You know when you walk into a room and it just feels good? You instantly get a sense that the person who lives there is happy and relaxed — and some of those good vibes rub off on you, too. It may seem a little out there, but there are correlations between a person's mood and the space they inhabit. Here are a few ways to tip the balance in your kitchen towards positivity, gratitude, and gracefulness.
1. Bring color into your kitchen.
It's well established that color can affect our mood, and even small doses can make a big difference. While it's true that certain colors tend to be associated with certain moods, it's also true that color is extremely personal. So, even though yellow is a hopeful, optimistic color, you won't experience it that way if you hate yellow. Your positive associations are what count, so trust your intuition.
2. Add essential oils to your cleaning routine.
Just as color can lift our mood, scent can be calming, energizing, or clarifying. Rosemary is refreshing and makes a great disinfectant; tea tree oil is calming and makes a good all-purpose cleaner; and orange oil is cheerful and works well for degreasers. The Kitchn archives are full of recipes for any mood or mess.
3. Fill your kitchen with lucky, leafy greens.
Plants bring your kitchen to life and help clean the air. Certain types are even said to bring luck. Irish tradition recommends clover, Chinese Feng Shui values lucky bamboo, and in Hawaii, a ti plant in every corner of the home brings blessings and good fortune.
4. Use salt to chase out bad vibes.
You can take this with a grain of salt, but in traditional space clearing rituals, salt does more than just flavor food. Because of its ability to absorb and dry, it's also used to clear negative energy from homes. To try it, just leave a bowl of coarse kosher or sea salt in each of the four corners of your kitchen for 24 hours, and then flush the salt down the drain. Don't eat it afterwards; you don't want to swallow those bad vibes!
5. Spend some time decluttering.
Psychologically speaking, decluttering can be an instant pick-me-up. It gives you a physical way to let go of something that's been weighing you down. When we (literally) clear space, we (symbolically) shift something inside, too. It doesn't take a lot of time, either. Here are five tasks that take an hour or less. Or just try finding one thing you can get rid of in your kitchen and see if you don't experience a little lift.
6. Turn your dish soap into an aromatherapy experience.
Most of us spend time every day doing the dishes, and the scent experience of it can really impact your mood. If you're dealing with heaps of greasy pans and chemical dish soap, it's going to bring you down. On the bright side, small changes can pick you up. You can either invest in a great-smelling store-bought soap or use unscented castille soap and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
7. Bring something handmade into your kitchen.
Objects carry stories within them; some good and some bad. In my mind, the most powerful story is one someone makes with their own hands. There's an undeniable energy that's held within handmade objects, where one person's craft becomes part of another's daily life. These Hasami porcelain bowls are crafted in Nagasaki, Japan, where porcelain has been made for almost 400 years.
8. Make a mantra for your fridge.
We send messages to ourselves all day long, and there's a whole field of study around the science of self-talk. There are even indicators that we might be able to use affirmations to rewire our brains. So, why not make yourself a positive mantra that you'll see every day?
9. Add a bit of brass, copper, or bronze.
According to some Feng Shui schools, the kitchen symbolizes prosperity and the metal element helps to magnify wealth. So why not incorporate some copper, brass, or bronze into your kitchen for good measure? It adds warmth to your decor and, who knows, it might even make you appreciate the abundance you already have.
10. Wash your windows.
Natural light is a powerful healer, and most of us don't get enough of it. One simple way to reconnect with light is to wash your windows. White vinegar makes an effective and inexpensive cleaner, and you can infuse it with lemon and thyme to make it smell good.
How do you bring positivity into the kitchen? Let us know in the comments!