How to reduce stress in your living room

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Your living room should be a haven of calm and relaxation where you can unwind after a busy day.

But what if spending time in your living room is actually adding to your anxiety levels? For stress awareness month, we look at things you can do to make this part of your home a more calming place.

  1. Clear that clutter

Too much stuff can make a room seem chaotic and overwhelming. Cluttered surfaces are also harder to clean and tidy which can mean they add to your stress levels. Give yourself space to breathe by decluttering the space. Weigh up what you really need to have in your living room-  does it make the space a better place to be or is it just there because you don’t know what else to do with it? Smart storage solutions can help you tidy away the things you need to keep but be selective about the things you keep on display.


  1. Choose art you love

Displaying a piece of art you have chosen yourself and feel drawn to will help you feel at ease and lower your stress levels. Studies have even found that viewing artwork can reduce both blood pressure and heart rate. Art can make us feel happy, inspired and calm so choose any images you display in your living room carefully and go for pieces which evoke positive emotions when you look at them. If you want something relaxing, a watercolour composition might be a good choice, whereas a bold abstract piece might inspire feelings of positivity.


  1. Bring the outdoors in

Plants are a great way of relieving stress in a natural and healthy way. Position them in places where they can be easily seen. Good spots include at the side of furniture and in the corners of the room. Plants and flowers don’t just reduce anxiety levels by making your home look great, the soil actually contains microbes which act as a natural antidepressant by encouraging your brain to produce more serotonin which lifts your mood. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found touching and smelling indoor plants actively reduced levels of both physiological and psychological stress. Plants also help remove pollutants from the air and act as a natural humidifier.


  1. Pick furniture with relaxation in mind

If you want your living room to be somewhere you can go to destress at the end of a hectic day, make sure your furniture reflects that. Hard angular chairs might look great but they aren’t comfortable for long periods so make sure you have a sofa or armchair where you can really relax. If you like to lie back and put your feet up, consider choosing a chair or sofa with a recline function. La-Z-Boy makes recliner armchairs in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit different tastes.


  1. Go for cool calming colours

The colours you choose to decorate your living room can have a big impact on your mood. Bold reddish tones can make you feel fired up and energetic but they can also add to your stress levels. In contrast, cooler colours like blue or green can have a calming effect and help reduce anxiety.


  1. Reduce the noise

Unwelcome sounds can make you feel irritable, distracted and overwhelmed, making it challenging to properly relax. There are a number of things you can do which will help reduce sound in your living room, including adding heavy curtains to the windows to help dampen any noise from outside. Your choice of flooring can have a big influence on how noisy your living room is – wooden or laminate floors are louder than carpet, although you can limit this by adding cushioned underlay which is designed to soundproof.


  1. Think about your lighting

It’s a good idea to have more than one lighting option in your living room, especially if you use the space for different purposes. Bright lighting with a blue tint is great for a space where you need to be productive like a home office as it helps you feel alert but it isn’t ideal when you are wanting to unwind. Embracing natural light during the day time is good for your mood but in the evenings, have some soft lighting to hand. These may be lamps which are less bright than the main light or you could install a dimmer switch so you can adjust the lighting to suit the time of day.


  1. Embrace aromas

Pleasant scents don’t just make your home smell better, they can help your mood too. Natural herbs and aromatic plants which are known for their stress-relieving smells include lavender, peppermint, sage, jasmine, rosemary and vanilla. If you don’t want the plants themselves, you could use essential oils and a diffuser.

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