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  • Writer's pictureHaily

How Design Can Help Your Anxiety!

YouGetAnxietyToo? #SayLess

Oh! Because I thought someone who doesn’t have anxiety attacks said something… lol I mean actually I did, but I definitely USED to have anxiety attacks.

I remember, it became so frequent that it started to affect me physically which got in the way of my work ethic and focus. Anxiety can so easily and quickly become debilitating and exhausting!! I know…We’re all tired. We’re so tired that we can’t even be bothered to seek out “productive” things to do anymore.

I was reintroduced to my wild imagination that I traded in years ago for a high school diploma and a “practical paying future

On one hand we’ve all learned new things about ourselves and explored an undiscovered part of our minds, at least a little. On the other – there are some of us who have been so routine in our careers and predictable sociability that without normal working hours and appropriate time for socializing, we’ve discovered and had to face how untapped we really are. On top of that, being restricted to the house has in fact, enhanced and highlighted our individual challenges. I know I definitely felt lost for a bit back in March, but after my birthday plans had been derailed I was reintroduced to my wild imagination that I traded in years ago for a high school diploma and a “practical paying future.”

Studies show that we only feel anxiety when the signals from the emotional brain overpower the cognitive brain.

Our space and environment has such an impact on our mental state and conscious mind by way of our unconscious mind; and our sensory system is responsible for the translation of effect. Studies show that we only feel anxiety when the signals from the emotional brain overpower the cognitive brain.

The easiest and most effective way to target the excess of signals being sent is to focus on keeping as many of our sensory organs engaged as possible. We remember those right?? Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Skin… and the Vestibular system. Yeah, I don't recall that last one from Miss. Yuill’s kindergarten class at Sunland Lutheran either. But alas, considered one of the most important, proprioception refers to balance and how our brains understand where we are in space. Oh, and the vestibular system…it’s the inner ears.

So that’s SIX organs and systems and I’m going to tell you how to switch it up at home to appeal to them and in turn reduce anxiety.



Sense: Sight

Home Feature: Lighting

Here’s what to do! Soften the lighting!

  • First of all Natural lighting is the best lighting to maximize the use of. Windows Win!

  • However if you don't have a source of natural light switch out your light bulbs to a lower wattage, or your lamp shades.

(Pro Tip: Have a desk lamp at your work desk that you can shine directly onto a wall to share brighter light less harshly and more evenly)



Sense: Smell

Home Feature: Aroma Therapy

Here’s what to do! Invest in Calming Scents!

Lavender + Jasmine have been proven to affect the brain in a calming manner where the scents chemically impact the central nervous system and induce calming of nerves.



Sense: Touch

Home Feature: Temperature

Here’s what to do! Understand Hot vs. Cold!

Did you know that it is advised that you take a warmer shower before bed because one of the things the body needs to go to sleep is to experience a drop in temperature? Science never said we have to go to and from specific temperatures so we can trick the body into unwinding/ relaxing by raising the temperature in a warmer shower so that it naturally drops when we get out of the shower. In the same way we can take cooler showers in the mornings to tighten our pores and constrict circulation at the surface of our skin/body which allows for more rapid circulation in our deeper tissues to support and maintain ideal oxygen levels and energy flow due to effective and rapid distribution.



Sense: Proprioception

Home Feature: Furniture

Here’s what to do! Declutter!

Less is more when anxiety is involved. It doesn't matter if you have a large or a small space. Decluttering your workspace, bedroom, living area or even your bathroom can reduce the feeling of suffocation, confusion and immobility that comes with anxiety. Organizers that hang from the back of doors (that usually stay open so you don't see the organizer), or fit under furniture like the bed and desk help most with keeping little things in any room neat.



Sense: Hearing

Home Feature: Background Noise

Here’s what to do! Headphones!

...I said… HEADphones not ear pods!

Manipulating sound for our cognitive and emotional benefit is possible but a little tricky. Let’s focus on relaxation, mild low pitch sounds encourage tranquility when our minds are not engaged otherwise. When our minds are otherwise engaged and background noise at all makes it challenging for us to focus.



Colour Palette Matters!!

Calming colours vs. colours that encourage hype. Be mindful about the balance. Too much of a cooling colour can become depressing too much of a vibrant colour can intensify angst.

“Good Design” means design that is pleasing to the eye and mind!!

The absolute basic factor of this is that it feels balanced. Having a room of furniture without legs (only) can make a space feel too heavy, a room of furniture with legs (only) will give the sensation that everything is floating.


Biophilic Design - Plants, plants + more plants!!

Studies show that environments and spaces that don’t reflect any natural elements have a negative effect, and that indoor plants had the power to reduce stress and even decrease health complaints (air freshening + increase of Oxygen).


So… here we have all of these super easy adjustments that can be applied to ANY house or space, we don’t even have to do all of them and guess what that sounds like to me!? DIYs!! I’m so excited to try some new things to share with you guys.

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