Love your home and be happy

South Waikato News - - Property -

We’ve all heard the life­coach­ing gu­rus and read the self-help books that claim the key to hap­pi­ness is lov­ing our jobs. ‘‘It’s not work if you love what you do,’’ they as­sure us. That’s well and good, but what about the rest of the time? We spend more time at home than we do at work (if you don’t, you should). So you’d as­sume that how sat­is­fied we are with our home would have a big im­pact on our over­all hap­pi­ness.

I’m not talk­ing about fam­ily and ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. I mean the phys­i­cal house, and the neigh­bour­hood around it. The truth is, lov­ing where you live does contribute to men­tal health and well­be­ing – and thank­fully, liv­ing in a flash man­sion isn’t a pre­req­ui­site to hap­pi­ness on the home front.

Aus­tralian psy­chol­o­gist Dr Ti­moth­ysharp says where we live also in­flu­ences the ac­tiv­i­ties we do, and af­fects the ease with which we can ac­cess so­cial and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties.

How­ever, even if you aren’t able to live in your dream lo­ca­tion you can still in­cor­po­rate mea­sures to im­prove your con­tent­ment. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent in­ter­view with (for­mer con­tes­tant on The Block Aus­tralia) in­te­rior con­sul­tant Car­lene Duffy, an easy way to bring peace into your home is the sim­ple act of de­clut­ter­ing.

‘‘We’ve all got pock­ets of our home that tend to be­come high clut­ter ar­eas and we walk past them and it gives us a bit of a yucky feel­ing in our stom­achs,’’ said Duffy from Cedar & Suede, her home ren­o­va­tion and de­sign con­sul­tancy ser­vice.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing needs to have a home. Just know­ing where ev­ery­thing is helps for those who live re­ally busy lives,’’ she says. ’’Your home shouldn’t be a bur­den on you.’’

In the ar­ti­cle on Do­main’s web­site, Duffy sug­gested tak­ing time to stand back and crit­i­cally as­sess your liv­ing space to see where you might be able to make af­ford­able changes.

‘‘Mak­ing your home some­thing you are proud of can be as sim­ple as adding some indoor plants, which are a pretty small in­vest­ment – they’re bang for your buck.’’

Fi­nally, just in case you felt size mat­ters, you can be re­as­sured by Dr Sharp. Re­search clearly sug­gests that the size of our house has only a min­i­mal im­pact on our hap­pi­ness. How we per­ceive our home is more im­por­tant.

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