Home should be a comfortable and safe place to gather strength and restore your resources. However, some things in your flat’s interior and living arrangements can be destructive to your mental health.
No, we’re not going to talk about which way the bed should be facing south-west, why a flower by the headboard is not feng shui, or which Shiva figurines can be used to attract money, health and well-being into the home.
We’ll tell you how the details of your interior design can regularly irritate and depress you. 11 things you’re best off getting rid of, says psychologist Anastasia Korneeva of the online platform Fringe.rf.
1. THINGS IN DISREPAIR
How many pantyhose with arrows, torn socks and jackets that no dry-cleaner could save? Do you cherish like the apple of your eye cups with chips, a plaid that has melted and a jumper that has stretched out after not being dried properly? Alas, it has all fallen into disrepair and is only taking up space in your flat. Cluttering your home always has a negative impact on your psyche.
2. STAINED FURNITURE AND CLUTTER
Of course, you don’t have to be an adept at daily cleaning and you are perfectly entitled to a creative mess. But psychologically speaking, the stains, dirt and dust around you are a reflection of the chaos going on in your soul. Sometimes, when we tidy up, we manage to put everything in its proper place in our heads as well.
3. GRIM THEMES IN PAINTINGS
We understand that you may love heavy metal and punk rock so much that you’ve wallpapered your walls with moody posters and wall art. Maybe you love black and film noir and have chosen your bedroom pictures in that vein. But psychologists tell us that if you constantly see depressing and gloomy images in front of you, you’ll be in a good mood less and less often.
4. THINGS WITH A BAD HISTORY
In a time of covid and closed borders, nothing could be more traumatic than last year’s magnet from Rome or Istanbul. No wonder – some things become real triggers of memories that can hurt. So do things from recently deceased loved ones, framed photos of you and your ex-husband, or friends with whom you’ve had a big falling out. It’s best to get it all out of sight.
5. THINGS THAT SQUEAK AND WHISTLE
Some people can’t stand the sound of certain things – like the rustle of a drying marker on paper or the squeak of a child’s crayon on the chalkboard. If that’s your story – just buy your child pencils instead of felt-tip pens and don’t buy a mini whiteboard at all. And don’t get squeaky toys for your beloved dog, either – otherwise you might end up with a nervous tic. Also try to make sure the taps don’t leak and the doors don’t creak. That’s not good for the psyche either.
6. LUMINOUS APPLIANCES
Nothing spoils your sleep more than an annoyingly flashing TV light or a charging phone. It’s long been proven that these things interfere with normal hormone production when you fall asleep. Try to turn off all electrical appliances when you go to sleep and avoid flashing LED lights.
7. DUSTBOWL STUFF
For a few years now, minimalism has been on-trend in interior design – a big-space ideology with ‘air’, clean surfaces, simple colours and uncomplicated geometrics. Adepts of this style believe that only in such an interior a person can truly relax. Psychologists confirm that the abundance of small decorative objects on shelves, mountains of soft toys on sofas, which collect dust, only creates a sense of chaos.
8. THINGS THAT REMIND YOU OF AN “UNCLOSED GESTALT”
Sometimes an easel with brushes, just in time to catch your eye, can really spur you on to paint, which you haven’t done for years. Or it can just plunge you into despondency: no trace of inspiration left, life is passing you by, and you’re not the same person anymore.
You’ll feel the same way when you catch a glimpse of the dozens of medals you won in teenage rhythmic gymnastics competitions – you’ve quit rhythmic gymnastics altogether. It’s best to remove from your field of vision objects that tell you that you’ve failed to achieve something.
9. TOO BRIGHT COLOURS
Psychologists call it ‘sensory overstimulation’ – when your eyes get tired of intrusive shades and garish colours. So think twice before specifying a bright azure colour for your kitchen.
Let the base – walls, floor, furniture – be of calm colours, beige, white, gray. And you can experiment with textiles – add bright curtains, an accent carpet, interesting napkins and towels. And when they’re boring, you can swap them out. Also, be careful with the black and red colour scheme, as being in such a space all the time will make you feel depressed and anxious.
10. LOTS OF MIRRORS
Even if you adore hanging out in front of a mirror, one in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom is enough. Psychologists say that our reflection is always an eye-catcher and attracts attention. An abundance of such distractions can provoke fatigue and neurosis.
11. CLUTTERED FURNITURE
Here we go again with minimalism. It’s best if you don’t have a lot of cabinets, shelves, shoes, tables, and chairs in your flat – especially if you don’t have a lot of living space. The flat should be spacious and easy to move around – if you’re constantly walking around a wardrobe or bumping into a corner of a sofa, your psyche won’t thank you, and your brain will feel frantic production of cortisol, a hormone of stress and aggression.