What Is a Mindful Space?
In a time when many of us are preoccupied with growing to-do lists and jam-packed schedules — and, of course, COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to stay inside even more — there’s no better time to create homes that promote positive mental well-being than now.
Mindfulness is an essential tool as it encourages us to tap into our best potential self by paying careful attention to every decision we make and how we spend each passing moment. In essence, mindfulness is the basic human ability to “maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment”.
So, what does mindfulness have to do with the way we design our homes? The connection between the spaces we inhabit and the well-being of our physical and mental state are inextricable and fundamentally related. Well-documented research has linked the core values of mindfulness with an improved quality of life, as well as a host of mental and physical health benefits.
In order to eliminate stressful décor influences, the two most important questions to ask yourself are: how can you create a place that allows you to come back to your natural senses, and what makes you feel good in your home?
To begin, consider your interior environment as part of a whole in order to avoid a décor disconnect, and think carefully about how you can create a sense of balance and unity that flows from room to room.
When diving into the world of mindful decorating, aspects such as colors, objects, cleanliness, and light go a long way to improve ambiance — and aid in crafting an interior space that you can enjoy, appreciate, live in, and relax. It’s necessary to set an intention to only bring inside objects that evoke an emotion, memory, or idea that’s meaningful to you.
Furthermore, to best serve the energy of your space, it’s recommended that you “purge” once and “edit” out the unnecessary often. Everything that hinders your well-being is best left outside your sanctuary. Mastering the magic of decluttering and tidying up will enable you to surround yourself with things that you love and start each day fresh with clarity.
Creating a structure and staying organized is an essential step towards completing a mindful design. Perhaps this is the number one reason why the KonMari Method is such a huge hit — because it works and it isn’t just about aesthetics. Letting go of the things we no longer need allows a space to flow, to feel more balanced and harmonious.
A 2016 study conducted on college students revealed that students were more likely to reach for unhealthy comfort foods when confronted with a cluttered, chaotic kitchen environment. The Journal of Neuroscience, a 2011 study by researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute also found out that poor decision making and lack of focus relates directly to cluttered and unorganized living.
These two and few other studies clearly indicate that when our environment is cluttered, the chaos can deeply impact our mood and well-being, as well as enhance a spectrum of negative physical and mental health effects.
Making the effort to eliminate negative influences in your home and cultivate a way of life that encourages better well-being is a great step that will help you immensely on your journey towards a more nourishing way of being. A mindful space is one that achieves a sense of balance and reflects a happy, healthy, and calming atmosphere.
With the pressures of the modern world, it’s important to pay attention to the home environment. With this in mind, you can mindfully design your space in a way that it becomes a refuge of rest, relaxation, and restoration. Intentionally doing so is a process that can be deeply liberating and satisfying — a much-needed state of being especially during these hard times.