Design your Happy Space. Mental Health and Biophilic Design
Updated: Feb 2
You know that feeling you get when you're sitting on the beach, a warm gentle breeze, the delicious salty smell of the ocean in the air, the incredible softness of the white sand that feels so wonderfully comforting on your toes, watching and listening to the sound of the waves? Ahhhhhhhhhh
That multi-sensory interaction of biophilia is exactly what you need to bring into your space. Biophilic design is all about creating those same mental and physical benefits such as:
✅ Reduces cortisol (a stress hormone).
✅ Reduces mental fatigue
✅ Improves cognition
✅ Lowers blood pressure
✅ Reduces anger/aggression
Applied in hospitals, research has shown reduced anxiety, faster rates of healing, less pain meds needed (that's a big deal!) and shorter hospital stays. In the workplace, improved productivity, sense of wellbeing and lower absenteeism. In therapeutic spaces, improved engagement and outcomes. No matter the environment, well-established research shows extensive benefits.
Ok, so how do you accomplish this? Well, you can call me and we can consult about your particular space. But, if you want to give this a whirl on your own - here are some tips...
Tip #1 - START WITH LIGHT
Wherever possible, bring as much natural light into your space. This is especially for workplace areas where you are spending a lot of time. If you have fluorescent lighting, consider switching to LED. Flourescent light (including those "curly" bulbs) has many negative impacts on physical and mental health. There's a reason they call it mood lighting.
Tip #2 - BRING NATURE IN
Give yourself a view of nature if you can - face the windows (unless your view is a brick wall because that won't work). If you have a green thumb or have a space where live plants make sense, then do it. If that is not an option, there are many other ways to achieve this natural medicine. Art - landscapes, floral, fractals, animals, the options are endless. Also, consider "green walls" - again, the options are endless depending on your criteria. You can opt for zero maintenance preserved moss or plants - no watering required.
Tip #3 - USE COLOUR
Forget trends! Surround yourself with a colour that soothes you. Colour is tricky so either get professional help or take the time to get sample pots and test your top 3 picks.
Tip #4 - SOOTHING SOUNDS
Now let's go back to multi-sensory. Think sounds that soothe you - a table-top water feature. The sound and sight of the trickling water is calming, lowers anxiety and is an easy way to introduce multiple sensory connections to nature. If you're looking for a no cost way to connect... there's always YouTube. Search for beach or forest sounds and tap into hours of relaxing ambiance for when you're not on Zoom.
Tip #5 - BREATH IT IN
Bring your space to live with the smells of nature. Aromatherapy has become another popular strategy in holistic wellness. Many hospitals have introduced aromatherapy in certain areas as an adjunct to improving sleep and reducing anxiety for patients. Essential oils and diffusers are widely available and is another low cost, natural method to create relaxation.
By incorporating these tips you will start to create a healing space that is healing. If you wish to delve deeper into ways that you can incorporate biophilic designs in your home or workspace, we can coordinate a virtual consultation. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Or there's always the...