How to Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

Three Methods:Making Your Home a Calming SpaceReducing Audible StressorsIncorporating Self-Care Techniques

In our fast-paced, over-caffeinated, plugged-in world, it’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention to self-care techniques. Perhaps the best way to incorporate self-care is to take steps to ensure your environment is calm and relaxing. Creating a relaxing atmosphere will help you feel better physically, decrease stress and anxiety, and ensure that you feel more in-control of yourself and your surroundings.

Method 1
Making Your Home a Calming Space

  1. Image titled Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation Step 22
    Make your surroundings appealing. When your environment is chaotic, it’s difficult to feel relaxed. Making small changes to your surroundings can help your home feel like a refuge from the chaos, rather than part of it. It’s important to address your space’s visual appeal and cater to your own individual taste.
    • Even small changes, like rearranging furniture or adding a piece of art, will make your space more visually appealing. Be sure that your furniture fits in the room you place it in. For example, an exceptionally large sofa in a small sitting room will make the space seem cramped and uninviting. Relegate the sofa to a larger space if possible.
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    Clean up your space. This is vital to creating a relaxed atmosphere. If you have an especially messy place, start small, with a single space like a desk or closet, and work your way up to larger spaces. This might seem daunting at first, but if you dedicate time each day to working on decluttering, then soon you will be able to reap the benefits of a clean, calming environment.
    • When you declutter your closet, get rid of any clothing that you don't love or haven't been able to wear within the last year. Unless a particular garment has a sentimental value, bag it up and donate it to a nearby resale shop.
    • If cleaning and organizing you place seems overwhelming, search online for professional cleaning companies. For a fee, you can pay someone to clean as much or as little of your home as you like. For your own peace of mind, be sure to use a company that performs background checks on their employees.
  3. Image titled Devote a Day to Relaxing and Pampering Yourself at Home Step 5
    Turn off electronics when you can. Constantly checking emails and social media can generate stress, especially if you are a student or employee who brings your work home with you. Make an effort to unplug in the evenings if you can. Try alternative activities to relax, like reading or taking a hot bath instead of staring at a screen all night.
    • Unplugging is especially important to do before bedtime, as studies have shown that the blue light emitted from electronic devices can inhibit melatonin production and hurt your sleep quality.[1]
  4. Image titled Take a Relaxing Shower Step 4
    Bring nature inside. Keeping plants or flowers on display de-stresses the atmosphere of your space and helps purify the air. Some great choices include the aloe vera plant, which contains a gel that soothes burns and cuts, or the rubber tree plant, which is great for novice plant owners and has strong air purifying abilities.[2]
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    Find a scent you love and spread it throughout your space. Avoid scents that are too pungent or overwhelming. Instead, focus on calming scents like lavender, chamomile, or even chocolate, which have been proven to have relaxing effects. Use scent diffusers or candles for subtly incorporating relaxing scents and ambiance.
    • Scents to generally avoid for relaxation include grapefruit, cinnamon, and peppermint, as these promote alertness and are energizing.
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    Invest in a quality mattress and bedding. Nowhere is relaxation more important than your bedroom. Since you will spend roughly one-third of your life in bed, it’s important that your bed and bedding create a relaxing space for you to recharge. Invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding. See this article for suggestions on how to Buy a Mattress.
    • Be aware that memory foam mattresses are well known for trapping heat. If you tend to feel warm when you sleep, you might want to avoid this type of mattress or invest in a cooling gel mattress-topper designed to offset the trapped heat from the memory foam.
  7. Image titled Decorate a Bedroom Step 7
    Incorporate tranquil paint colors throughout your space. Shades of blues, greens, and grays all inspire relaxation. Neutrals like ivory and beige are also great choices. Avoid bright, vivid paint colors, which tend to energize rather than relax. [3]
    • Save vivid paint colors for accent colors on items like pillows or throws, rather than painting entire rooms with them.
  8. Image titled Set a Thermostat Step 7
    Adjust your thermostat to a temperature that makes you the most comfortable. Slightly cool indoor temperatures tend to make a space seem more relaxing. Approximately 68 to 70 degrees is a comfortable indoor temperature. For relaxation for sleeping, go a bit cooler to about 65 degrees for optimal rest.[4]

