How can I create a relaxing environment to avoid stress?

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John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
Make your surroundings as calming as possible to avoid stress. For example, painting the walls blue will help you feel calm every time you enter a room. You can put pictures of your favorite places on your walls, on your bedside table, or in your wallet or select one as your computer screen saver. Lighting candles is also a great way to reduce stress. Place candles around your home and use them as lighting when you don't need bright lights. Put them in safe spots away from heavy traffic areas or flammable fabrics or plants, and remember to put them out before bedtime or before leaving the house. The warm glow of candles is very relaxing.

Aromatherapy can also help you to de-stress. Chamomile is known for calming the stomach and mind, as are the scents of lavender and ylang ylang. You can buy these items at shops that sell home and bath products. You can keep them in your office, put drops on your pillow, or use them in candle or essential oil form to scent a room or your bathtub. You can also use edible herbs as tea (as in the case of chamomile).

Greenery also helps us relax, which is why it's in the bucolic environments surrounding many mental healthcare facilities. So get some plants and place them in windowsills or in areas where you'll easily see them. Caring for them and watching them grow and bloom may bring you peace and satisfaction, and provide a relaxing environment. African violets, cacti, spider plants, and geraniums can survive the lack of care that may occur during depression.

A fish bowl is also a great addition to a relaxing environment. Sometimes the distraction of watching fish swim around is enough to take our minds off our troubles. They're also easy to care for. (Note how many doctors' and dentists' offices have fish.)
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.