Competent experts talked about additional stress in your own home: what it can cause and how to prevent it.
The source of negative emotions, up to immersion in stress, can be … the sound and light background of your apartment, as well as an unsuccessful design. There can be many reasons – from a loudly working refrigerator and flickering light bulbs to noisy neighbors and a buzzing computer. By expert opinion, a calm, balanced person perceives all this adequately, at least he is not threatened with stress. However, Mikhail Khors, a member of the mental health union, states:
“But if a person has shocks in other areas of life, he is exhausted emotionally, then even a rattling refrigerator in the apartment will be an additional stress factor for him.”
Anna Makina, an expert in the Home direction of the VseInstrumenty.ru online hypermarket, explains that according to the established standards, the permissible daily noise level in the living rooms of an apartment is 40 decibels, and the maximum permissible is 55 decibels. At night, the noise level cannot exceed 30 (permissible) and 45 (maximum) decibels:
“All modern household appliances, even those that work constantly, fit into the norms. They usually exceed the permissible values only in case of malfunctions.”
In the list of household appliances that can seriously disturb your peace:
- dehumidifier, humidifier and air purifier;
- computer system unit and a powerful laptop;
- water heater and gas boiler;
- washing machine;
Andrey Bannov, project manager at Dom Technonicol, says:
“Older TVs, for example, have a common problem with fuzzy sound, which makes it a legitimate desire to turn up the volume while watching. However, this will not add clarity, but will increase the overall decibels.”
What to do? Timely carry out maintenance of household appliances, experts unanimously say. For example, in laptops, regular replacement of thermal paste is necessary. If this is not done in a timely manner, the cooling system ceases to cope, a characteristic noise of the fan appears. And if the model of your favorite, but noisy device is outdated, you need to change it to a modern one. Makina recommends:
“A washing machine or refrigerator may make more noise if not properly installed. It may be on an uneven surface or too close to a wall. Move the case away from the wall and place it on a special podium or a thick rubber mat. Anti-vibration stands will also help reduce noise and prevent loud movement “.
It is more difficult to cope with noise from the outside – from the street, from a neighboring apartment, an entrance. But if it is not always possible to stop it, then it is worth at least trying. Moreover, psychologists warn that excessively noisy neighbors are quite capable of causing mental problems.
Sometimes it is enough to talk to the neighbors. Think also about the soundproofing of the apartment. It helps to replace ordinary window panes with double-glazed windows, but pay attention: it is worth installing those that reduce the noise level by 30-40 decibels compared to the street. Ekaterina Obreja, designer of Domeo overhaul and design service, advises:
“If it is not possible to change the entire double-glazed window, you can try to replace the seal for plastic windows, check the tightness of the seam between the profile and the wall, if necessary, additionally foam the voids in the seam. It is also worth foaming the voids under the plastic slopes and the window sill.”
The so-called “light noise” is another source of stress in your own home. The fact is that many household appliances create an excessive strain on the eyes. Ophthalmologist Sergei Khomyakov, chief physician of Invitro-Moscow, explains:
“The organs of our vision have evolved under the conditions of the sun’s illumination. Therefore, any other spectral composition of light that differs from solar white, as well as pulsation, are not physiological for the eyes and vision.”
The doctor claims that with prolonged exposure to the eyes, artificial light can cause pathological processes, primarily a violation of biorhythms. The reasons can be factors such as the light of the TV screen, the flickering of light bulbs, a glowing computer monitor and other gadgets, especially faulty ones. Khomyakov says:
“Modern gadgets can change the emitted light in a software way, for example, in the evening the share of the short-wave component in the spectrum decreases, yellow-green tones predominate in the radiation. This is similar to the natural change in the color temperature of natural light and is most physiological for vision and biorhythms.”
But, according to him, various malfunctions and failure of the original settings of a technical device can turn it into a source of fatigue and irritation. There are several reasons for the problems, says Anna Makina and calls them: installed drivers that do not match your screen model, incorrect connection of the monitor to the system unit, incorrect screen resolution, unstable mains voltage, incorrect frame rate settings. To fix the problems found, you will need:
- change frame rate settings;
- install the necessary drivers;
- install a stabilizer to maintain a constant voltage in the network;
- reconnect the monitor, change the resolution, or check how it works with another computer.
Makina draws attention to the right choice of lamps for the home, some of which are quite capable of becoming sources of stress. The expert refers to such lamps with directional, not diffused light, and street lamps, mistakenly installed in the apartment:
“Choose lamps and fixtures for the home with diffused light and a level of light output that is comfortable for you.”
Another stress factor is a blinking light bulb, which must be immediately replaced with a new one. But even intensely burning lamps can provoke irritation. For those who work in a brightly lit office, at home it is better to reduce the level of illumination – unscrew some of the bulbs from the chandelier or change to less powerful ones.
Mental discomfort can be caused by an ill-conceived design of the house – too bright furniture, too colorful wallpapers that cause pictures. Psychologist Ksenia Levina, a specialist in stress management, warns:
“Increased stress that comes from external sources, constant exposure to an environment that strains the nervous system, leads to increased irritability, concentration difficulties, fatigue and, in general, to a deterioration in health.”
At the same time, such seemingly trifles as a broken or creaking door, chipped tiles, a sink full of dirty dishes can annoy, adds Elizveta Rodionova, brand manager of Estima:
“The simplest and most effective advice is to keep an eye on the situation at home: correct defects in time, replace or decorate chipped tiles, and also keep clean.”
Do you know how to switch attention and reduce stress? Make a change in your home, even a small one. But Levin warns:
“It depends on how you approach it. If the mere thought of rearranging, the difficulty of moving furniture causes irritation, then this will only increase the level of stress. For others, it will give pleasant emotions.”
And more important recommendations from Anastasia Borodina, a neurologist at Invitro-Moscow, who advises not to forget about the importance of certain procedures for the psyche when you return home – put your phone away, first turning off the notification, and not get carried away with reading before bed:
“While there are no clear guidelines for optimal screen time for adults, experts around the world have agreed that screen time at home should be limited to two hours a day or less. Leisure time is best spent in physical activity.”