Your environment has a lot to do with your mood. Indeed, many people don’t realize how much their environment affects their happiness and even their outlook on life. A positive environment or a negative situation has a massive impact on whether you’re a positive or negative person.
One study, published by researchers at IOP Science, shows that having green areas such as trees and landscaping in a neighborhood positively correlate with a “joyful” factor. Other things will also keep your environment positive.
Here are 15 ways to create a more positive environment at home or work
1. Let in some light.
It’s no secret that darkness and depression go hand in hand. There have been numerous studies done linking these two things. Always being in a dark environment can alter your mood. You won’t be as happy and positive as you could be.
If you work in a dark environment, you can’t do anything about that. However, on your breaks, try to relax in a well-lit room or even outside. In your home, try to stream in as much natural light as possible. Natural light puts you in a better mood than artificial light.
2. Decorate your space to your liking.
Dull, boring, bare walls don’t inspire much. This is especially true if your walls are a flat, dull, stark color. This is one reason why people hate working in cubicles so much.
Adding some personality to your space can go a long way when it comes to putting you in a positive and inspired mood. Personalizing your space, whether it’s home or work, is a great way to create a positive environment.
3. Put affirmations on your walls.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to create a positive environment. Being able to read positive messages throughout the day can subconsciously put you in a positive and motivating mood. It’s almost like tricking yourself into being positive.
You can buy fancy wall messages if you want to be more decorative, but you could also write out your affirmations and stick them on your wall. This might be a little more logical if you work in a cubicle. Either way, get some positive messages up in your line of view.
4. Socialize more.
Lack of social interaction can make you feel lonely, negative, and depressed. Even introverts need to interact with people sometimes. If you’re always by yourself, you need to push yourself to get out and meet people.
You don’t have to become a social butterfly, but you should at least make an effort to make a friend or two. You can easily do this by joining a group. A book club, a fitness class, or volunteering are great ways to get out and meet people.
5. Take care of background noise.
Background noise, also known as noise pollution, can have a dramatic effect on your mood and your health. In some cases, you can’t do anything about the noise. Urban areas are drowned in background noises like traffic, sirens, and people.
Unfortunately, background noise has been linked to an increase in high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression, among other things. While you might not be able to get rid of it, you can do something to reduce it. Earplugs help, or you could try a white noise machine.
6. Keep your work in your workspace and keep your relaxing space work-free.
It would help if you had clear boundaries in your home to maintain a positive environment. This means that you should designate a place in your home for work only. If you have an office that is great, but if you don’t, you should block off an area and let that be your work area.
Doing this allows your mind and spirit to relax fully when you’re in your relaxation areas. Being able to relax has a significant impact on whether you’re positive or negative. If you can never relax, you can be sure that your mood is going to lean more towards the negative side.
7. Clean up clutter.
Regularly seeing piles of clutter everywhere throws off your brain’s dynamic. It can make it hard for you to focus, affect your memory, and decrease your productivity. Even worse, the effect is cumulative, so all of this continues to pile on until you’re left feeling uninspired and unmotivated.
Cleaning up clutter helps to keep you in a positive spirit. Your brain isn’t thrown off by disorganization, and you can focus more. You’ll find yourself happier and in a better mood.
8. Surround yourself with positive people.
If you’re always around positive people, that positive attitude is going to rub off on you. Even if you think of yourself as a leader and not a follower, surrounding yourself with the wrong people will eventually have a negative effect on you.
Instead, keep your circle full of people with a positive outlook on life. This could mean cutting some people out. Sometimes even family and friends are the ones you need to drop from your circle. It doesn’t mean you should not ever talk to them again. It just means to keep them at a distance, so they don’t influence your environment.
9. Start a garden or buy some plants.
You don’t have to become a gardener, but greenery and pretty flowers have been known to increase happiness and positivity. If you don’t want to grow plants, buy them. It could be a small plant for your desk, or it could be large floor plants for your home.
You don’t even have to buy real plants. Fake plant arrangements that look great can have the same effect. This way, you can reap the benefits without having the stress of keeping them alive if you don’t have a green thumb.
10. Enjoy the little things in life.
There is so much to enjoy in life. If you’re continually ignoring these little things, it can take the joy out of your day. Wake up, go to work, come home, do it all again. That’s a monotonous cycle that doesn’t inspire a positive mood.
Try enjoying the warmth of the sunshine for a few minutes. Smell the flowers outside of your job before you go in. Watch a street act—Pet a puppy. Admire an elderly couple who is still in love after decades. It’s the little things that make life worth it.
11. Make sure your environment smells good.
According to Rachel S. Herz, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Brown University, odors can affect your mood, but not like it does for everyone else. You must have associated that odor with something in your life. Therefore, if a scent is offensive to you, it can put you in a bad mood, which can crush your positive environment. For anything else that smells bad to you, do what you can to remove the odor from your situation.
12. Don’t stare at screens all day.
Studies show that the average American spends 7 hours a day staring at screens, and it’s causing vision problems, eye strain, headaches, and neck pain. With all of this going on, it can be hard to remain positive. Try to limit your screen time as much as possible. Put up your phone and read a book instead of watching tv.
13. Exercise more.
When you feel good physically, you feel good mentally. The effects of regular exercise on your mood is no secret. It’s been studied over and over again. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good and puts you in a great feeling. You’ll feel better and be in a more positive mood.
14. Be kind to people.
Being helpful to people will inspire people to be kind to you. You’ve heard that old saying – treat others how you’d want to be treated. Treating other people well will make you feel great and make them feel great. Then they’ll want to make you feel great, and it becomes an environment where everyone is making everyone feel great. How can you not think positive like that?
15. Eat healthily.
You are what you eat. You’ve probably heard that several times before. Studies have shown that certain foods can affect your mood and even the way you feel about life in general.
Eating healthy is a great way to feel good about yourself. As stated before, feeling good mentally equals feeling good physically and vice versa. Your mental state is as much a part of your environment as any tangible object, so eat healthy to keep yourself feeling good.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Positive Environment
Creating a positive environment starts with yourself. You must make your physical environment warm, happy, and inviting. You must also have excellent mental and emotional health to keep you in a positive spirit. Don’t be afraid to remove anything that inspires negative thoughts or emotions. The more happiness, light, and positivity you invite into your life, the better you’ll feel and be. Before you know it, being positive will be a way of life.