Over the last week we’ve discussed finding inspiration in the stories of others and in community. But inspiration doesn’t have to be discovered by only people or external places, you can cultivate it all around you. Certainly the Sistine Chapel and the Grand Canyon are inspirational, but your immediate environment can be enhanced to provide you with all the inspiration you need right at home.
Here’s how to make your space beautiful to encourage inspiration.
Have you ever thought about having a blog or a website? Did you know that this very personal project can provide you with inspiration? Having a project to work on can help you stay active and engaged in a big way. Since it is your site, you have control over the design and content. Use colors that you like. Choose photos and images that make you happy. Write content that you would want to read. Don’t worry about building the blog audience, this project isn’t for other people. However, in time you might find that your words are inspiring others and that can be fuel to keep going.
Here is an idea that can be physical or virtual. In interior design there is a concept and a tool called a mood board. This is usually a physical collage of the colors, textures, furnishings, and other accessories that they feel will be good to include in a particular room design. But a mood board doesn’t have to be reserved for professional designers nor does it need to only evoke feelings about decorating. Use magazines, fabric scraps, sketches, flowers, and other things you find beautiful and inspirational to create a collage that makes you feel good. You can do something similar on Pinterest by pinning images that you find particularly engaging from all over the web.
Have you ever found yourself carried away by a song? You may find your mind immersed in the melodies of classical or discover that you are more energetic when your favorite rock song is on the radio. Music has healing properties and an entire branch of therapy uses music to help people cope with a variety of mental and physical issues. If you have any musical talent or interest at all, playing and creating music can also provide benefits. At the very least, you shouldn’t surround yourself with silence all the time. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them when you need a little pick me up in the day.
How your home smells might also help contribute to a more positive environment. Aromatherapy has been used for a long time to help calm or energize people with scent. There are plenty of ways you can infuse scent into your home: scented candles, incense, and electric diffusers. Many popular scents are available in essential oils that can easily fill your home up with pleasing smells. Some common scent associations help with certain aspects of mental health. Lemon can enhance your cognitive ability and peppermint can help with physical activity. Rosemary can keep you active and engaged. And creativity can be enhanced by cinnamon and vanilla. Alternately, you can simply choose your favorite scents.
Speaking of scent, fresh flowers in your home can cheer up a space and make you feel more engaged with your surroundings. On top of that, the flowery fragrances and pop of color can brighten even the most basic room. Fresh flowers can also be inexpensive and easy to obtain since they are sold at every major grocery store chain. Keep a couple of vases on hand to arrange fresh flowers in. Keep the flowers alive longer by using the food provided by the florist and refilling the water regularly. Place them in your home where you can appreciate and enjoy them. When they’ve expired, toss them in your compost pile and replace them with a new batch of fresh blooms.
Another branch of therapy that has been used to help treat a variety of mental health conditions is art therapy. The idea is that creative expression can help individuals explore their emotions and help foster better self-awareness. Art therapy can be used by anyone to help them learn to express themselves better. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a visual artist, you can create art to help inspire you for other aspects of your life. No one has to see what you draw or paint and it can allow you to express yourself in a way that can expand your creativity.
Dedicated creative space
Another way to create an inspiring place in your home is to dedicate a space to your personal wellbeing. This could be a creative studio or office. Or, it could simply be a corner of your home that is set aside as a meditation space. Use items that you find particularly beautiful or inspiring to decorate. Some people turn to religion or spirituality to find inspiration so building a small household altar or shrine can provide a calm place to relax and recharge. Use religious statues or paintings or just beautiful things that remind you of your higher power.
Of course, building a household shrine is one step in the right direction but using it can be another. We often promote mindful meditation here at Holistic Pain and that is because we believe that it has long-term benefits for those who learn the practice. Developing a meditation habit can help you see other aspects of your life with more clarity and provide plenty of inspiration to help you move forward in your endeavors, whatever they may be.
How can you create inspirational spaces in your home?
Image by Peter Morgan via Flickr