Anxietey doesn't come with an off switch. There's no magical product or mental trick that will singlehandedly make it disappear for good, especially if you're one of the millions of Americans who suffers from an anxiety disorder. That being said, there are ways to cope — like upgrades to your bedroom that have been shown to help with anxiety for some people.
On top of being where you spend eight(ish) hours sleeping every night, your bedroom is your personal space, where you can shut out the world for a while and rest surrounded by the things that make you happy. You can decorate it however you want, whether that means tapestries of Jeff Goldblum riding a unicorn or throw pillows shaped like cupcakes. It's no wonder, then, that some people suggest turning your room into a safe haven. Redecorating your room might sound like a ton of work, but before you toss and turn all night worrying about where to start, remember that your life isn't Trading Spaces. You don't have to totally overhaul your bedroom; you can just make whatever changes you feel capable of doing.
Luckily, the internet has plenty of ideas for reducing anxiety through home decor. To get started, here are 16 additions that might help you calm down just by entering your room.
1. Try An Essential Oil Diffuser
2. Light Aromatherapy Candles
3. Buy A Houseplant
According to research, houseplants do more than just purify the air in your home; they also reduce stress and improve your mood. If you're worried you won't be able to take care of a plant, go for something that doesn't require much care, like a succulent.
4. Create A Meditation Nook
5. White Noise Machine
Have you ever noticed that you sleep better when there's background noise? You're not alone. Research has shown that many people sleep better with white noise, no matter how counter-intutive it might seem. If anxiety is keeping you awake, set up a fan in the corner or buy a white noise machine.
6. Buy Warmer Lights
Research has shown that flourescent lights emit blue light, which interferes with sleep, and might raise stress levels. Go for a warmer light; Sleep.org suggests even installing red or pink lights in your bedroom for a better night's sleep. Otherwise, it notes that incandescent bulbs give off a "diffuse, warm light."
7. Lavender Eye Pillow
And so lavender rears its relaxing head again. For those nights when you can't seem to shut off your brain, try a lavender-scented eye pillow. The smell might calm you down, and it should block any light. Many eye pillows can be microwaved as well, turning them into a warm compress.
8. Get The Blues
Ever wondered why blue is associated with calm? Whatever the reason, blue shades really do relax people. (According to a Minnesota State University study, green and white environments do the same thing.) Buy blue blankets, pillows, or furniture to create an oasis of calm in your bedroom.
9. Repaint Your Room
HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Ovation Interior Latex Paint in Minor Blue, Sherwin-Williams, prices vary by location
Why not paint your whole room blue while you're at it?
10. Keep It Organized
According to an online study by the Huffington Post, a messy home really does stress people out. Keep your room uncluttered with space-saving items like bookshelves and closet organizers.
11. Stick To Minimalism
Admittedly, there's not much research to back up this particular decoration tip, but I would suggest using restraint with patterns and bright colors. If clutter is a source of stress, coming home to an eye-popping carnival of a bedroom won't exactly be relaxing.
12. Bring In A Water Pitcher
As a stimulant, caffeine can seriously exacerbate anxiety. Instead of drinking tea or coffee when you're at home in the afternoon, keep a water pitcher in your bedroom. When you're thirsty, you'll automatically reach for simple water instead of caffeinated drinks. According to the Calm Clinic, staying hydrated might even relieve some anxiety symptoms.
13. Get A Writing Desk
If you don't already keep a daily journal, you might want to start. It's been shown to help regulate mental health, and as Psychology Today points out, "There's simply no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down." Give yourself space to write, whether that's through purchasing a writing desk or tossing some pillows in a corner.
14. Create A Centerpiece That Makes You Happy
Author Stephanie Roberts told Prevention.com that creating a focal point that makes you happy, whether it's a framed photo of loved ones or a painting you did yourself, "helps you relax from the get-go." Stick something that makes you happy in the area of your bedroom where your eye naturally falls.
15. Lose The TV
As you probably already know, electronics emit a blue light that interferes with sleep, and frankly, they're a constant source of distraction. In fact, too much background noise has been shown to stress some people out. Keep your television in another part of your house or apartment, where you can put it in a media cabinet to make it blend with that room's decor.
16. Let In The Light
Again and again, research suggests people are wired to spend time in the sun. According to Healthline, anxiety disorders and panic attacks have been correlated with changing seasons, when natural light starts to wane, and sunlight is thought to reduce stress and relax your body. Allow sunlight into your bedroom with gauzy curtains like those pictured above. Take it from me — there's nothing as calming as lying in your bed with the sun streaming through the window nearby.