If you’ve ever been in the market for a new home, you’ve probably heard these words before. They’re marketing buzz words used by real estate agents to lure you to the most attractive places to live. This concept hits on an important point: environment does make a difference. But today I want to talk to you about, not where you live, but how you can make the place where you are right now a healthier place to be.
Did you know that your environment can affect your health, either positively or negatively? I hadn’t really given a lot of thought to that notion until I learned about the C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health model. Sure, I knew intuitively that our surroundings make a difference in how we feel, but I never realized just how important our surroundings are and how much we can do to manipulate our environment in order to achieve optimum health.
In the book C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health Discovery, Des Cummings, Jr., Ph.D., and Monica Reed, M.D., suggest some creative ways that we can use the avenues of our senses to make our environment more healthy. Here are a few of the tidbits they share:
Beginning at home, look around you and determine whether your personal space is creating a sense of peace and contentment or making you feel stressed. Is your environment cluttered or clutter-free? Does your home give you a feeling of warmth and comfort? Try adding a creative arrangement of family pictures that evoke warm memories. Open the blinds or curtains and let the sunshine in. (Sunlight in moderation is good for you. More on that later.) Here’s one I really like: Move toward simplicity. Less really is better. (I’ve been telling myself that for years! It’s doing something about it that has been the challenge for me.)
How about adding plants to your home? Plants have many benefits, including the ability to purify the air, as well as adding pleasant fragrance. Scented candles are another way to bring good scents and peace of mind to your home. And don’t forget about the kitchen. The smell of baking bread or simmering soup can also arouse good feelings and give you and sense of well-being. Even using bubble bath and scented body lotions can help you feel good and, by stimulating your sense of smell in a positive way, can lead to better health.
One of the best ways to find soothing sounds is to get out into nature, away from the noise and bustle of city life. But even if you can’t get away, there are ways to simulate these sounds through nature CDs and sound generators. If you have an iPod, check out these aps: iRelax Melodies and iSoothe Light. Recently, on a long flight across the Atlantic ocean, these aps helped to calm my nerves, energize me, and pass the time. You can probably find more with a quick search.
Cummings and Reed suggest learning to enjoy food in its natural state, just the way God made it. I think the food industry, through massive additives and adulteration, has helped to pervert our appetites and created a craving for unhealthy sugar-laden, fat-saturated, empty foods. Why not get back to nature and learn to enjoy foods as grown. With a little bit of creativity and natural herbs and seasonings, we can create some good-tasting food. Speaking of that, a friend of mine shared with me a raw lasagna dish she had created and I couldn’t believe it. I was a little hesitant at first, but it was awesome! Check out http://www.therawchef.com.
Lots of studies have been done on the importance of touch to our physical well-being. The authors cite a study showing that “husbands who hug their wives regularly tend to live longer and have fewer health problems.” And we’ve all heard the studies showing how important touch can be on developing infants. Lack of touching can even lead to death! In addition to human touch, another way of stimulating our sense of touch is through texture. Surround yourself with feel-good objects, such as soft feathery pillows, or a cozy chair that you can plop into after a long day at the office.