Does looking at a display of pumpkins, gourds and Halloween lights instantly give you a mood boost? Turns out there’s a scientific reason for that. Decorating your home for the fall season isn’t just fun, it’s good for your mental health, too.
Psychiatrist Dr. Elaina DellaCava says it’s important to have things we find pleasurable incorporated into our lives throughout the year and for a lot of folks, decorating for fall is one of those simple pleasures. Experts explain why it benefits mental health.
- The colors of fall can evoke happy feelings - “Colors can influence our mood and can actually create a surge of dopamine, which is our happiness hormone,” DellaCava explains. A 2020 study finds that the color orange - which is everywhere in fall decorations - is associated with joy and overall positive feelings. It also shows that yellow, another popular fall decor color, is linked with feelings of joy and amusement. So those mums on your table or that gourd display you catch a glimpse of may actually make you happier.
- Traditions can remind us of good times - If you decorate for fall every year, you have a decorating tradition, and that’s a good thing for mental health. DellaCava says traditions give us something to look forward to and they’re often associated with feeling close to loved ones and decorating for fall is a way to reconnect us with those positive memories and feelings.
- Traditions can also provide predictability in an unpredictable world - Because traditions happen at the same time every year, they give us a sense of predictability in our lives and that’s important because humans are habitual creatures who thrive on control, according to Kim Gorgens, professor at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. While we can’t control everything in our lives, being able to put up those fall decorations at a certain point every year helps us feel in control and she says that “fuels mental stability.”
- Decorating gives us a reason to celebrate our homes - Having a home, especially a safe one, makes us feel secure and that plays a huge role in our mental health. And when we decorate our home in a way that’s visually appealing and cheerful, DellaCava says it can boost our mood and help our general sense of well-being.
Source: Huff Post