8 Ways to Make Your Home More Zen

Posted May 3rd, 2012
by Isabell Davila (no comments)

Our lives can be busy and stressful, which is why it’s important to have a place where you can relax and decompress. Although this place should ideally be our homes, oftentimes the home has just as many stress factors, rendering it impossible to enter with a clear mind at the end of a long day. By turning to some common Zen practices, you can turn your home into the relaxing haven it should be. Making these adjustments won’t slim down your wallet too much and will reap all kinds of spiritual, emotional, and health benefits if you use your Zen-inspired home to your advantage.

  1. Paint in Cool, Soothing Colors

    Painting in cool, light hues such as mint green, cream, or pale blue will not only make the room look larger, but it will inspire a sense of calmness. The walls will be open and breathable. Furniture can also be painted white or light shades, or left with the wood exposed, which is rustic and reminiscent of nature. Avoid using too many colors, since consistency in the wall colors is what makes the space look so expansive and inviting. Avoid patterned, busy wallpaper and stick to solid paint and an airy palette.


  3. Add a Fountain

    Acquiring a small fountain that circulates water can be done cheaply and will add tranquility to the room. The burbling of water trickling over stones is extremely soothing, and isn’t overpowering enough of a sound to distract or irritate those in the room. The fountain adds an element of nature, which people associate with relaxation. You can easily meditate in a room to the sound of the fountain.


  5. Eliminate Clutter

    A cluttered room will supply too much extraneous stimuli, deterring from the peaceful properties of Zen. With clutter, it is easy for a room to feel dirty, which may cause you to feel stress from the moment you enter it. Consolidate your things or get rid of unnecessary knick-knacks in your home to encourage a Zen atmosphere. You can accomplish this by organizing things into drawers or cabinets, moving laundry to a hamper rather than leaving it on the ground, vacuuming or dusting on a regular basis, and making your bed each day. With minimal distraction, you can enter your home with a clear mind. If you have boxes of things packed away that haven’t been touched in months or years, chances are, you don’t need them. Eliminate anything that doesn’t positively contribute to your existence.


  7. Use Symmetry

    Symmetry makes a room look instantly cleaner. It also helps the mind to process things easier, as the brain will see the one side of the room and automatically fill in the spaces for the other side of the room without spending too much energy focusing on it. Without going overboard, allow your basic instincts for decorating with symmetry to be fulfilled. Even if the furniture doesn’t exactly match, using symmetrical placement in the room is pleasing to the eye and relaxing to the brain. Consult books on feng shui to get an idea of proper furniture placement.


  9. Use Sheer Curtains

    While stark, bright light may not be especially calming, large windows are preferable in a Zen home paired with sheer, white curtains. The sheer curtains allow more soft, filtered light in rather than hot, sharp light that would create blunt shadows. Open a window and let the gentle breeze softly blow the curtains. If the room is still dark, use tall floor lamps or Japanese paper lanterns, which also create a soft glow. Light is important, as darkness can actually cause depression. Use full-spectrum light bulbs, which resemble natural light and have been shown to alleviate seasonal depression that can creep up during the darker, winter months.


  11. Use Aromatherapy

    Heat up essential oils or invest in some plug-in air fresheners with mild, floral scents. Aromatherapy can have healing properties, can clear the sinuses, and gives one a sense of comfort. Our olfactory senses are the strongest of the five, especially when linked to memories. Thus, aromatherapy can promote nostalgia. Aromatherapy can also be soothing when used in conjunction with massage or deep breathing exercises, helping to eradicate stress. Clean or throw away anything in the home that produces unwanted odors, such as dirty dishes or trash. Potted plants can also contribute pleasing scents to the home.


  13. Reject Loudness

    Zen cannot be found in a loud television or radio, so you can do away with these items or keep them off during moments of meditation. Quiet contemplation is best done in silence, with soft, orchestrated music, or ambient noises produced by nature. Learn to be comfortable — even at ease — with silence and stillness. It can be difficult to find a quiet place in a loud city sometimes, but you can do your part to keep your personal space free of excess noise pollution.


  15. Zen Your Yard

    Take your Zen habits outside of the home as well by creating simple landscaping for your yard. Again, symmetry and simplicity are key. However, you can also facilitate a Zen-like atmosphere in the yard by creating a rock and sand garden, where you can rake the sand into soothing spiral shapes. Place some wind chimes on the porch outside, which will bring harmony to your garden and alleviate tension.

Categories: Advice

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