After I moved into a new house, I have been going through a lot of interior decor blogs and magazine. And that is when I came across the psychology of light in architecture and realized how important it is to have a well-lit home for a complete physical and mental well-being. In fact, natural light at the workplace is also an essential component for a healthy mind. No wonder why I always preferred to sit by the window when I used to work! Natural light and mental health are deeply connected. It affects one’s mood and emotions to a great extent. That is the reason why you might feel gloomy in winters or when it is cloudy.
How are natural light and mental health connected?
Remember how in school, we were told to go out and play? Because that is important for a person’s physical growth. It’s because sunlight helps in synthesizing Vitamin D. Not just that, if you do a li’l bit of research, you will get to know that serotonin, the happiness hormone, is released by the brain depending on the exposure to sunlight. Lower sunlight results in a lower level of serotonin, which is actually one of the primary cause of depression and anxiety.
How can light affect your emotions?
The body’s internal clock regulates our internal functions. The internal clock highly depends on the external environment – light and sun. Have you ever been jet-lagged? It is because our internal body clock goes for a toss when you travel between time zones and everything gets disrupted – our eating cycle and our sleep cycle. This is one of the examples of how the external environment is playing with us internally. Lighting disrupts our certain functions too like energy level, mood and even the hormones our body produces. My menstrual cycle also suffers when I travel from one time zone to another across the globe!
Get that natural light!
If you are also a slave to the modern lifestyle – we all are- and spend most of your time indoors, become a sun-seeker in your own ways. There are a lot of things that you can do to have as much light as you feel is right for you. For example, you can do the following at your workplace –
- Request for cleaning of the windows to allow as much natural light as possible
- Request to change that flickering bulb
- Use lamps on your desk if you feel the overhead fluorescent lights are not enough for you
These things can be done at your home too. You can do a lot of things at home, and honestly, you should. Living in dark houses can make you sluggish. Light makes you alert. Therefore, pull up the drapes, give yourself a beautiful early morning stretch, breathe the sun, and I promise you, you will be energized throughout the day! Here is what you can do to satisfy your craving for light:
Ditch those drapes and open those windows
I live in a very peaceful society, so for me opening the door of my balcony is a good option. Also, it’s not very cold so I can do this. I understand that during the chilly winds, opening the windows is not an option. You can opt for double glazed windows. During winters, double glazed windows will not only allow the sunlight to pour in, but they also eliminate any drafts from your windows and thus help in keeping the house warm too. So yes, less electricity bill also and it’s a win-win!
Get read of heavy or dark drapes. Keep them light – both in colour and weight. I have translucent blinds which let ample amount of sunlight to get in.
Choose your colours wisely
Reflective colours are suitable for walls. White is the best reflector of light. However, you can choose light pastel shades, which are closer to white and makes your room look bright and cheerful!
Similarly, dark floors are not the best thing to get if you are a sun-seeker. Light-coloured rugs are a good option!
Add mirrors or get some mirror sheen
A mirror reflects light and sunlight from a window can definitely help in casting more light between the four walls!
I am scared of mirrors, and if you are too, you can opt for metal (brass or copper) decorative items which can reflect light well. Just keep them at a place where they receive direct light!
Get as much light as you can during your gloomy days – go out, pair that time with physical activities or a quiet reading time! Happy lighting!
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