It’s fall in Minnesota and we all know that means that soon it will be cold. Really cold. And dark. And depressing. And icy, miserable, and did I mention cold. But I’ve learned over the years how to best keep my own spirits up, and judging by the feedback I get from my clients, it works for them too.
I’ve been working with people in their personal spaces my entire adult life and I’m ready to make some bold statements about how our surroundings either support our good spirits or they don’t. Similar to the way a chiropractor makes adjustments to your physical body, the art of placement can offer adjustments to your psyche.
There’s an astonishing power that ‘place’ has. The difference between being in your favorite place on earth or the grocery store check out line. It’s the difference between watching a stunning landscape pass before your eyes on a leisurely drive and emptying the trash. Lying in a warm bed on a cold morning or changing a flat on the side of the road.
So it should come as no surprise that:
- our physical surroundings are either nurturing, neutral, or downright depressing.
- studies indicate that we heal faster in some places than others
- adjusting furniture and possessions affects depression
- colors have different effects on our buying habits, our eating habits, and our dispositions
- air quality and temperature affect our moods
- different colors affect our moods, our appetite, and our behaviors
- eliminating an aggravating item from our sightline changes our hormones
- practicing power poses changes our hormones
- brains respond to conditioning
- you can change your spirits by changing your spaces
There’s so much written now about how space can heal. And it’s important to note that the opposite can be true as well, of course. In fact I’m a little surprised more isn’t written about the topic although since few stand to gain by studying this, it’s understandable that it’s lost on lots of people. Statistics in this morning’s paper suggest that suicide rates are once again on the rise here in my part of the US and I wish more space was devoted to the idea of carving out even the smallest of sacred spots in your environment and spending as much time there as necessary to heal your wounds.
We know that stress can make you sick and in fact be the death of you. We also know that relief from that stress can heal the wounds it created. The excellent work of Dr. Esther Sternberg whose book The Science of Place and Well-Being explored just this and isn’t the first to bring national attention to this emerging field. So in our search for stress management solutions, let’s not forget the obvious- your home and your work spaces are your sanctuary and can help you heal. Or there’s the Samueli Institute’s paper Healing Spaces: Elements of Environmental Design That Make an Impact on Health:
The “ambiance” of a space has an effect on people using the space. In recent years, design for health care environments has begun to include esthetic enhancements in an attempt to reduce stress and anxiety, increase patient satisfaction, and promote health and healing.
Although there are other modalities that claim energy clearing is necessary and charge big bucks with promises, claims of improved health, better relationships, improved sleep and greater prosperity are not uncommon after space adjustments.