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Reduce Anxiety at Home: Tips to Create a Calming Space

June 30, 2019 George Abitante

You can reduce anxiety at home by creating a calming space that's easy to get to and helps you to relax.

When you feel anxious, how often do you use a specific location as a refuge? Perhaps you've found a park, a store, or a restaurant particularly calming, but I've found the most beneficial place to create a calming space is in my own home. Creating a healthy, relaxing place in your home to reduce anxiety is challenging, but it can provide considerable benefits. How often do you really have a place for yourself or one that makes you feel comfortable even when you're handling a stressful week? I find that people tend to look away from their immediate vicinity for comfort when feeling anxious, whether that means going for a drive, leaving home to exercise, or finding a store to go to. Peace and relaxation should be created and available in places we can utilize quickly and easily, and ultimately using your home to reduce anxiety is the best place to create such a space. 

Why Use Your Home to Reduce Anxiety?

Finding spaces in your home that reduce anxiety is really beneficial although it may not feel completely natural. Whether it's because of kids, fixer-uppers, or just plain stress, somehow our homes frequently become sources of distress and exhaustion rather than reservoirs of joy and renewal. But when you think about it, what space can serve you better than your own home? You go to it every day, you have some degree of control over its contents (though with kids and pets, maybe less so), and you generally know what to expect when you're there. Your home, in short, provides you with considerable control over your immediate environment, making it an ideal place to locate a relaxation, anxiety-reducing spot. But how do we develop such a space, especially when our homes can frequently be filled with distractions and challenges?

How to Create Anxiety-Free Spaces in Your Home

  1. Find your spot. Everyone's home is different, but there is always some location within a home that can be used to create space for oneself. Whether that's a living room, a bedroom, or even a bathroom, there are spaces available that we can use to renew and rejuvenate ourselves. Your spot should be one that you have control over, that can be used in isolation for at least five minutes, and that you have a natural affinity to or comfort with. This may take some experimentation, but identifying a location in your home that you can associate with relaxation is a positive step towards reducing anxiety at home. 
  2. Make it yours. Once you've found your spot, the real work begins. Whether you live alone, with a roommate, or have multiple family members living with you, it can be a challenge to take control of and own your spot. Anxious thoughts tend to follow from room to room, and family members and kids can do the same. So once you've identified your spot, take ownership of it. Tell your anxiety, your family, or your roommates that space is restorative for you. When you are there, it should feel like your space alone, and when you are there you can relax with yourself. 
  3. Use it often. So you've found your spot and marked your territory, what's left to do? Use, use, and keep using that space. Just like with any habit, cultivating an anxiety-reducing space at home requires practice. If you never go to your relaxing space, it won't become a source of rejuvenation for you. Similarly, if whenever you do go there, you just read emails or use your phone, then it also may not feel like a relaxing space. You need to use the space regularly in a manner that allows you to feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. In the same way that you protect this space from intrusive negative thoughts and even other people, you should also protect it from activities that you know are not relaxing for you. 

Everyone has spaces they go to for relaxation, but those anxiety-free spaces are not located in our homes as often as they could be. It can be a challenge but creating rejuvenating spots in our homes is a truly rewarding pursuit and one that can help us reduce the anxiety we encounter in our lives.

Thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts and ideas about reducing anxiety at home below.

Tags: anxiety home

APA Reference
Abitante, G. (2019, June 30). Reduce Anxiety at Home: Tips to Create a Calming Space, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2019/6/reduce-anxiety-at-home-tips-to-create-a-calming-space



Author: George Abitante

George is a Master's Student in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University and is focused on improving the efficacy and accessibility of treatments for depression and anxiety. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @AbitanteGeorge.

Nancy Dahl
says:
July, 1 2019 at 9:06 am
This is very, very good. I took out my TV 2 years ago because the ads triggered migraines. I have a quiet house that I haveneatened up and the bare tabletops are relaxing to me. I have my favorite chair where I meditate, knit, and read. This is my go to spot where I nourish myself.
July, 1 2019 at 9:11 am
Hi Nancy,

Thanks for your kind comment. You bring up a great point - not only can we identify places in our homes to rejuvenate ourselves, we can also remove things from our homes that reduce our ability to relax! So glad to hear you've already cultivated a space for self-kindness and joy.

George

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