6 Scientific (Really!) Ways Your Home Can Help With Happiness

published May 7, 2015
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

We know by now that our homes have a huge effect on how we feel. The truth is, the more work you put into your home making you happy, the more happiness you truly might bring to your life. Want to maximize your efforts? Consider implementing ideas that have some science behind them.

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Letting more sun in can give you a nice dose of vitamin D

Science isn’t entirely sure what role vitamin D plays in helping depression (if any), but there does seem to be some early research (according to the Vitamin D Council) that low vitamin D levels are found in folks with depression. Research isn’t yet conclusively pointing to whether supplements or the sun is the best way to help depression with vitamin D, but it’s an important element our bodies need regardless of our mood, and the sun can deliver it. So push open your window (the rays that deliver vitamin D cannot pass through glass, according to the U.S. Library of National Medicine) or perch on your porch to soak up a little while you’re at home. (And please do not rely just on the sun if you think you may be struggling with depression, get help.)

Your bedroom can help you get better sleep

We all pretty much know that not getting enough sleep = all kind of bad side effects whereas getting plenty of good-quality sleep = being our best, most-rested selves. Sleep (as these TED talks talk about) and lots of it, is pretty much awesome, and getting more of it could help you be a little bit happier. So to let your home make you happier with sleep, perfect your bedroom so it’s your own ideal sleep laboratory.

(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

Rooms with yellow might increase happiness

Color has the power to not only add a punch of boldness to an interior space, it can reshape your attitude. And there’s some research that hints that yellow might make us happy. A study from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (cited along with a few other studies in this Glamour article) showed that yellow objects could make adults have feelings of happiness.

It can encourage you to meditate more

Meditation has been showing up in more and more studies, as science has been attempting to prove the commonly believed benefits of meditating. Some evidence is emerging from early research that meditation can help minimize stress and possibly help you tolerate pain better and more. You can read more on IFL Science. So creating a spot where you can feel more encouraged to meditate in your home could help you actually meditate more (which may lead to adding a little more happiness into your life).

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Flowers in any room can be a pick-me-up

There has been some study of how flowers impact us emotionally, and not surprisingly, it turns out that being given flowers (as Science Blogs reports) is a lot more pleasant than being given nothing and flowers in the home (as seen in this study mentioned on the Society of American Florists website) can improve our mood. Since it’s so easy to add flowers (and they look great in any room of the house) this is a pretty simple way to see if your home can help make you a little happier.

Make it easier to work on hobbies

There’s some research that points to crafting and making things with your hands can have the same benefits in your life as meditating and can encourage your brain to produce the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good, according to this CNN article. Carving out space in your home for doing hobbies and creating the kind of environment that encourages creativity could help you feel happier.

(This post was inspired by an article on Greatist with more ideas on how to get happy: “25 Science-Backed Ways to Feel Happier“)