How Intentional Space Can Insprire a More Vibrant Life

2-3 Minute Read

(Blog Originally posted on Tiny House Festival.com -Author: Bonnie Casamassima)

 


Our Environments Impact Us
If you’re reading this you probably have a feeling your environment such as your home, office or school, has an impact on your wellbeing and quality of life.  You’re right- What’s really cool is there’s a growing body of science that confirms our gut feelings on this too!
 
For starters, the interior architecture and design of our environments can increase or reduce our stress, make us feel connected or isolated and improve or reduce our overall wellbeing. 

 This impact often continually occurs on a conscious and subconscious level. From the amount of direct daylight or natural elements you experience throughout the day, to the overall flow of your space to the materials and colors of your environment-a wide range of design considerations can support or hinder you.

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Biological and Psychological Reaction: 

What happens when we surround ourselves in environments with designs or items that no longer “Spark Joy” or said another way make you say “HECK YES!”?
 
In a nutshell, when we see something that triggers a stressful or unjoyful thought or memory the amygdala region of our brain can be engaged sparking a “fight or flight” response.

  • Our heart rate and blood pressure can increase

  • Our muscles can tense 

  • Our blood flow, and therefore some oxygen flow, also moves from our organs to our muscles in the preparation of fight or flight. 

    • This shift can limit our body’s natural ability to rejuvenate itself and release toxins.

Our bodies can take anywhere from 30 minutes to roughly 4 hours to come back to a resting neutral state from a heightened stress state.   Imagine if you have just 5 elements that trigger this response?  You can be in this cycle for the majority of your day-every day. 
 
Ever wonder why it feels so good to purge and create intention with your space? 
 
 
Design Tips for Success:  

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We know our environments impact us.  We know there’s a growing body of science helping us understand why.  What can you do with your space today?

  1. Integrate Nature 

    • It’s a field of research called Biophilic Design. We feel good in natural settings. The field looks at how to pull those positive psychological and biological responses we feel in nature into our built environments.

      • There are 86 scientifically researched attributes. Consider integrating a few such as:

        •  Natural Daylight (especially eastern light in the morning)

        •  Prospect and Refuge

        •  Natural Materials

        •  Dynamic Elements

  2. Use the Psychology of Color 

    • Interior colors impact us. Each person’s response is unique, but as an overview greens and blues can be calming and reds and oranges are energizing. Use them- Get creative!

  3. Spark Gratitude

    • When we’re in a state of appreciation our brains often relax into a state of increased Alpha waves. Alpha waves can help improve neuroplasticity, among other incredible benefits. 

      • Consider placing a few intentional items near your entrance in a location you’ll see first that sparks appreciation:

        • A family photo

        • A small keepsake from your first solo trip

        • A key bowl that reminds you of the amazing reality you have keys to spaces where you belong

bonnie casamassima