Method 2
Reducing Audible Stressors

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    Eliminate noise and distractions. Noise from loud neighbors, noisy traffic, or nearby construction can cause stress and make your otherwise tranquil space stressful. Minimizing these distractions and incorporating peaceful sounds helps promote calm and relaxation in your space.
    • Blackout curtains help eliminate noise, as do double or triple-paned windows. Investing in heavy duty blackout curtains and upgrading old windows (if you own your own home) will help reduce outside noise.
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    Play some calming music. Studies have shown that playing music promotes relaxation, even in stressful environments. Music therapy is even gaining popularity among pediatricians as a successful means of calming children who undergo medical procedures. To reap the most calming benefits in your space, play calming, lyric-free music. Sounds of nature or a smooth jazz sound are great choices.[5]
  3. Image titled Devote a Day to Relaxing and Pampering Yourself at Home Step 7
    Block out unnecessary noise at work. For a relaxing work environment, invest in noise canceling headphones. If you work in an office or other location that permits the use of headphones, noise canceling headphones will decrease the amount of stressful noise that you will deal with while you work. These come in on/over the ear styles and earbuds. Regardless of which style you choose, make sure that your choice feels comfortable in/on your ears.
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    Buy a quality white noise machine. In addition to a comfortable mattress and bedding, a quiet environment is vital for optimal relaxation before bedtime. White noise machines help drown out stressful background noise from loud neighbors or busy streets. Choose a white noise machine with a variety of sound options and volume settings so you can customize your sound.
    • Premium white noise machines run off an actual motor and internal fan, rather than simply putting out a noise that approximates the sound of a fan or nature. Check product reviews to ensure that you're buying the right white noise machine for your needs.
  5. Image titled Sleep when Someone Is Snoring Step 4
    Buy earplugs. If you would prefer to save your cash, an inexpensive way to reduce audible stressors is to buy earplugs. You can find these at any drugstore or hardware store.
    • Look for plugs that are made of cushiony foam and have a 33 decibel reduction (the highest rate reduction for earplugs).

Method 3
Incorporating Self-Care Techniques

  1. Image titled Meditate Deeply Step 11
    Pay attention to your physical needs. Even though creating a relaxing atmosphere is important, the most relaxing environment can’t make up for feeling physically and mentally drained. Coupling mental and physical care with your relaxation strategies will enable you to reap greater benefits.
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    Integrate aromatherapy into your routine. Aromatherapy for relaxation has been proven to work to relieve both stress and pain. Calming effects come from oils like vanilla, rose, or geranium. Less physical pain and stress will help you relax and find calm.[6]
    • Mix your aromatherapy with water in a spray bottle and keep in your car or in your purse of briefcase. Spritz your wrists and neck periodically throughout the day to benefit from the relaxing scents while you're away from home.
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    Practice yoga or guided meditation. Calming exercises like yoga or Tai Chi can help you relax, reduce stress, and reap health benefits like lower blood pressure and lower pulse rate. See this article on how to Do Yoga Meditation for suggestions on incorporating yoga techniques for relaxation.[7]
  4. Image titled Control Crohn's Disease with Diet Step 12
    Try vitamin D supplements. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D, the "Sunshine Vitamin," can boost mood. If you prefer not to take a tablet, you can try stepping outside for fifteen minutes to get your RDA of vitamin D. You can find supplements at any drugstore or health food store.[8]
  5. Image titled Teach Your Kitten to Be Calm and Relaxed Step 3
    Play with your pet. If you have a dog, cat, pot-bellied pig, or other pet, play with it! Spending quality time with your pet can relax you, comfort you, and even reduce blood pressure and risks for obesity. Aim for thirty minutes a day playing with or briskly walking your pet to maximize the relaxing benefits. See this article for tips on how to Have Fun with Your Dog Outdoors.[9]


  • Don’t feel like you need to incorporate all of these techniques at once. Everyone is different, and it will take some trial and error to find the right combination of relaxing techniques for you.

What You'll Need

  • Indoor plants
  • Scent diffusers, scented room sprays, and/or candles
  • Aromatherapy products like lotions or essential oils
  • Comfortable mattress and bedding
  • Indoor paint
  • Noise canceling headphones
  • White noise machine
  • Earplugs
  • Vitamin D supplements

Article Info

Categories: Relaxation Techniques