Your Physical Environment Impacts Your Life


In my last article, I shared how the various physical, emotional, and social aspects of my environment have promoted my success.  I would like to take a deeper look into the effects of your physical environment on your life. Your everyday surroundings at home and in the office have an inevitable impact on your mood and emotions. This in turn impacts how you act and behave at home and at work, determining your success and happiness in life.

I have found that a cluttered office and room do not allow me to be productive and focused. I found myself distracted and feeling stressed from piles of paper and a lack of clean space to work in. One study reports that living and working in clutter causes the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Clutter and the lack of organization can affect your mental health profoundly.

Even though you may feel that you can ignore the clutter in your office and in your life, it nevertheless takes a toll on your mental health. You are impacted by the smells, sights, and physical setup of your environment. Your immediate physical environment influences you and your mental well-being. Your mood will be a reflection of your space. When I was unhappy and burned out from a previous job, my space was a disaster, and my energy was so low from clutter and overwhelm. One other factor to keep in mind is how bright your room and workspace are along with the view that you have of the outside. Darker spaces, along with a lack of views of the outside, can impact your mental health adversely.

Here are some easy ways to create a healthier environment, certain to boost your effectiveness and mental health.

1. Declutter: Organize your space and remove the clutter that reduces your energy. Set up a schedule of 15 to 20 minutes a day to reduce those items and piles that are taking away from your energy and your healthy attitude. Once you have the space organized, make sure you schedule a once-a-week time, perhaps Friday, to organize your space so that when you come back in on Monday you will have good healthy energy to start the workweek. The same could be done at home so that you keep your energy and attitude moving in a positive way.

2. Music: Try adding some background music on a low level to help you improve your concentration and well-being. Select the types of music that work best for you. You can use your music to help increase your energy and attitude during the day. I like to keep a playlist of songs that I use for different times to boost my mood and productivity, depending on what I need at that time.

3. Wall art or Color: Experiment with changing the color of your office or cubicle. This can be done by painting the walls if possible. Or you can add touches of motivational sayings, your vision board, or artwork to provide a stimulating environment for your success. Try to find a few items that you can put up on your cubicle or on the wall to keep you focused, enhance your attitude, and achieve the success you want. Keep it to a minimum so you do not clutter your walls and end up reducing your energy.

The physical setting is only one part of your environment, but a very important part as you look to achieve success in your life. I know from my own experiences that the physical part of the environment definitely had a huge impact on how I performed. With some minor changes, I was able to see my success grow and my confidence improve from the adjustments I made. As you look to make changes, choose one at a time and slowly incorporate them into your schedule so that you will not feel overwhelmed.

Let your environment help you achieve your success in life and at work.