I immediately resonated with one of Krista Tippett's latest podcasts on "The Science of Healing Places" with Esther Sternberg. She is working in the field of scientifically documenting how certain spaces and experiences that make us feel good are also physiologically good for us.
This supports what I have long felt… that 'your place' where you live can have a profound effect on your life and your well-being… that your 'right place' can have a healing effect and help you manage stress, while your 'wrong place' can be detrimental to your health. Think of your home as sanctuary.
What that place is that resonates with you and nourishes your spirit is different for everyone. It might the calming sights and sounds of nature… the energizing sounds and smells in the heart of a bustling city… sanctuary inside an architectural wonder, great or small… any place or combination that nurtures you.
If you are downsizing from a house to a townhome, condo or coop also take into account the impact that living in a particular community will have on you.
I talked with two different couples last week, each thinking ahead to such a move… each with vastly different needs.
One was concerned about the crush of people in a condo… expressed concern that they might run into someone else on the elevator or picking up the mail. The other was animated about how exciting it would be to have people around all the time, to be able to simply go outside their door and enter into conversation with a group of people any time they wanted!
Understand what nourishes you and what stresses you… and consciously choose your home and community as your healing place. If you have a stressful job and are away from home much of the time your primary need at home may be to relax and de-stress. If you work from home or are retired and spend much of your time in your home, you may need to find stimulation as well as relaxation in your home and community.
As Esther Sternberg says, we can all create surroundings to manage stress and trigger our "brain's internal pharmacies" to heal us and keep us well.