Most people are unaware of how much our physical environment influences our mood and behavior. Our surroundings can even impact the way our brains work. This article explores how humans react to different types of rooms, and the benefits of different spaces.
The psychology of space
Psychologist Charles Fernyhough wrote in BBC Magazine that there is a psychological barrier to experiencing our world. We see ourselves as being in the center of the universe and we feel that the world should revolve around us. In reality, this isn’t the case and therefore it can be hard for us to understand these other worlds.
In the last few decades, humans have been led to believe that they can no longer go beyond the borders of “our planet” and that there is no more room for expansion. And while rising populations have, in reality, pushed us farther from our homes, it becomes easy to see why this is true. We’re so used to living within a certain set of boundaries, surrounded by proximity. But what about when we look down at Earth from outer space?
How mental well-being is influenced by the environment
Mental well-being is influenced by the environment, so it’s important to focus on creating a positive atmosphere in the workplace. People will be more productive and work more efficiently if they feel included and appreciated at work. The most effective way to do this is to create opportunities for employees to get involved with decision-making and provide more than what’s expected from them.
People are constantly changing their work locations. Jobs often lead to unexpected field visits, which can cause a level of stress that results in mental health problems. The mental health of people is influenced by their environment, and so the places in which they work can have profound effects on how those people feel about themselves.
How our brains work
When we imagine a place, our brains have to virtually build the space. We use the same cells in our brains that make up the space. When we close our eyes and imagine a place, we are creating new memories of the person’s past to help us navigate through the territory.
The map in our brain is not an accurate representation of the world we live in. For example, it can be hard to find your way out of a new town because the map of your childhood home may be inaccurate and showing you an “exit” that no longer exists. This can lead to anxiety and frustration. By understanding how our brains work and recognizing the limitations of our maps, we can reduce stress, increase efficiency, and avoid ending up somewhere that doesn’t exist on our map.
Types of rooms with implications for mental health
It’s not the place you think it is. If you are feeling sad or stressed, it may not be your work environment that is causing these emotions. It could be a room in your home or workplace that has certain characteristics that trigger negative feelings.
An individual’s bedroom can have a strong impact on their mental health. Poor sleep and anxiety disorders are more common in people living in crowded, small spaces. The type of room that an individual lives in also has a significant impact on their mental health because it can indicate the availability of certain activities or objects.
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