Did you know that our bodies can automatically react to certain environmental changes and stimuli, even to symbols you might use as decorative accents? I have a little experiment for you to try in a moment so you can experience the power of this idea. Once you see the reactions that can occur, you may find you will want to to use this idea towards creating more soothing and peaceful home and office surroundings.
You can try this brief experiment to see how your body and mind reacts to some changes… Right now, pretend you are angry for a moment- feel the tension in your forehead, the wrinkles starting to form as you frown and all that… also, lean forward right now in your chair and clench your fists. Hold this and let yourself think an unpleasant thought. But now, let’s change something- force your mouth muscles into a big smile and hold it there, smile! Now lean back in your chair. Hold this reclined position. Also, loosen up your hands again and keep a gentle smile… So, how are you feeling now?
Most people report feeling they are unable to continue feeling angry and that they become relaxed. Yet all they changed were positions of their own body muscles! Did you realize that there are certain things our bodies become conditioned to with repeated exposure? For instance, when we recline in a chair, our brains interpret this posture as, “ah, I am relaxed.” So, simple physical posture changes can trigger automatic changes in a person’s thoughts and feelings.
Here’s an example of how things in your surroundings can trigger changes in your thoughts and feelings. Picture a place you have enjoyed visiting. It’s like the sights and sounds there speak to your soul! Can’t you suddenly get lost in that place, feel lighter, more at ease? There are certain symbols that many of us have become conditioned to throughout the years and that prompt changes in our thoughts and feelings as well. For instance, does saluting the flag or singing the national anthem ever get you feeling patriotic, teary eyed or choked up? If so, you are reacting to the symbolism, to that imagery, to those sounds.
Now that you can see the power of symbols and how they can prompt certain reactions, why not use this to your advantage in creating more soothing surroundings at work and at home?
Here is a list of several symbols that have been used throughout the ages to represent such things as peace, tranquility, serenity, balance, faith, hope and goodwill. You may wish to consider one or more of these elements in your decorating plans since many individuals react favorably to these symbols and enjoy their essence.
Dove of peace
Angels (some even have angels holding a dove of peace)
Serenity prayer or other prayer for joy or peace
Bless this home
Native American peace pipes and such replicas
Water element or fountain
Yin yang (balance)
Chinese characters proclaiming peace, joy, love or harmony
As you discover that your body and mind reacts to soothing symbols, you will want to consider including some of these symbolic elements when decorating your office or home. Adding these accents will not only help you feel more relaxed and inspired, but will also help your visitors experience your surroundings as more soothing and inviting.
Liz Hekimian-Williams is founder of Giftsprings.com, an online gifts and home decor shop where you can find a large variety of home and garden accents, personalized, and special occasion gifts. http://www.Giftsprings.com
Copyright 2003 Liz Hekimian-Williams, Giftsprings