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When it comes to finding contentment, the size of your home has minimal impact. Family (including pets), neighbours and ...

When it comes to finding contentment, the size of your home has minimal impact. Family (including pets), neighbours and community have been shown to be important for our sense of wellbeing

We’ve all heard the life-coaching 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.

I don’t live in the height of luxury, in fact “what we need to do with the house” is an on-going topic of conversation with my husband. Yet, despite my lack of walk-in closet or second living area, I’m reasonably content. There’s a lot about the house that I love, and I’ve got some seriously good neighbours. Australian psychologist, author and “Chief Happiness Officer”, Dr Timothy Sharp knows why this is key.

Little things count - like a few fresh flowers and a comfortable spot to relax at the end of the day.

Little things count – like a few fresh flowers and a comfortable spot to relax at the end of the day.

“For most of us, where we live is more than a house, it’s a home,” he says. “It also includes our neighbours and community, which have been shown to be vitally important for our health and wellbeing.”

Dr Sharp says where we live also influences the activities we do, and affects the ease with which we can access social and recreational activities. So the location in which we live affects our lifestyle, which is important for our mental health and happiness.

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 de-cluttering.

Happiness can be found in a small studio apartment as easily as in a mansion. It's about creating a space you love.

Happiness can be found in a small studio apartment as easily as in a mansion. It’s about creating a space you love.

“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.

“What’s far more important is how we perceive our homes and what we do within and around our homes,” he says. “So no matter where you live or what size house you have, for more happiness – avoid comparisons. Instead, focus more on what you have, and worry less about what you don’t have.”

Makes perfect sense to me.

 – Stuff

Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz

 

 

 

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