For ADHD adults and kids alike, better behavior at home can feel like an impossible dream. While you can’t make self-improvement easy, you can add passive support with some deceptively simple brain hacks.

One example: incorporate mirrors into your home decor.

Self-monitoring: our behavior vs. social context

To understand why mirrors might help improve our behavior, we need to understand self-monitoring, or the ability to regulate our behavior to match our current social situation. High self-monitors may feel ‘phony:’ always in character, never out of control.  On the flip side, low self-monitors wear our hearts on our sleeves, often to a fault. Our behavior provides a direct window to our internal state, regardless of social context.

If you have ADHD, this probably sounds familiar. Our mouths, facial expressions, and sometimes even our bodies love to jump ahead of our brains, sometimes with disastrous results.

Mirrors as a self-monitoring tool

Mirrors in your home add a set of watchful eyes: your own. As Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin states here and in her book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Livessome studies have shown that people behave better in the presence of a mirror. We’re literally watching over ourselves.

Why not add some attractive mirrors to your decor? If you’re living in a small home, they’ll have the added benefit of making your space feel bigger.

If you’re as interior-design-challenged as I am, check out these suggestions from HGTV, House Beautiful, Real Simple, and Elle Decor to get you started.

Have you ever tried using home decor to influence your habits and behavior? Please share!

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