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6 Home Improvement Ideas to Liven the Mood

6 Home Improvement Ideas to Liven the Mood

Feeling a bit under the weather? Looking for a much-needed mood elevator? The walls that surround you can have a major impact on your mood and emotional wellbeing.

Here are five feel-good home improvement ideas to lift your spirits.

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1. Keep it Nice and Clean

Got stuff lying around you hardly ever use or don’t use at all? Free up space by clearing out your garage or closet. Get rid of that old coffee maker if you’re not using it. You’d be amazed at how reducing unnecessary clutter in your home can affect your stress levels.

Make space to move around freely and keep everything well-organized so you don’t work up a frenzy when you’re leaving in a hurry and can’t find your car keys.

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2. Lighten up

Good lighting is something that can instantly lift your spirits. It adds a new dimension of color, warmth, and personality to your home. What atmosphere do you prefer to have in your home? Light and relaxing or exciting and exuberant? Tune your lighting level and place fixtures accordingly. You can use LED lights; they tend to do wonders and also help save energy, hence reducing financial stress. Buying the right quality can also help you save money as they’re durable and can last a lifetime.

A slight shift in lighting is easily one of the most convenient home improvement changes to make, and for a bargain, you can have a highly positive impact on the feel and look of your rooms.

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3. Color Me Happy

You don’t have to paint the entire hall or room. Try painting just one wall in your room – an accent wall – which can affect your mood profoundly. Select a bright and neutral color that stimulates people to have lively conversations when they’re in that room. Some colors that have been proven to affect mood positively are: blue, green, violet, and beige. Just the look of it can help you destress after a taxing day at the office. There’s hardly any cost involved and you’re dramatically changing the look of your room.

4. Go for Upgrades

When we say upgrade, we don’t mean ditch a perfectly good household fixture or item and get a new one entirely. Just like painting walls or changing the lighting, you can transform objects of everyday use to make them all look more pleasing to the eye. Does the dinner table have too many scuffs to count? Drape it with an attractive table cover that invites people to use it more. Maybe the door to your room could use some polish. Feel like the sliding door between your hall and dining room is too restrictive? Trade it in for a nice coffee table or a set of silverware.

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5. Get All Artsy

Want your home to give off more positive, high-energy vibes? Incorporate natural and creative elements into your living space like a floral arrangement, health-promoting plants, or paintings that lead to feelings of calmness and serenity.

Having art present in any form can have therapeutic effects on your mood. Plus, it’s a creative way to up your home in terms of style. Even something as simple as textured wall coverings, ornate rugs, or uniquely framed family photos can add flair to your home and create highly positive vibes.

6. Use Fragrances to Evoke Positive Emotions

Just like the lighting, colors, and the sounds in and around your home, fragrances can significantly affect your emotions. Remember the last time you walked into a flower or perfume shop? How did it make you feel?
Fragrances register in your brain a certain way which affects how you feel. Some even get déjà vu or flashes of good memories from their past when taking in certain fragrances. However, you don’t want them to be overpowering so as to drive people away. A well-maintained home always smells clean and inviting to everyone. Add to that a pleasant fragrance like lilies or lavender and you’re all set. To save yourself the trouble of finding plants or flowers, you can also spray your favourite air freshener in small doses, though nothing beats doing it naturally.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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