How does your environment affect you, for better or for worse?

Think about where you feel happiest. It’s likely somewhere open and inviting, like your favorite room in your home with lots of windows or a local park. On the other hand, what type of environment causes you to live in a depressed or stagnant state? Your mind probably jumped to a dimly lit cubicle or busy city street.

Where you spend your time directly affects how you feel. When we look further into how our surroundings affect us, we find that this same notion has been studied for centuries. Philosophers used to wonder this same question – how are we impacted by our surroundings – and today, modern research is able to back up these claims.

There’s data out there supporting that people who are exposed to nature more often are less stressed at work. It’s also proven that the way we interact with our environment influences how we understand it. For instance, when given a map, travelers think about their relationship to space in terms of their proximity to objects, whereas when traveling without a map, people think more about how they physically move through a new space and their personal relation to the area.

The way we feel, think and develop a sense of self is closely tied to how we feel about our surroundings. Where you spend your time has the power to shape who you are as a person, which shouldn’t be taken likely. Choose environments that empower you to become the best version of yourself, instead of places that make you feel sad and stagnant.