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  • 4 Ways Your Environment Can Impact Your Stress & Pain

    Relaxing environment

    Where Would You Rather Be?

    Quick! If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would it be? Home? The beach? A tropical island? A secluded hotel? A nightclub? Now, ask yourself why. Is it the people? The natural beauty of the trees, mountains, water, etc.? The wildlife? The architecture? The quiet? The excitement?

    The answer is going to be different for everyone, of course. Me, I’d be in Ireland right now reveling in its many shades of green and embracing that feeling I couldn’t shake when I was there 11 years ago of being “home.” I have a few friends, however, who want nothing to do with Ireland because “it rains too much.” To each her own. They can go sit on the beach and bake for hours without me; that’s just not my thing. And that’s good. Things would be pretty boring if we all liked the same stuff.

    The Not-So-Secret Secret

    It’s no secret that some places are more stressful than others. It’s also no secret that what stresses one person out is a balm for another. For instance, an introvert will be totally stressed in a workplace with an open office plan, while an extrovert will thrive. Many of the reasons we find a place pleasant, relaxing, or enjoyable can be put down to personality and preferences. But not all of them.

    Let’s say you book a hotel on paradise beach for vacation. It could be heaven on earth or it could be pure hell, and the difference lies in these 4 categories:

    • Cleanliness – That old saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness” has stood the test of time for good reason. Your hotel is going to be much more relaxing if the lobby, hallways, rooms, and grounds are clean. It will likely cause you a fair amount of stress to show up at your paradise hotel to find trash-strewn grounds, grimy walls, and mildewed/moldy bathrooms. It could be a downright nightmare if it’s infested with cockroaches, spiders, bedbugs, or any other type of creepy crawly.
    • Organized – If your hotel has clear signs on where to park and unload your bags, and has a smooth check-in procedure your vacation is going to get off to a great start. If, however, signage is lacking or run down; the lobby has furniture scattered about in weird, random, and in-the-way places; and/or the front desk is so cluttered that the staff can’t find the paperwork they need, you’ll definitely be getting off to a stressful start.
    • Safe surroundings – Nothing will burst your happy vacation bubble like broken security lighting, non-working locks, and overgrown landscaping that could provide an easy hiding place for criminals. Other safety concerns such as rickety furniture, low overhangs, and lack of handrails will also set a stressful tone for your stay in paradise. On the other hand, well-manicured grounds, sturdy locks, ample lighting, sturdy furniture, and ample safety features will set you on course for a stress-free vacation.
    • Protective – If you have to watch for tripping hazards like stray electrical cords, popped or crumbling paving stones, and rugs with curled up edges every time you walk through the hotel or its grounds, you’re not going to have a very relaxing time. You also won’t have much fun if there are loose screws or nails attempting to snag your clothes or skin every time you walk past. You’ll enjoy your stay so much more (and feel the stress melting away like it’s supposed to in paradise) if all the rugs lie flat, cords are tucked out of the way, walls and doors are free of snags, and outdoor walking surfaces are even.

    You can apply these categories to any place you frequent (or only go to occasionally) – home, office, cottage, grocery store, restaurant, etc. – to help determine which places are most likely to increase your stress level, and as a result increase your pain level as well.

    You can then use this knowledge to make changes in the environments you have control over. You can declutter your living room, tuck the electrical cords out of the way in your office, or tap those popped nails back into the chair rail in your dining room.

    For those environments you have no control over, you’ll need to decide if there’s a better time to go there or if you need to avoid the place altogether. If you can’t avoid the place, you can at least devise a plan to keep your stress to a minimum and your safety to a maximum.

    As always, I hope you found some useful tidbit of information in this post. If so, won’t you please share it on your favorite social media site using one of the handy buttons below?