For quite some time we’ve been aware that our surroundings have a direct impact on our physical and emotional well-being. Scientific research indicates that our environment is a significant factor in our happiness and mental health. Therefore, it follows that creating the optimum living space is conducive to a happy and fulfilled life.
As you set your goals for the year ahead, make sure that your ability to succeed is not hindered by your personal environment.
Significant research has been undertaken on how light affects our mood. We’re aware, for example, that the lack of natural daylight during the winter months is a contributing factor to Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. So, rooms with adequate lighting can lift or enhance our mood. The brightness of lighting is also a factor, but the optimum conditions for feeling good and being productive will depend on the individual. On the flip-side, some people experience SAD during the summer months. For them, it is darker winter days that make them feel invigorated and positive.
To enhance your happiness levels, go through your home and figure out the best lighting for each room. Work out what feels comfortable for you and the functions that will need to be fulfilled in each space. If you have a home office, does it allow in natural daylight? Or is there too much? Enhance this will lamps and artificial lighting where relevant.
When it comes to office space, employers put a lot of time into working out the best conditions for their workforce. Research indicates that almost a third of employees lose productivity if they’re not comfortable with the room temperature. Feeling too hot is also associated with a lack of productivity and easily tiring.
The same is true when it comes to your home environment. If the temperature is not at a comfortable level, it’s likely you’ll feel uncomfortable, tired, and in some cases, unwell. Temperature also has a big impact on sleep quality. If your home environment doesn’t feel comfortable, speak to an air conditioning repair company and see what can be done.
A Room Of One’s Own
Virginia Woolf wrote about the importance of a room of one’s own for writing. Having personal space is also important when it comes to relationships and work, etc. Your home may not be large enough to allow everyone to have their own dedicated room. However, there are ways you can use space creatively to take some time out. This could be to relax, pursue hobbies, or just to be. Ensuring that room or space is conducive to this is important.
Over the last few years, research has been conducted to study how clutter affects us. It revealed that having too much ‘stuff’ around us impacts negatively on our brain, in terms of focusing on and processing information. Physical clutter competes for our attention, obscuring our ability to be focused on the task at hand. It also leads us to bad habits. For example, if you come home to a messy hallway, you’re much more likely to leave your coat over a chair or the banister rather than putting it away.
So, if you’re struggling through your New Year’s resolutions, look at your home environment first and figure out if this is having a negative impact. Is your environment, too dark and too warm? Is your home cluttered with little opportunity for being alone and personal reflection? If so, think about simple adjustments you can make to boost your well-being and success.