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12 ways to increase happiness and peace in your home

  • We spend a lot of time in our homes
  • Be sure your home is set up for success with these 12 tips
  • Read through our advice for bringing happiness and peace to your home to see what small changes you can make

By Alex Heinz From Apartment Guide

March 18, 2020

From getting ready in the morning to coming home after a long busy day, your home should be a safe space where you can relax and reset. The way you organize your space and the habits you have within it can have a big impact on your overall happiness and feeling of peace.

While you may already enjoy your space, there are many ways you can improve the happiness and peace that fills your home. Embracing small changes can help you view your home in a new light and will, in turn, improve your daily mindset. Here are 12 ways to increase happiness and peace in your home.

1. Start the day with a glass of water

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? For many, it’s to sleepily make your way to the coffee maker. While this can give you a boost of energy, it’s also known to dehydrate the body. Instead, try getting into the habit of starting each day with one glass of water. After drinking the water you can move onto your beverage and breakfast of choice.

According to the CDC, water helps your body keep a normal temperature, cushions your joints and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. MedicalNewsToday also notes that water can help your airways, improving asthma and allergy symptoms.

At night, place a full glass of water on your bedside table. This will remind you to start the day with some H2O and encourage you to drink more throughout the day.

graphic that shows how making your bed can increase happiness

2. Make your bed

You might have grown up with a parent harassing you to make your bed. They had good reason. Psychology Today reports that only 27 percent of people make their beds, but 71 percent of those that make their beds consider themselves happy. In contrast, of the 59 percent that did not make their beds, only 38 percent reported being happy. In addition, those that made their bed were more likely to like their jobs, exercise regularly and feel well-rested.

Take the extra 30 seconds each morning to make your bed. This small task will make the room look cleaner and make you feel more organized and happy going into the day.

graphic that shows the benefits of journaling

3. Try journaling

Journaling is a tool that can help you meet your goals and improve your quality of life. The American Psychological Association found that expressive writing can improve health and psychological wellbeing. Journaling about your hardships can lead to fewer intrusive or avoidant thoughts, making you more present and bringing peace to your life.

Set aside a specific time and place in your home to journal. Starting your day with even 15 minutes of journaling at your kitchen table can help you focus on your goals for the day and lead you to feel more accomplished and happy.

graphic that shows how setting a daily mantra can increase happiness

4. Set a daily mantra

A mantra is a phrase or a series of words that are commonly chanted during meditation. This type of meditation is called mantra meditation. According to theSacred Arts Research Foundation, mantras are sound vibrations that help to shape our reality. These mantras are said to help clear a cluttered mind and calm your nervous system.

A variation of this mantra meditation is to have a daily mantra that you recite to help shape your day. By repeating this mantra or phrase, you are willing the statement to be true.

Try choosing a mantra each day and repeating or meditating on it. Write it down on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom or bedroom mirror. This way you’ll see it, repeat it and remember it as you get ready for the day.

Some daily mantras to try:

  • I release what is out of my control
  • To make small steps towards a big goal is progress
  • I am fierce, unafraid and bold
  • To be positive is to be productive
  • I show up
  • I embrace change, with it comes opportunity
  • To be positive is to be productive
  • I practice self-compassion
  • Negative thoughts only have the power I allow them to
  • I am creative
  • There’s always more money
  • I love my family as they are
  • Progress, not perfection
  • I give myself permission to go after what I want
  • I will not take those I care about for granted
graphic that shows displaying photos in the home can increase happiness

5. Display meaningful photos in your home

While it’s nice to have art hanging on your walls, you can personalize your space even more by displaying photos. Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, explains that photos can help to remind us of people, places and activities we love. Displaying these positive memories can lead to more happiness in the home.

Try sorting through all those photos you have stored on your phone. Print out your favorites and display them on the walls of your apartment. Filling your home with these memories of love and joy will be a helpful reminder of better times on your bad days.

graphic that shows how natural light can improve happiness

6. Let in natural light

The sunlight can have a drastic impact on your mood and affect your lifestyle. Those that don’t get enough sunlight can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. SAD is most common in the winter when there is less natural light. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include a feeling of depression or hopelessness, having low energy, having problems sleeping and experiencing difficulty concentrating.

Bringing in as much natural light as possible can help you avoid these negative feelings. If you don’t have many windows in your house, take advantage of the ones you do have. Position mirrors across from the windows so that the natural light will reflect and spread throughout the home.

graphic that shows how feng shui can improve happiness

7. Try to feng shui your space

Feng shui is a practice that encourages people to build their environment based on the principles of the natural world. It involves guidelines that will help you bring peace and harmony to your space.

