Mindfulness by design

Design is a tool. It can be used to provide solutions, reinvent living, or change our perception throughout space. In today’s age, we really know how to pack in a tight schedule. Though it is still important for us to remember to take the time to rest and restore our energy before we burn out. Easier said than done! Most of the time there just isn’t room for a break with a deadline hanging over our heads, errands to get done, and other people in our lives to support. So how do we create a sense of mindfulness through all this disruption?

That’s when the definition of design plays its integral role in distilling moments of relaxation. Have you ever heard the acronym, “KISS”? Maybe in an old English class? It stands for, Keep it simple stupid. Of course, designing is definitely not the same as writing an essay, nonetheless this acronym really can go a long way in many aspects of our lives. So let’s apply it to designing for mindfulness.

  1. Focused Attention

A messy space can often be a reflection of the mind. Simplify and de-clutter the spaces that surround you. The office should replicate your work, and the bedroom should replicate your personal life. Keep the gadgets out the bedroom, and your personal items at the office to a minimum. When the two spaces coincide it can be hard to stay productive while working. It can be even harder to leave the stress of work behind while trying to rest at night. The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living, is a great coffee table feature to have around the house. If you haven’t flipped through this yet, it’ll do you some serious good! Not only is it full of charming and attractive homes, there are lovely personalized stories to go along with each feature. This book provides some great tidbits on natural living and simple design.

  1. Mind is Body, and Body is Mind

When you’re slouched and sitting in a chair most hours of the day, your mind can easily get just as lazy. Hence the onset of a headache. When we are hunched over a computer, we are actually sitting in an unconscious manner and often unaware of our surroundings. Studies encourage you to make a point of getting up and moving around throughout the day. Why not walk over to your co-workers desk and talk to them instead of sending that email?People who sit a lot have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. A solution would be to check out the popular sit stand desk. A height adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working. A few of the noted benefits are increased productivity, less back pain and may lower blood sugar levels. Workplace furniture companies like Teknion, and Haworth offer plenty of intuitive alternatives for getting the job done. Even fresh air and a sense of soothing sounds can help.

  1. Stretch it Out

I’m not about to preach the benefits of yoga, because I get it. Not everyone has the time or wants to get out on a mat with a room full of strangers. However let me tell you about the benefits of stretching. Provide some space in the home with plenty of clearance, and I guarantee that if you allot 5 minutes of time a day to touch your toes and wiggle your hips, it will shortly become 10, followed by 15. It just feels that good to open things up. A clutter free home, not only feels good, but looks better as well. All you have to do is try reading one of these articles, “What yoga can teach you about entrepreneurship”, or “Why exercise is a higher priority than my business” by Entrepreneur to realize most successful people pay close attention to their health and fitness. That’s what we call good inspiration!

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