Therapists explain that certain aspects of your basement can become stressful in your life.
Therapists say things like clutter and a lack of light in the basement can lead to stress.
Cleaning the basement and investing in a room’s lighting and organization system can help.
There are likely things in every room of your house that are causing you stress. Cecil Ahrens, a psychiatrist who hosts a mental health podcast called “Get Mental,” said she believes there is a connection between your surroundings and your overall health. “Certain objects and elements can stress and cause our bodies to contract and contract,” Arens told Insider. We asked therapists about the most common household stressors and found four main basement culprits, such as unfinished projects and clutter.
1. Messy Mess
The basement is often used as a collection basin for items that do not have a formal place elsewhere in the house. “While storing items in a basement can create a more comfortable environment, visiting a basement can be stressful, as infrequently used items tend to clog the room,” therapist Wena Collins told Insider. Mark Lewin, therapist and founder of LaunchPad Counselling, explained that disruption gives our brain more visual information to process. “By making space, you give your brain a break,” he said. For this reason, Arens keeps the clutter in her home as minimal as possible and says she detaches from “things that are broken or adding value to my life.”
Collins told Insider that clutter can increase fear of cleaning or maintaining a home. “No matter how hard we try to keep things neat and tidy, if we don’t have storage space for things like extra laundry, paperwork, toys, or other little things, they will be forgotten over and over again,” she says. To combat basement clutter, Collins recommends investing in basement organization, even if you don’t spend much time there. “Knowing where to find things even if you don’t use them often, you reduce stress when you need them,” Collins says, adding that using clear storage boxes saves searching in cardboard boxes. If tidying everything downstairs is too much, Collins suggests creating an “organized mess.” “Remove cardboard boxes and clutter from driveways and public spaces by meticulously lining walls or corners with cardboard boxes,” she says. “If you have random items lying around, find a container or crate for them so they can be stored or moved if needed.”
2. Insufficient lighting
Stephanie Rojas, a therapist who works on the Hope For Depression media advisory team, says basement rooms can be stressful because they are often dark rooms with little light. “It’s important to think about the function of every room in your house and to purchase lighting that works for that purpose,” Collins said. If you spend a lot of time in the basement, lamps, wall lights, dimmers, or ceiling lights can help redefine the room,” she says.
In her home, Ahrens uses neutral tones and sunlight to keep calm and focus. “Research in color psychology is inconsistent, but white and green light appears to support depression,” she says. A 2005 study by BMC Psychiatry supports this.
3. Old or worn out furniture
“Outdated decor or worn-out furniture can upset our mood,” says Arens. Arens said that a worn dining table, for example, can prevent you from eating in this room too often. “If your living room sofa is old, dirty, or outdated, you may not feel comfortable in that room,” Arens says.
4. Unfinished projects
An unfinished basement project or renovation can add to your stress. “When we’re surrounded by things that don’t feel inviting or calm, or cause some kind of stress response, we tend to spend a lot less time in that room,” Arens says.
This text has been translated from the English by Lisa Ramos Dossi. You can find the original Here.
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