One element of feng shui to implement into your home is the commanding position. Commanding position directs how you should position large furniture such as a bed, desk, couch or stove. In a commanding position, you want to place the item so that you’re able to see the door to the room without being directly in line with it. Usually, this means that the furniture is placed at a diagonal from the door. This may help you feel more secure because you are in a position that is safe and has a direct view of who is entering the space.

Another way to embrace feng shui in your space is by incorporating the five elements within your home. Each of these elements represents a different quality. Earth is a symbol of being grounded, self-care and stability. Metal is efficiency, precision and beauty. Water represents the flowing and shifting of nature. Wood is vitality and expansiveness. Lastly, fire is a symbol of passion, illumination and brilliance. By incorporating each of these elements within your space, you’ll be mimicking the balance and harmony found in nature.

graphic that shows reducing the clutter in your home

8. Reduce clutter

Our study of 1,000 people found that a dirty home makes 66 percent of Americans stressed or anxious. The most annoying type of mess cited was clutter. The accumulation of items can happen slowly over time and then before you know it, your home is filled with clutter. It was found that clutter can actually trigger the release of cortisol. The hormone cortisol increases tension and anxiety in the body.

To reduce this anxiety and create a peaceful environment, make sure you are removing all the unused items in your home. Purge your closet of clothing you haven’t worn in the last year. Get rid of old books or toys that are no longer being used. You can donate these items or even try making some money by posting them on a selling app.

graphic that shows how having no-screen time can improve happiness

9. Designate a no-screen time

In this digital age, we are surrounded by screens. From our computers to phones to televisions, we have integrated these electronics into our lives. While using these screens can help us learn and grow, being so connected has also been linked to depression and anxiety. Preventive Medicine Reports found that in a study of kids and young adults, twice as many avid screen users had anxiety or depression compared to those who used screens less frequently.

The key to having a healthy tech-life is finding a balance. Designate a no-screen time each day and spend time being present in your home. Try unplugging from screens and social media while you are getting ready for the day and when you are preparing for bed. By starting and ending your day without these distractions, you can lead a more peaceful life.

graphic that shows how setting work boundaries can increase happiness

10. Set work boundaries

Work ethic is a good thing to have, but if you are constantly bringing your work home, you are likely to suffer burnout. A study by NCBI found that burnout was a significant predictor of hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems and mortality below the age of 45 years old.

To avoid burnout, try setting work boundaries in your home. If you work in an office, make your home a no-work zone. Turn off any emails or notifications you may get. Allow yourself the space and time to unwind and decompress in a peaceful environment.

If you work from home, you’ll need these boundaries as well. Try designating a room to work in and define a certain time when you’ll turn off work distractions.

graphic that shows how gathering can improve happiness in the home

11. Create a space for gathering

Did you know that spending time with friends and family has the ability toincrease your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness, reduce stress and help you cope with trauma? Carving out time in your busy life to spend time with those you care about is essential for a happy life.

Encourage these relationships by creating a space that people can gather in your home. Try investing in a large dining table that your family can sit around for meals or a comfortable couch where you can FaceTime friends throughout the week.

graphic that show how having a peaceful environment increases happiness

12. Make sure your bedroom promotes sleep

Last but not least, you need a place where you can have a restful and peaceful night of sleep. You might not give much thought to the quality or amount of sleep you’re getting, but a good night’s sleep can have a large impact on your health. Sleep has been known to improve heart healthreduce stressreduce inflammationimprove memoryreduce the risk of depression and generally mend the body.

There are a few adjustments you can make to your bedroom to encourage sleep. To begin, invest in a mattress that works for your body type. Experiment with different levels of firmness to find one that compliments your sleeping habits.

Next, be aware of light exposure. Light tends to keep us awake and alert. This could be a positive if you use natural light to wake up in the morning. On the other hand, using phone and TV screens close to bedtime could make it hard to fall asleep. Try to be aware of light exposure and not have too much exposure close to when you want to sleep.

Lastly, create a peaceful environment with smells and sounds. Lavender, vanilla and sandalwood essential oils are all beneficial for promoting relaxation and rest. Try adding these to your pillow or in an essential oil diffuser. If you have loud neighbors, attempt to drown out their noise with a sound machine or earplugs.

infographic of how to improve happiness and peace in your home

Cultivate happiness and peace in your space

Creating a joyful and balanced environment is both an internal and external process. It involves taking time for yourself to cultivate mental peace as well as restructuring the layout of your home to focus on what’s most important. These simple adjustments will turn any apartment into a welcome retreat to come home to.


See also related article: “The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living” at:



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