How creating the ultimate ‘wellbeing environment’ could positively affect your mood, health and productivity
Neil Shah, Founder of The Stress Management Society and Author of The 10-Step Stress Solution, has put together some helpful tips to help you enhance your environment:
1. Use background music to up your mood
We have all experienced the way in which a good song can raise our spirits, and studies have found that the improved mood and overall wellbeing created by listening to music results in increased productivity - so we feel happier and get more done!
2. Find some quiet space
Meditation is known to increase both mental and physical health. We can use mindfulness to tap into an inner stability and resilience during stressful moments; it encourages better personal and business relationships, and allows people to be more creative, focused and productive. Physically moving to a quieter space can help you to achieve this state, stepping into a stairwell, car park, garden or even just a different room can help.
3. Keep your surroundings tidy and fuss free
Lots of items around you, paper on your desk, clutter and a full inbox are all things that compete for your attention. A tidy environment means a tidy mind.
4. Let in the light
The wrong kind of lighting can leave you feeling out of sorts, whereas light from a natural source is the best for your overall feeling of wellbeing. Increasing the light in your space encourages both mental and physical bene ts, cueing the appropriate reactive responses in our moods, productivity and body patterns. You might nd SAD lamps an effective alternative too, especially as the seasons change.
5. Bring the outside in
Not only can indoor plants brighten up your space and be pleasant to the eye, they are also bene cial to our health. A study found that plants can:
Reduce tension/anxiety by 37%
Reduce depression/dejection by 58%
Reduce anger/hostility by 44% Reduce fatigue by 38%
6. Incorporate physical activity into your day
It’s not rocket science to know why physical activity is important to your wellbeing. It helps boost your energy, health and positivity, so nd a way to add a little exercise here and there, whether that is to walk your dog, join a yoga class or get off the bus a stop earlier.
7. Find a furry friend – “pets are good for us”
Pets have been found to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure by creating a less hostile and more relaxed environment. In addition, pets can act as a social catalyst – encouraging you to get social. If you don’t want the responsibility of owning a pet yourself the addition of a birdfeeder on your windowsill can encourage feathered friends to lighten your day.
8. Healthy eating and drinking
Take a step forward to making smarter food decisions. In order to start feeling good, you need to start from within. Cut out the caffeine and re ned sugars and opt for the healthier alternatives – complex carbs, fruit and vegetables.
9. Feng Shui your health
A few simple adjustments to the layout of your room or of ce can maximise positive energy and improve how you feel about the space – good quality air, suf cient natural light and a clutter-free space all help.
10. Fresh air
We all need a bit of fresh air now and then, but very often this gets forgotten. Take a moment outside, or on your doorstep and breath. It will feel very refreshing, and leave you feeling energised and focused – an instant mood booster.
For more tips about how to implement these principles in your daily lives, follow #wellbeingwednesday on Twitter or visit www.stress.org.uk