Journaling Exercise: How Does Your Surrounding Impact You



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The nature vs. nurture debate is decades old, but it is obvious that our surroundings do have an impact on our life, and our minds. Think about coming home to a complete mess, with dirty dishes and dirty clothes everywhere, months worth of grime, rotten food, and cockroaches. How lovely would that feel?

What if instead you came home to a beautiful, tidy place that makes you want to relax, makes you feel like you are home?

Think about the places where you feel most productive. If you are like many people, it’s unlikely to be the blue (they are almost always blue) cubical walls in your company office. Perhaps you have a favourite café where you like to work, or a library where you feel inspired, or just your own private study.

What about places for a romantic evening with your partner? 

What about the place for a good night’s sleep? 

We don’t have different rooms just because we live in a consumer society. We have different rooms, because psychologically, different rooms are supposed to serve different purpose, and therefore make all our activities more productive and pleasant. 

For today’s journaling exercise, think about your surroundings. Regular places where you spend most of your days. This may include particular rooms of your house, such as your bedroom, or living room, or study, your place of work, train or bus or car if you are a commuter, favourite places you hang out on the weekend. 

Make a list of all these places. 

Now think about how each of these places makes you feel. What impact does it have on your mood? Focus on the feelings. How do you feel? Relaxed, energetic, tired, annoyed, frustrated? 

Does your surrounding actually change your mood?

For example, you may come home annoyed from work, but just walking into your living room soothes you. 

Which of these places give you positive energy, and which of them give you negative energy? 

What can you do to make each of these spaces work better for you? Or do you need to perhaps change your surroundings? 

Look at places, your surroundings, as a live thing. As if it’s a person. And write about the role it plays in your life.