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The office. The gym. The WholeFoods parking lot on Sunday afternoon. Not every place in your life has to be a beacon of relaxation—but your home sure as heck should be. If your place has become more stress-inducing than serene, consider these five guiding principles for interior zen

RELATED: 8 Essential Decorating Tips for Stressed Out People

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DO A CLEANSE

We’re not talking about the soapsuds variety—we’re talking a spiritual cleanse. We know it sounds a tad woo-woo, but experts swear by tactics like meditating on your space and burning elements like sage to clear away heavy energy. (At the very least, it makes your home smell nice and offers a soothing practice. Check out our seven-step home-cleansing guide, courtesy of natural healing guru Michael Sandoval.)

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BUY A PLANT WITH SUPERPOWERS

Many common houseplants are actually scientifically proven mood boosters. Potted basil, for example, contains an organic compound called linalool that has been proven to reduce the activity of hundreds of genes that typically go into overdrive during stressful situations. (Bonus points: Who doesn’t want fresh basil come pasta night?) Read up on all the best, relaxing houseplants here

homepolish room blue decor
DESIGN: SHANA WARDLE, PHOTO: LAUREN PRESSEY, COURTESY OF HOMEPOLISH

DECORATE WITH BLUE

The color blue has been linked to stress-reduction, lowered heart rates and even an increase in sleep quality in several studies. Consider this your permission slip to nab some new blue throw pillows, or give your walls or furniture a fresh paint job. For more stress-reducing decor tactics, read this

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MAXIMIZE NATURAL LIGHT

One theory on why Scandinavians are so darn happy? They’re all about keeping interiors as bright and cheerful as possible. (Vitamin D needs are real, people!) Some ideas for bringing the outdoors in: Sidestep drapes in rooms that don’t need them, clean your glass panes regularly and decorate with mirrors, which bounce around light. Peep more of our editors' tricks for a happy home here

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FENG SHUI YOUR FURNITURE

The ancient Chinese discipline of feng shui has stood the test of time, precisely because the principles are tangible. Our favorite tips: Keep bathroom doors closed (no one wants that gross energy infiltrating the house); keep a spotless dining table (it’s the central hub of the home, after all); and move the bed out of alignment with the doorway (which subconsciously blasts you with energy all night). Unfamiliar with feng shui? Here’s a handy beginner's guide

RELATED: Here's How to Feng Shui Your Bedroom for Romance 

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