So you’ve heard of this term, or you’re a passionate reader of my blog (no, I’m not a narcissistic b*tch, I’m just kidding) and know that Holistic Interior Design changed my life and want to learn how it can have a positive impact on your life, too. Or you’re just reading something you found online. That’s ok, too. Let’s see how a Holistic Design Approach can affect your mental health and thereby help you achieve your goals in life.
How does my space affect my mental health?
First of all, we all have made experience with this no-go corner of our home (it may be in a small cabinet in the laundry room, for example-and that’s the best case), where all the clutter is gathered. We are always keeping this corner in the back of our minds in the category “has to be done”. But we usually “don’t have time for this sh*it” and we keep procrastinating. In reality, procrastinating and clutter have a long history together.
There is actually a study, published in Current Psychology, which found a substantial link between clutter problems and procrastination in all age groups. It’s not only about procrastination contributing to the gathering of clutter in our homes, but also about the opposite: the clutter doesn’t actually let us take the initiative to improve our space and life quality. Clutter is also responsible for high levels of Cortisol, the Stress-Hormone. Read this article of The New York Times for more information about this subject.
I’m already stressed. You can’t scare me.
I truly don’t want to scare you. The truth, although, is that Housing Quality not only affects but also predicts Mental Health. Another study in the Journal of Urban Health states that “Housing instability and disarray, but not deterioration, are associated with screening positive for depression and generalized anxiety among women regardless of other social stressors present in their lives. Housing could potentially present a point of intervention to prevent mental health consequences among mothers and possibly their children.” Disarray is more than a cluttered space. It means that the items are not in the place they should be.
So what’s the problem with conventional Interior Design and why can’t it help me improve my mental health?
The place the items should be can only be defined by you and your inner needs. That’s the problem. In addition, conventional Interior Design always gives you the impression (deliberately?) that you can’t afford it, or that your space doesn’t deserve the “luxury” of working with a designer. On the other hand, Holistic Interior Designs stands for your right to convert ANY SPACE into your personal Kingdom, using the right items for you, not the favorites of ELLE Decoration.
Conventional Interior Design has a tendency to define what is right and false for every place. Although, in reality, you can transform your space just by having nice, comfortable, natural furniture and the accessories that you love.
Stop worrying about combining more than 3 Interior Design Styles (what a sin!) or more than 3 colors. You don’t even need special knowledge for that. Just listen to your inner voice. By refining your space listening to your own needs, you have already set the basis for doing that with your life, too.
De-cluttering your space means de-cluttering your mind. (At least for a while.)
Decluttering is the first step of a holistic approach in re-designing your space. By dealing with these no-go corners, you are making the first step to deal with the cluttered no-go corners of the mind. You know, these past experiences which haunt you. The mistakes you are making only because you are used to this way. Lastly, the constant fear of change because “who has time for this sh*t, I got to go to work/I am too tired”.
Clearing the space around you gives space to your mind to clear itself. I am not talking about mediating in the middle of an empty room on a chakra-carpet. Not that you can’t do that if you want. But you don’t necessarily need that. In reality, instead, you may only need to come back from work not having to remove objects to reach the coffee machine. Or not having to avoid looking around you because you want to calm down. You can’t achieve that if “things that have to be done” are everywhere.
Ok, and what are some other techniques of a Holistic Design Approach? It has to be something more than de-cluttering, right?
Indeed. Holistic Interior Design uses various techniques like the crystals energy in combination with feng shui to make your space emit your wished energy. It addresses all five senses, alleviates fatigue, increases your productivity and positively affects your mental health. It does not believe in the various “musts” of the conventional Interior Design techniques, although the aesthetics and functionality remain in the first place. The difference is, that, in a holistic approach, the only “trends” you care about are your inner needs, which can be either temporary or permanent.
“It sounds like a wizard will turn my space into a boho/romantic/mystical/add-an-adjective place. Isn’t that like a trend, too?”
Holistic Interior Design is a very personal, unique approach to the space. And no, a space you designed approaching it holistically does not have to be boho or alternative. Approaching a space in a unique way, Holistic Interior Design will help you turn your house into a home. Your room into your personal, unique, lovely space. The space where you can calm down and enjoy every moment. And, lastly, no, this is not a trend. This is evoking the wished energy you want to receive from your space.
Am I going to feel good because I am in a perfect designed space, really now?
No, not exactly. You may find yourself in the perfect house, with the perfect dimensions, sacred geometry refines every aspect of its rooms, color theory is everywhere, you got a green painted living room (the color of harmony) and a citrus yellow dining space (it promotes happiness) and yet, you don’t feel well. You either feel intimidated, or you just can’t be yourself. But why? Color theory and sacred geometry are some of the basic holistic interior design techniques!
Well, that perfect space doesn’t reflect your personality. There isn’t a perfect personality out there, anyway. We all have our dark side(-s), our difficult moments. Holistic Interior Design gives you the opportunity to listen to yourself, find your personal characteristics and needs, and offer yourself a space where every side of your personality can be expressed. A place you can’t express your anger in, on a fear that you will damage its perfectness, or a place you can’t enjoy your happiest moments in, because there isn’t any space left for that, this isn’t the place for you!
Sadly, it’s more difficult to listen to your inner voice thank you might think. In today’s society, with all these goals you’ve said you must achieve to find happiness, having to go through millions of “musts” because “that’s how life is”, it’s more than easy to (unintentionally) neglect the inner self and its needs.
Designing your personal space regarding your needs is the first step to doing exactly the same with your life.
Starting from a place you have absolute control on, is not only the easiest, but the healthiest way to start listening to yourself and define YOUR needs, YOUR goals and finally, YOUR LIFE. It’s worth finding some time to think about what you really need and like, before filling your house with rose gold cage looking metallic lamps, just because they are cheap and literally, everywhere. These kind of rush movements have the danger that you actually create a foreign looking or, in the best case, a neutral space.
But your home is not a waiting room at the doctor’s. It’s YOUR space. It’s the space you rest, you eat, you share the best moments with your family. If you define the environment in which these actions take place, you’ve made the first step in defining your life.
How can I achieve an improvement in my life, with my house as the starting point?
Listen to your inner self. Definitely get rid of all clutter. Try making healing crystals part of your life, as they can help you find what you truly need and listen to it. Take the initiative to throw away whatever doesn’t bring a smile on your face when looking at it. It’s the first and easiest place in which you have every right to do something like that! Create a corner in your home where you can calmly enjoy your book without having to avoid looking around. Start low. You will soon see the results of living a calmer, happier and therefore, fuller life.