Freshly Cut Grass
Did you know that certain colours can have a positive affect on your nervous system, endocrine system (hormones), cardiovascular system and your emotional state? Did you know that plants can do the same? And puppies? And the sound of waves crashing on a beach? Rain on the roof? Certain smells? Like freshly cut grass. Or beautiful flowers. Did you know that listening to music can affect your physiology on a cellular level in a matter of seconds? And that it can boost your immune system? Which means you’ll heal faster and get sick less often.
At the other end of the sensory spectrum, there’s smelly dog poo on your shoe. And on your new carpet. There’s fingernails on a blackboard. Angry people screaming at each other. A toxic work environment where the colour of choice is grey. And there’s the soul-less, heart-less concrete jungle devoid of any hint of nature or colour.
Minding Your Mind
Did you know that your physical environment can have a significant influence (one way or the other) on, not only your physical and emotional states, but your cognitive processes also? That is, the way you think, react to various stimuli, process information, interpret events and situations, communicate and make decisions. This phenomenon is what I call the interplay (or relationship) between our physical environment and our non-physical environment; how one affects the other.
Did you know that just being around certain people can elevate or lower your heart rate? Create a nervous system response? Cause your body to produce happy hormones or stress hormones? Did you know that being in a healthy relationship increases your chances of being physically healthy? Conversely, did you know that being in an unhealthy and destructive relationship actually weakens your immune systems and makes you more susceptible to physical illness?
For some people, sitting on a train (for example) is stressful, yet doing the same thing (sitting) in a different environment (a forest, perhaps) is therapeutic and comforting.
Sometimes, it’s not what we do but where we do it that matters.
Think about that.
We are indeed multi-sensory creatures. On a physical level, we smell, see, hear, taste and touch. And every smell, picture, sound, taste and touch affects us on some level, in some way. Consciously or not, intentionally or not, we are constantly stimulating our collective senses and constantly interacting with the physical world around us.
For good or bad.
Sometimes, it’s in our interest to hit the pause button and pay attention. To stop the rushing and the busy-ness. And to put our ‘to-do’ list down for a moment and pay attention to the way our physical (external) environment is interacting with our non-physical (internal) environment.