During times like these, it’s so important to create space for ourselves. Whether that’s mental space, or physical space, it’s important to create a sanctuary. We all need a place where we can retreat to when things get rough, or a place where we can create routines, and rituals in. That’s why I designed my “zarea,” or zen area, in the basement of my home. Using a few purchases from Amazon, but mostly repurposing decor that I had in my bachelorette pad, I created a space where I can meditate, do my Bible studies, and study for wellness coaching.
Create your space according to your intention. Do you want this space to elicit relaxation, mindfulness, studiousness, or all three? Candles, pillows, blankets, incense, live plants, oil diffusers — they all help to create a relaxing space. What are the benefits you ask? The science is there. In psychology, when you create space for yourself, physical space, conditioning to the sensory stimuli in the environment occurs — it’s called environmental conditioning. The brain and body consciously, and unconsciously comes to expect a specific experience in the environment. So if you’ve created a cozy, calming environment, the brain begins to become immediately calmed in that space.
In meditation, when we consistently practice in a specific environment, we become conditioned to enter a meditative state when we enter that environment. Our brain eventually changes biochemically, and we enter a state of hedonia. In essence, environmental conditioning is a way to hack the parasympathetic nervous system.
Sanctuary doesn’t have to be a room, it can be a familiar object, like a blanket, or a crystal, where when you’re in it’s presence, you know that this means, it’s time to relax.
Ready to create your space? Let me know how it goes.