How Space and Color Affect Your Mental Health

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – however, most people don’t realize the role that the subconscious plays in the individual’s definition of beauty and his or her subsequent happiness.

Our mental and emotional health is affected by our environments through the feelings they produce. This is not something we typically acknowledge as an active process. Most people don’t think about the effect a color will have on their happiness. Colors evoke emotions and certain behaviors along with the textures and space of furniture and the core architectural elements in a room.

Thanks to research by neuroscientists and psychologists, there are new fields that study aesthetics and succeeding effects on our confidence, happiness and decisions. Neuroaesthetics studies the biological role that lies within aesthetic experiences and embodied cognition examines an environment’s role in nurturing cognitive capacity. These fields of study enable us to analyze how colors chosen for walls and furniture, the amount of natural light present in a work environment, and the shape of architectural elements affect our subconscious and conscious behavior, emotions, decisions and work ethic.

More evidence to support this is provided by color theorists. In a study, theorists gave participants identical pastries in different colored boxes – blue, orange, green and pink. The participants always reviewed the pastry in the pink box as the best. We are drawn to choose colors that are more aesthetically pleasing on the surface, even if the object is ultimately the same. The theorists reached a similar conclusion about color when they painted an office’s work walls with red paint. At first people had a stronger work ethic, but by the end of the week coworkers were irritable and argumentative.

French writer Stendhal once said, “Beauty is the promise of happiness.” If we can agree that a beautiful environment will create a healthier and happier person, then we must do all in our power to nurture and inhabit such places.

Can you look around in the room that you are in and honestly say that it is beautiful – to your own eye? Does it have the aesthetic that motivates and inspires you to be a better and happier person? Are you not sure how to even recognize its effect?

We have designed our Retreat in the context of a beautiful location, inside and out. Both natural splendor and calming interiors are part of the aesthetic experience of Restart Retreats. View our Retreat gallery to get a feel for the peaceful, spacious atmosphere that surrounds you when you are diving deep into yourself during the Retreat weekend.

The 2017 Restart Retreat can be a solace. In an 18th-century farmhouse in Tuscany, close to the Tyrrhenian Sea, you will find beauty,  and the healing effects of immersing yourself with a space that evokes positive emotion rather than hinders it. When trees, hills, and the Italian air is your environment, there is no shortage to the emotional growth possible.