Creating the Optimal External Healing Space
Your external environment is where you live, work and play. Having great experiences in these places requires a bit of creativity. Perhaps you change the color of the walls in your home, or decorate your workplace with greenery. Maybe in your backyard, you plant flowers that give off a wonderful aroma. All of these originally normal spaces become healing spaces when you use your creativity to make them your own.
Healing spaces are those that minimize stress, allowing you to feel comfortable and happy. Some external environments do not promote healing and sometimes, people don’t realize that it is causing them harm. The key is to be aware of your surroundings. With awareness, you can brainstorm on what you can do to improve the things that you have the ability to change.
There are many places that you spend a lot of time in. Your home, you classroom, your office, and even your car can potentially become healing spaces. To decide if these spaces are good for you or not, ask yourself the following questions:
- What does each place look, sound, smell or feel like?
- What feelings do they evoke?
Once you answer these questions, it will become very clear to you that some of your spaces are healing spaces and some are not. Making small changes to these spaces, for example, keeping them cleaner or perfuming them with a pleasant aroma, can transform them into healing spaces. However, for some inside spaces, which may be surrounded by people, it is important to have an oasis.
Healing spaces should awaken spirituality, especially at home. In some cases, the best way to awaken spirituality is through connection to nature. So at home, your retreat may be outdoors.
Just as you sought out healing inside spaces, search for outside spaces that nurture you. If you cannot find permanent outside spaces that evoke healing, consider these outdoor activities:
- Watching sunrise/sunset
- Eating lunch outside
- Walking through the park
- Bird watching
- Sitting by a fountain
- Going to the beach
Exposure to nature is great for your health and there are ways to track your improved wellbeing as you visit these outside healing spaces. Ask yourself, how does this place affect your mood, or, how does it affect your energy level.
Exploring Mindfulness Outdoors
Sometimes visiting places just isn’t enough. But when you arrive, the things you choose to do can change your perception and transform that space into a healing space. Meditate in the garden or on the beach and you’ll find yourself renewed in a transformed space.
You can learn more about the external environment in our book Optimal Healing Environments: Your Healing Journey.