Environmental well-being is often thought to be about respecting our natural world and the connection we have to it. It is much more than that. It also involves the environments in which we find ourselves daily. Stressful environments can put our bodies under strain and leads them to releasing stress-induced hormones such as cortisol. This often has a negative impact on our immune systems and well-being.
Our homes should be our safe spaces, a place we can relax, unwind, and feel calm. There are quite a few things that can be done for your home to become your ultimate healing space:
- Make it comfortable: what makes you feel comfortable, physically? Is it safety and security, nice, cosy furniture, lots of light, colours? Whatever it is, include it in your home. Make it a part of each of the rooms in your house to maximise the relaxation no matter which room you are in. Psychological happiness and comfort in your home is a big one, include items that are familiar, stimulate you or help you remember happy memories.
- Get rid of clutter: a cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind, making it difficult for you to concentrate, make you feel sad, worried, stressed, overwhelmed etc. and even more difficult to relax. Small steps make big differences. Start with a small area and try removing as much clutter as possible. When you start getting more comfortable with this, move on to bigger areas or entire rooms!
- Make your 5 senses happy: Sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. All of your senses can contribute to a relaxing environment. Whether that is a blue wall, a textured couch, a beautiful pot plant, a small water feature, scented candles, or essential oils, fill your space with items that appeal to all 5 of your senses.
- Enhance the light: scientists have proven that natural light can boost your mood, lower fatigue and reduce strain on your eyes. Any natural light you have should be taken advantage of. Open your curtains/blinds. Add additional types of light such as a desk or floor standing lamp beside your workstation or couch. The more light, the better!
- Bring nature inside: Studies show that even small amounts of contact with nature significantly reduces stress and unpleasant feelings and boosts or elevates positive feels such as joy, calmness, and comfort. Bringing nature inside your home in the form of a pot plant, hanging plant or tall corner plant will not only give your home an added pop of colour, but will improve your mood too.
- Reduce noise: be mindful of how much noise you are making in your own environment but also take note of the external noises that could be around you. Do you keep your TV on as background noise or to enjoy your favourite TV show? Can you constantly hear traffic outside your window? Try playing recordings of nature or binaural beats as background noise to create a calm and healing atmosphere while also drowning out the external noise.
- Enjoy nature: having an outside space that you can go to relax or even just take a 5-minute breather during the day is so important. The closer you are to your garden, the better! Don’t have a garden? Bring nature onto your patio so that it isn’t far away. Take a walk outside each day for some fresh air and a change of scenery.
- Consider your inner environment: your inner environment is just as important as your physical environment. Consider your headspace and mindset. A positive attitude, sense of control and relaxation can be learned and practised. This will lead to better health and wellbeing.
Healing yourself and creating a relaxing, balanced and healing environment takes internal and external work. Your physical environment plays as much of a role in your holistic wellbeing journey as your spiritual, mental, and emotional environments do. Take the time you need to cultivate the mental peace as well as restructuring the layout of your home. Allow yourself to focus on what is most important.