Some of you may know from following my journey that I studied architecture in university and went on to do my Masters and Thesis focusing on the impact of architecture on physical body healing.
My thesis topic was really driven by my own experiences living with Crohn’s disease for most of my life. Through my research, I was able to discover a lot of transformative information regarding the connection between our physical environment and our healing journey. A few major themes arose throughout my research and one of them was surrounding the concept of simplifying your space. So, today I want to give you three practical and easy ways to adapt your environment to promote greater wellness and healing in your life. All of these concepts are backed with scientific data. At the end of the post, there will be an extensive list of published scientific studies linking back to points mentioned throughout the post.
Additional clutter in your home and your space can cause a lot of energetic blocks surrounding healing. Clutter can also increase your anxiety and sense of overwhelm, which is not conducive to healing. (1)
Decluttering can seem like a very daunting process, especially if you have a lot of stuff. But, it is important to remember that it does not have to be done in one day. You can try to declutter one space a week over a series of months if that’s what works for you.
It is important to note that decluttering does not mean putting everything you don’t want to deal with in one closet of your home. It is okay to have a junk drawer here and there for miscellaneous items, but getting into the habit of pushing everything into spaces you don’t see does not take care of the real root of the problem. Some of my top tips for decluttering include:
- Take your time and find storage solutions for all of your items that really work for you. Don’t rush out and buy any storage bin you can find. Rather, do the decluttering and see what you think you will need in that space.
- Start in the bedroom. The bedroom is where you get your most vital healing time while sleeping. So, be sure to keep this space bright and airy. Avoid placing things under your bed as this blocks the energy from a Feng Shui perspective.
- Read some books or watch some organizational videos and content to get you inspired to start decluttering. My favorite include:
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- Holistic Spaces by Anjie Cho
- Netflix: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
- Netflix: Get Organized With The Home Edit
- Head to Pinterest for organization solutions, but don’t get too invested in making things look “pretty.” You want your home to be nice but also practical and functional.
2. Turn to Nature
Nature is a very important source in our healing, that is why it is important to bring nature into your indoor environment in a few different ways.
First, it is important to focus on sunlight. Sunlight is not only vital for our health due to the physical health benefits in the form of Vitamin D. But, sunlight is also important for our mental health and mindset, which is extremely important for physical and mental healing and wellbeing. Sun exposure is important in regulating serotonin levels. Decreased serotonin levels can harm your sleep cycle, mood, energy, and even lead to seasonal depression. (2)
So, open up the blinds in your house, let in as much light as possible and if you are forced to stay indoors a lot throughout the day, try to sit near windows if possible.
In addition, it is important to bring nature into your space in the form of plants. Depending on your environment it may be harder to bring plants into the space. But, do your research and look into what plants may be best given your climate and lighting conditions. Bringing plants into your environment has many benefits including:
- Air purification of your space: Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. (3)
- Relax the body by suppressing the nervous system. (4)
- Lower blood pressure. (4)
- Reduce physiological and psychological stress. (4)
- Reduce stress among co-workers at work: 37% decrease in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue. (5)
- Increase productivity by 15% within green office spaces. (6)
Overall, there are a lot of health benefits to having plants within all indoor environments. You can start with a few and build your way up. But, regardless they are an easy and beneficial way to simply bring more nature and wellness into your indoor space.
3. Focus on the Senses
When creating an environment that promotes greater wellness and healing, it is important to turn to the five senses. There are many ways to simply satisfy the 5 senses within your home. The graphic below is from my Thesis research and this information is all backed by scientific studies previously conducted.
Some simple and easy ways to engage the senses and promote healing and wellbeing is through the following:
- Calming music
- Sounds of nature
- Combination of quiet and vibrant spaces
- Views out to nature
- Ample natural lighting (and artificial lighting)
- Calming colours with decor
- Calming artwork (that makes you happy!)
- Natural scents (no synthetic candles/diffusers)
- Aromatherapy with essential oils
- Proper ventilation and air circulation within the space (using fans, replacing air filtering units on HVAC)
- Natural materials/fabrics/decor throughout
- Focus on ergonomic furniture
- Comfortable fabrics and pieces
- Healthy food options available
- Ample water found throughout the home
- Air humidifier for dry spaces
These are just some of the ways you can engage your senses to promote simple ways for healing and greater wellbeing.
Overall, I hope you found this post helpful and informative. The biggest takeaway here is to bring more nature and natural things into your home and spaces and to eliminate any additional clutter that may be weighing you down.
To learn more, feel free to check out my thesis book or YouTube presentation. (7) In addition, check out the studies and resources below!