Futon Company says: We don’t know about you, but as the days tick by we find ourselves getting less and less controlling and more inclined to go with the flow! Likely it’s because covid has shown us that there’s very little we can control outside of our own space (and even then that’s not always possible, especially if the boiler breaks down!). Living in the moment, seizing the day and taking things one step at a time might all sound like clichés but they are so true! Taking a mindful approach to life is the only way to exist in our opinion!! So, when we came across the article How to create a mindful home by Rachel Loos in Grazia magazine we did an excited skip. Here’s a snapshot of some of our favourite snippets…
For interiors stylist and trends writer Joanna Thornhill, the idea of the mindful home had been percolating from months – then the pandemic hit. Covid accelerated the question of what impact the home has on us, she says. People started asking not just how can it look better, but how can I make it serve my needs and emotions better? Her new book, The New Mindful Home, examines exactly this. Creating a mindful home is about paying attention to what we surround ourselves with, and questioning whether it actively supports us in being able to de-stress, explains Joanna.
Another new book, High Grade Living, argues that the starting point for creating a mindful home is taking stock of what’s in your home and deciding whether what you have is empowering or unnecessary. There is no right or wrong kind of home, says author Jacqui Lewis, who, with her partner Arran Russell, created The Broad Place, a school of conscious living in Australia. This is about understanding your own sense of beauty, what you desire and love, as opposed to trends. Does what is around you feel like an expression of who you are?
According to Joanna: Literally getting our house in order can give us a sense of control, help us feel grounded in a fractious world and even go some way towards helping us be better people. Ways to bring mindfulness into your home include:
• Be natural: Using wood in interiors reduces stress and can even lower the heart rate, a recent study found. Other natural materials, such as wool, coir and sisal, can help neutralise contaminants in the air. Texture from bare brick, stone and clay add tactility that is soothing
• Inject positivity: Train your brain to make positive associations with objects around you. To set the intention that every time you see a particular object you want to feel centred, pick it up when you’re calm, take deep breaths and tune into that feeling. In time, your brain should make the connection that this object symbolises calmness; focus on it in times of stress and it should calm you
• Seek balance: The Japanese concept of kyo-jitsu explains that when something is too full, something has to empty. Wonderful examples can be found in temples and their use of negative space. One area might be very detailed and full, and an opposing area spacious and serene. Look at your home. Are there rooms you can empty out for a more streamlined, calmer feel? Conversely, are there other spaces that could do with a bit more energising with furniture and accessories?
• Be calmed by a curve: Nature’s rounded and softer shapes, rather than human-made straight lines, are better at creating a sense of calm… Research has found that looking at images with a high fractal content – repetitive shapes and structures of patterns found in nature – increases the brain’s production of feelgood alpha brainwaves
• Create a cocoon: We feel safer in spaces that give us a place to hide away. Place key furniture, such as sofas and beds, against walls, and opt for high-seat or wingback armchairs to create a cocooning effect
• Add inspiration: A space that is visually inspiring is also important. You don’t need to have a lot of – or even any – expensive art on display to make a creative space. Photos with friends, paintings by family members or the odd postcard from your travels. Even a collection of images you love can be taped to a wall and refreshed and replaced every few months to inspire your work and living space
• Get hands on: A number of studies have shown that using our hands and getting creative can help us feel empowered and valued… Creativity, whether partaking in it or being surrounded by it, helps block out anxiety
• Bring outside in: The therapeutic effects of bringing the outside in are well known. Go through each room to see what you can add – and it doesn’t have to be green. If you don’t feel confident with plants, use branches or twigs – anything to bring nature into each space