If you receive my newsletter or follow me on facebook, you’ll know that I just recently finished transforming my office space. The first client I had there loved it. She compared it to the offices of other practitioners (from allopathic modalities) and told me that my office is a much more comforting space, that it feels inviting, relaxing, and she felt safe and like she could open up.
It was a high compliment, and it was exactly the kind of feeling I wanted the space to invoke. You are safe here. This is a place of comfort and connection and security. It’s OK to relax. There’s no judgment here. It’s a soft place to land.
One of the men in my life said he thought I should put up a bookshelf in my office because bookshelves lend a sense of authority. I love books, and if you really want to see my many shelves of books I’ll show them to you, but housing books or creating a sense of authority is not the purpose of this space. Its purpose is to help you connect to the wisdom of your own body and mind and spirit. And I would hope that by booking with me in the first place, you already have a sense of trust in my knowledge and abilities.
How Our Spaces Affect Us
I truly believe that what we surround ourselves with affects us, consciously or unconsciously, for better or for worse. This applies not only to our physical space but to our emotional and psychological spaces as well. We naturally seek environments that feel safe and comfortable. And they are necessary for healing, just as trust is necessary for healing.
We need to be aware of the way our bodies and minds are responding to our environments. A room that gets good natural light and soft but uplifting artificial light has a positive effect on mental health. The light we use or have available to us can either work with or disrupt our natural circadian rhythms. If it disrupts our natural circadian rhythms, this can lead to a whole host of other problems.
Messy and cluttered spaces can provoke the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. They can significantly affect mood, as well as reduce productivity and contribute to emotional burnout. And unmanaged stress is a significant factor for inflammation and the development of illnesses. Essentially, everything is connected, and we can create a whole host of effects from making even just one change.
Creating a Space for Wellness and Healing
If your surroundings are bumming you out or stressing you out, here are seven things you can do to improve your space and make it more conducive to healing and a healthy lifestyle.
- Declutter. Getting rid of excess stuff and clutter, making sure everything is in its place, can help relieve stress, especially for those who find mess to increase their anxiety. Try to create a habit around filing paperwork and throwing away unnecessary things that pile up (like grocery receipts). Having a designated junk drawer actually helps as well. But make sure you’re not filling it with things that should actually go in the trash.
- Paint the room colors that you find soothing, and choose your decor accordingly. Repurposing can be really helpful here. There’s no reason your home environment shouldn’t feel beautiful to you in every room. Lighter colors help reflect light, but be aware of your own color associations. I absolutely despise the color baby blue. I would be angry all the time if any of the rooms in my house were this color.
- Be mindful of the scents you live with and the scents you choose. Do they relax? Do they give you a headache? Our homes are meant to be our havens. How they smell can greatly affect our comfort and stress levels.
- Manage the light. If you don’t get good natural light, choose fixtures that give you a natural light feeling and brighten up the room. Choose window treatments that maximize your natural light but also give you the privacy you need. Invest in candles for relaxing in low light and creating a different kind of ambiance.
- Bring plants into the mix. Real is best, but if real is unfeasible for any reason (maybe you have a cat that will eat everything, like I do) bring in some fake but real looking plants to add some soothing natural elements or incorporate pictures of nature that you enjoy. Nature is healing. Nature is grounding. We are only ever artificially separated by it.
- Add some softness. Think throw pillows, blankets, soft fabrics and textures. We are sensory and tactile and these are simple luxuries that can create and contribute to an entirely good mood in your home.
- Think about the role of sound and noise pollution. Play music that uplifts you when you need to be up and doing things, and relaxes you when you are ready to unwind. Learn to enjoy silence if you can, so that your nervous system is not activated all the time by the noise around you.
All of these tips can be helpful, depending on your space and your needs, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. It all begins with a general body awareness and mood awareness. Pay attention to how you feel when you walk into any of the rooms of your house. Pay attention to the feelings in your body, the subtle shifts in your mood. Pay attention to what you love and to what bothers you. How we feel in our bodies is usually the first indication of whether or not something aligns and is right for us. Learn to listen. And take your time. This is your life, this is your space.
Jessica Jascha is a clinical herbalist and intuitive consultant in Owatonna, MN. You can connect with her on facebook and learn more about her services and schedule an appointment with her here.
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Jessica Jascha, the Jascha Botanicals, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.