I have always been a firm believer that beautiful inspiring surroundings elevate our lives. We have been in spaces that feel dark, dreary, and depressing. And in contrast, we have been in spaces that feel airy, expansive, and energetic. In essence, a space, just like people, has a distinct personality that affects our mood, our outlook, and our being. But do you know the elements in a space that have the most impact on us? I’ve outlined the ones that we sense whether consciously or not.
A space that is well lit has an energizing and captivating aura, while a dark space or one that has some dark corners gives us an uncomfortable, unprotected, and disturbing feeling. Make sure that you have enough kinds of light. Ideally natural light is the best, but also task lighting and mood lighting matter.
2. Ceiling Height:
A high ceiling will elicit a feeling of expansiveness, while a low ceiling (even one at 8’) tends to make us feel constricted. If you don’t have the ability to find high ceilings do things to the space to create the feeling of height. Some examples of this would be running wall material in a vertical pattern rather than horizontally, or putting in longer window coverings that start from the ceiling rather than the window head, and go all the way to the floor.
3. Warm Palette of Materials:
Even for those who love modern architecture, the use of warm textiles and of gentle hues can give the sense of comfort and serenity. As human beings, our tactile senses are well developed and affect our interpretation and experience of a space. Try combining different materials such as wood, fabric, leather, etc. to enhance your surroundings.
Now let’s take all this a step further. Surroundings are not just our physical built surroundings. The people with whom we choose to surround ourselves plays a very significant role in affecting our mood, outlook, and well-being. Have you noticed that if you hang out with your fun, humorous, lively friend, you feel more jovial and your mood swings way up? That playful, energetic friend brings the same out in you. On the other hand, how do you feel when you hang out with that friend that is typically in a bad mood, full of negativity, is impatient with people, and generally grumpy or depressed? They can be a real bummer to your mood and outlook, cant’t they? I’ve outlined the most impactful characteristics that we find in others.
1. Their Outlook:
Each of us has our view of the world that we live in. Some people love life and embrace it in all aspects of their lives. They see the universe as an ally that wants to bring them health, happiness, and love. That is a beautiful energy to surround yourself with, because it is wonderfully infectious. Adversely, other people (and I’m sure you know someone like this) see the world as an enemy out to get them. They feel that the universe wants them to fail. This leads to a very negative outlook, which penetrates everything in its wake. This can be incredibly draining even for those that are typically joyful.
2. Their Energy:
We all emit a certain energetic vibration; some people are lively and active. They have that get up and go personality that can be infectious and works wonders on our productivity. Others are lazy, slow, lacking energy, and weak in vitality. This can deplete us, causing our vibrational energy to drop along with theirs.
3. Their Determination:
Some people are driven to better themselves in whatever way possible. They may have solid career goals, self-improvement goals, or goals to serve the community in some way. All of this gives them the drive to succeed. That is a wonderful motivator for achieving our own dreams and desires. You’ve probably heard the quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So it is important to be selective and seek out those whose determination mirrors yours.
It is all of our surroundings that we absorb—our space as well as those we let into our lives. As human beings our skin is permeable. Our pores are open to the environment, and we absorb whatever we are in contact with. In much the same way our “emotional skin” is permeable to the outside world…and for that very reason—surroundings matter.
Until next time... with inspiration,