As you read this, look around. What colors can you see? What textures, smells, and sounds do you notice? What temperature is the air? Is it bright or dim? Can you see the sky?
The answers may matter more than you think: Studies show your surroundings can influence not only your behavior and mood, but even your health.
“The impact architecture has on a person’s mood is huge,” says professor Dr. Melanie Dodd. “Arguably, these are the fundamentals of architecture: not how it looks, but how we feel it, through the way it allows us to act, behave, think and reflect.”
Since the average American spends as much as 90% of the day indoors, it’s worth the effort to ensure your home is a place you can thrive in body and mind. Try these design tips to spruce up your surroundings – and your well-being:
- A touch of greenery. Early humans lived close to nature, and it may be in your interest to do the same. The more greenspace in your environment, the better your mental health is likely to be throughout life. Even tending indoor plants can relieve stress and lower blood pressure, and new research shows that adding greenery to your décor may boost productivity and morale.
- Lots of light. Light – especially natural light – helps set the body’s internal rhythm. Throughout the day, your body takes cues from the sun to regulate production of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep at night, wake up easily, digest food, and more. Light can also improve your brain’s ability to create and absorb serotonin, which can help protect you from symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- Security … and scenery. “We like to be in positions where we have some feeling of refuge, but at the same time we can see what’s going on around us; we have a vista in front of us,” says Collin Ellard, a cognitive neuropsychologist. The impulse goes back to our evolutionary roots: While modern humans don’t have to stay on alert for predators, we still tend to seek out scenic views, cozy nooks and places that feel safe and worry-free.
- Space to connect. From parks to patios, the best homes and neighborhoods include spaces where people can spend time together and form friendships. In fact, building tight-knit communities has been called a “public health priority” in the United States – since studies show it can improve health, create safer neighborhoods, and even help people live longer.
At The Glenridge’s new Northside Neighborhood, we’re building a community designed to help members flourish in mind, body and spirit. Our brand-new Club Homes and Villas – with a choice of homesites, floor plans and finishes – offer scenic views of lakes, wetlands and upland preserve areas. Embark on a virtual flyover of the neighborhood, or explore our new residences with a 3D tour.
For more information about what life is like in our community, contact our Life Planning Team here, or give us a call at 941-552-5338. You can also visit our other blog posts or find us on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!