Wellness Tip: Your Space Matters For Your Mind

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WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on August 19, 2019

Today’s word of the day is “neuro-architecture.” It refers to the idea that our surroundings can play a significant role in effecting our sense of well-being and emotions. It’s the influence of design on our bodies. While neuro-architecture is a new idea, and still being researched, we like to believe that improving your surroundings in your home has a strong correlation with your emotion, stability, productivity and ultimately, happiness.

Here are some tips to improve your surrounding and your mood.


Color Palettes

Choosing calming and serene color palettes or combinations (whites and neutrals; not too many colors at once) will have an effect on the brightness and tranquility of a space. With technology (often in our hands) and the noise in our heads (deep breaths!), we need our surroundings to be less overwhelming. A simple, clean color palette helps.

Lighting (Natural + Unnatural)

We all know that sunlight is good for you. Especially in the winter. You make sure your plants have a sunny spot, why can’t you treat yourself the same way? Whether it’s keeping a shade or curtain open during the day, or cleaning the outside of the windows to let extra light in, it’s important for your space to feel as naturally bright as possible so that sunlight can energize you and boost your serotonin.

Not everyone has the luxury of good natural light in their homes, but that should not be your excuse for “no good light.” Artificial lighting makes a huge difference too, you just need to channel your inner lighting guru. Here’s what you need to know:  

  • Next time you’re at Ikea, buy 1 – 2 backlights. They are a secret weapon. Hide one behind a chair or in a corner behind your sofa and they will warm the space right up without being too bright
  • Don’t over light a room–turning on every single light in the house is not what your inner lighting guru wants you to do. It’s about curating that light based on the occasion
  • Pay attention to light bulb wattage based on the need for the lighting
  • Be intentional. If you plan to use a chair or sofa for reading, provide yourself with adequate lighting, even if it means an overhead lantern strung from the ceiling


Having plants around your home reportedly reduces stress and improves concentration. Head to the nursery and buy a few, various sizes, and place them in sunny spots throughout the house or order plants online through Havenly

Plus, the act of caring for something other than yourself can provide a lot of joy.

Feng Shui + Functionality

Making sure your space makes sense will set you on a positive path (instead of “UGH. Why am I always tripping over this chair?!”). To set your space up the right way, first consider the true use of the space. Is your bedroom only for sleeping? Or are you looking to add a workspace or dressing area, too? Then, consult the experts about a little thing we’ve all heard about: “Feng Shui.”

Feng Shui is known as the “art of placement” which is all about considering how you’ll move about in a room and how the objects in the space affect that experience. There’s a reason it’s been around for over 3,500 years (it’s true!).


Go beyond the family photos to trigger positive memories within your home–whether a postcard displayed on a shelf or some crystals from a desert retreat, get creative with how you display things you’ve collected from positive times in your life. Seeing them, room by room, will have an uplifting effect on your day.


In a lot of these cases, it’s the act of putting in the effort to better your surroundings that has a big impact. Assign yourself one step per Sunday for the next few weeks and watch the effects day after day on your moods, mindfulness, and concentration. And, if you’re having a lot of fun doing so, read the book Remodelista: The Organized Home: Simple, Stylish Storage Ideas for All Over the House. They’ve got incredible organization hacks that will make. your. day.

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