clothes straight out of the dryer or not making your bed can create unnecessary stress and anxiety that may not be obvious to you. However, I noticed that if a room becomes too cluttered that I subconsciously avoid being in that room for too long. If my bedroom is not as tidy, I’ll probably do work in the living room or kitchen instead. That’s too much stress and anxiety to work around, so I’ll make an effort to put things away when I’m finished. One way to de-clutter is to Invest in furniture with hidden storage like an ottoman or something similar. Or you can schedule an out-of-season spring cleaning.

Use strategic placement

If you know you have a tendency to be disorganized but you want to do better, try strategic placement to beat your subconscious excuses. For example, if I know I have to take the trash out but I’m too lazy to walk down the hill to the complex dumpsters, I’d sit it out for the morning so I can grab it on my way to work. If you let mail pile up, sit a trashcan near your pile so you can easily throw it out when necessary. If you tend to forget your meds, place your meds and a cup of water on your nightstand before bed. This way, it’ll be the first thing you see and you can also get a head start on your daily hydration. Do what works.

What’s your favorite way to improve your mood?

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