People spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to research studied by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Too much time indoors can lead to exposure to dangerous pollutants, as well as increased anxiety and stress. The study, Entertainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle, found that electric lighting and reduced exposure to sunlight delays circadian timing in humans, which can affect sleep patterns and create disruptions in our lives.
However, our lives aren’t always set-up to be enjoying sunshine and fresh air. To help offset our time indoors, we can focus on making it a safe and soothing place that nourishes our bodies and minds. Work toward small, incremental changes to make a big impact in your day to day well-being. Here’s how to get started:
Research studied by Psychology Today found that clutter can increase anxiety and send signals that our work is never done. This can create guilty feelings, dissatisfaction and increased frustration. Meanwhile, researchers from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute discovered clutter is directly related to feeling exhausted by focusing so much on a messy environment.
So do what thousands of others are doing and take your tidying up to a whole new level by embracing Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo's philosophy on organization. In her best-selling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," Kondo promises that if you properly declutter your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Instead of a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, Kondo coaches readers on how to declutter by category. If an object doesn't spark joy, she says, get rid of it. (Obviously this doesn't include household necessities.) Try it out — you may be surprised by the results.
Invest in the Right Technology
Apps and gadgets can help us create a safe and soothing home, or could add as a distraction. Skip the fancy gadgets like Fat Magnets promising to suck the fat from your food. (Yes, that's a real thing.) Instead, focus on technology that makes your life easier and calmer like Philips Hue ambient lighting that can automatically reduce the light in your home at certain times of day to help you relax.
The right technology can also help to keep your home safe. For example, Lorex Technology can help monitor your home whether you’re there, at the office or on vacation — all from the touch of your smartphone.
Purify Your Home
Combat the pollutants in your home to improve your safety and well-being, all while making it more soothing at the same time. Add purifying enhancements like fresh flowers, live plants and use essential oils to naturally clean your home. A study by NASA found plants like lady palm, spider plants and English ivy help purge indoor air and improve its overall quality.
Next, invest in flooring that can actually help improve your indoor air quality. For example, Pure Genius promises to make your indoor air up to 86 percent cleaner. The company's smart flooring system is manufactured without solvents, volatile organic compounds or formaldehyde, and its titanium finish line is designed to help purify the air.
Reconnect with Nature
While plants can help improve air quality and make your home a safer and healthier place to live, it can also create a soothing and relaxing environment. Taking a walk in nature can reduce our stress, but research has shown you can look at pictures of nature in a quiet room and reap the soothing benefits.
Add more nature landscapes to your home, position a quiet fountain near a sunny window, and hang crystals to help capture natural light. Open your windows and let more fresh air in and take a breath to soothe and calm yourself.