Fight off Depression with Light

Fighting off depression could be an easy to do task, just by adding some more natural light to your home or make the artificial lighting replace it. Depression is so common that most of the people don’t even notice it until it gets serious.

Recent studies directly relate the lack of sunlight, which triggers a biochemical imbalance to Seasonal Affective Disorder/SAD/, a mood disorder that causes symptoms such as a low mood, sleeping difficulties, tiredness, and anxiety.

Although there is no definitive cure for SAD, doctors apply some treatments to combat the lack of natural sunlight light, the best mood enhancer, an environmental stimulus for regulating circadian cycles:

  • Light therapy/sufferers are exposed to full spectrum light/
  • Taking supplements to replace lost vitamin D synthesised from sunlight to improve the mood
  • Aromatherapy to combat negative thoughts and promote relaxation

However, you can always enjoy the warmth of sunshine indoors. Let in as much natural light as possible to enhance a sun – shiny feeling and fight off depression:

  • Keep the windows clean, replace them with larger ones, and opt for sheer fabrics window treatment in warm pale colours to enliven the gray light on drizzly days. Glass or classic French doors let the light flow.

  • Incorporate reflective materials to enhance the feeling of tranquility. Do not underestimate mirrors; they make a world of difference. Strategically positioned, mirrors not only create a feeling of spaciousness, but also double the amount of daylight. Arrange a group of vintage mirrors for a sparkling effect.
  • For walls and ceilings opt for shades of white, cream, or ivory because they bounce sunlight into rooms and multiply its effect. Add semi gloss and satin finishes for extra reflecting effect.

Generally, try to maximise natural light for a feeling of warmth, balance, and harmony that make you feel happy and cheerful.

As for artificial lighting, studies prove that it has a physiological and emotional effect on people. Poor or insufficient lighting can trigger depressions, emotional stress, and even physical illness. Excessive lighting makes spaces appear overly bright, disturbs their harmony, and makes people feel nervous.

Therefore, lighting should be a major consideration, not an afterthought.

Consider these tips:

  • Replace your bulbs with full-spectrum ones; full spectrum lighting is an effective intervention because nothing else comes closer to natural light
    • For lighting flexibility, apply dimmers wherever possible; remember, never use dim fixtures where tasks are regularly completed
    • Provide adequate task lighting wherever necessary; portable fixtures, especially with adjustable arms, and spotlights are great options; utilise lampshades protecting eyes from its harsh glow
    • Apply accent lighting to set the mood and enhance the décor; a great idea is to accentuate a collection of glassware to fill the space with sparkling refracted light
    • For a feel of colour and vibrancy, opt for attractive fixtures; they affect mood and emotions in a positive way

Keep in mind that a small windowless room may never be “sunny” but when well lit, it can be homely and inviting to make you feel happy. Take a walk around and find some more lighting ideas.

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