There’s a lot of research that indicates a familiar intimate environment plays an integral role in the healing process. In addition, for the last few decades, healthcare facilities have played a big role in the research and implementation of healing, intimate environments. That’s because scientific evidence states that people heal faster when they are in the right environment.
Honor Your Intimate Environment
Shortly after 9-11, I remember my supervisor explaining to me the importance of an intimate environment on humans. When there is a sudden change, it can be very difficult for some people to adjust. Especially when the change is linked to a traumatic event.
As time goes on, I am increasingly aware of how important my intimate environment is to me. A few years ago, I moved out of the city, into the country, and had a garden in my front yard and that was incredibly healing for me. It was shortly after my mother transitioned and getting my bare feet in the warm eastern Oregon desert dirt made me feel so much better!
“First we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”—Winston Churchill
Although I’m back in the city now, I’m considering patio plants, indoor plants, acknowledging ‘space’ as a design, renting community garden plots, and other options I might discover. You see, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful. These suggestions are very easy for most people to follow and use in their own lives.
So, here are some easy ideas to consider when you design your healing, intimate environment.
• Bring the Outside In
When you look out your window, what do you see? Do you see plants, trees, the sky, a body of water, or something not quite so pleasant? What do you want to see when you look out your window?
Even if you have a small space or a not so ideal living situation, please know that you can still create your own intimate environment space anywhere. Bring the outdoors in with plants and fresh flowers or install an indoor fountain surrounded by greenery. Set out a diffuser with your favorite essential oil and sit back and relax with the scent.
• Color Your World
Every color has particular effects on our psyche, far more than we are consciously aware. Think back in your life about times and places when you felt especially great about yourself. What color did you wear? Do you think it might have boosted your spirits without your knowledge? Do you still have that color around or would you like to reintroduce it into your life?
If you want to learn more about color and how we respond to it, read Color; How It Affects Our Lives.
• Natural Light • Artificial Light
Humans need light. We especially need the Vitamin D that we derive from the warm sunlight. Therefore, I suggest designing ‘light space’ at the forefront of your creative process. The quality and style of lights in your home set the mood that you desire. Natural light is the most desired, however, the right artificial lighting can be very effective as well.
Conversely, too much direct sunlight can cause distress to our bodies, so find that happy medium in your home. First, design for the most exposure to natural light, then supplement it with your indoor lighting fixtures. Also, consider full spectrum lighting whenever possible to emulate natural sunlight.
• Safe & Secure
Do you feel safe? Many times, we do not feel safe yet we are not consciously aware of this important factor in our environment. For instance, don’t arrange your living space so that you sit with your back to a door. That’s a big one for me.
• Way-finding Flow
Can you move easily from one place to another? Is there a natural flow to your living environment? Organization and flow is key to a stress-free intimate environment. The last thing my mother said to me was “a place for everything and everything in its place.” She was right. 👍
• Honor Your Culture
Is your culture accepted or are there blatant or underlying silent suggestions that your culture is not honored? This leads to feelings of inadequacy and being left out – both very disparaging. Why expose ourselves to that? Never let anyone stand in the way of what you honor in your life.
• Rejoice in Your Space
Rejoice in your space and let it reflect who you are and what matters the most to you. Only you can make these intimate environment decisions for yourself.
Together we light the way 🔥
All images courtesy of Canva.