NEW RESEARCH REVEALS OUR HOMES MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO 15 MILLION DAYS OF WORK LOST TO STRESS IN UK EACH YEAR

–   ScS teams up with mental health charity Mind to help the nation de-stress

–  Over 15 million days of work lost to stress in the UK each year

UK furniture and flooring specialist, ScS, has teamed up with Mind, the mental health charity, to help the nation reduce their stresslevels and improve mental wellbeing from the comfort of their sofa.

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ScS carried out a study[1] to find out if Brits believe the state of their home affects their stress levels after it was revealed that an average of 15.2 million[2] working days are lost in the UK each year as a direct result of stress-related illness. The findings revealed that 80% of Brits do believe there is a link between their home and their stress levels, with over two thirds (67%) feeling more stressed when their house is untidy, so what can people do to help improve their mental wellbeing?

ScS and Mind have developed some top tips and advice to help people relax and de-stress, without even leaving their sofa.

Lee Walker, from Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, says everyone experiences stress, however, you can help to reduce your stresslevels from your sofa in as little as three steps:

“We usually feel stressed when we feel excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on us. Take a moment, make a cup of tea, sit with a family member or friend and talk about how you feel. A problem shared is a problem halved!

“Writing things down can also be a big help. Grab a pen and paper, take a seat and write down everything that is causing you stress. Making a list in order of importance can help you to prioritise and put in perspective some of the things that are stressing you out.

“Breathing is also important and can be easily practiced whilst relaxing on the sofa. When we breathe deeply, our body automatically slows down our heart rate and lowers our blood pressure, helping you to feel more relaxed.”

These aren’t the only ways to help reduce stress from your sofa. Exercise can reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling and help to clear your thoughts. To find out how you can use your sofa for exercise, visit http://blog.scs.co.uk/about/get-your-beach-body-ready-for-summer/.

Having a bit of ‘me time’ is also massively important. UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, leaving little time for relaxation. Setting a couple of nights a week aside for some quality ‘me time’ on the sofa can be a great way to relax and reduce your stress levels.

The study also found that when it comes to arranging furniture, the UK is more concerned about the angle and distance of the TV from the sofa (58%) than the position of windows (47%) or fengshui (18%).

However, thinking about the design and layout of your home, and finding a positive fengshui, can also help to ensure your living space is easy to relax in, and in turn help you to feel less stressed. FengShui experts from Wu Wei Wisdom explained that FengShui is also known as the flow of Qi (chi) energy around the home, and is important to ensure your home’s energy is smooth and harmonious. Qi enters your living room at the doorway, so make sure your sofa and other items of furniture are not blocking the flow by being positioned too close to the door.

Lindsey Duncton, ScS Marketing Manager, said: “Life can be stressful and demanding at times, so it’s vital we’re taking time out, whether relaxing on the sofa or unwinding with some light exercise, and doing little things to help reduce stress levels and improve our overall mental well being.

“Your sofa and living room can be a great place to de-stress and help prioritise overall mental well being, something often overlooked. We hope Mind’s three point plan alongside our other advice helps people feel more stress-free while going about their day.”

If you’re interested to find out more about positioning your furniture for a stress free home, ScS has spoken to fengshui experts, Wu Wei Wisdom about creating a mindful and stress free home.

Visit http://blog.scs.co.uk/feature/turn-your-living-room-into-a-relaxing-retreat/ to find out more.

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