Albert Fuglsang-Madsen

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How do we optimise our surroundings for a positive subconscious effect?

I've been thinking about it, and it seems that music, colours, images and wallpapers have a positive effect on our minds, and makes us more "happy" so to speak; well the effects have a positive impact as for our moods. And I was thinking, how do we make the perfect environment in our rooms, apartments, houses? Perhaps we could make each room a specific atmosphere?

- All I would like to know is, if I want my subconsciousness to indirectly effect my brain to a happier mood, perhaps I should add specific colours to my room, make sure the posters contain nature pictures? Or play specific music or something? How can we use this "science" to help us have a more healthy mentality?

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    Feb 18 2012: Basically: We know through science that colours, music and pictures have a subconscious effect on the mind, such as being in a yellow room makes you more confident, positive and glad, while blue makes you reflect over life, and feel calm. If we look at music, relaxing music makes our mind focus, if too much perhaps tired, and energic music fills us with energy for the day.

    So perhaps we could design our rooms to optimise our minds, such as for example in the morning it'd be energy giving, and after work, more relaxing and have a positive influence on our subconscioussness, making us more happy, without even realising it!

    – To summarize: Do you think we should be better at desigining our homes with focus on mental healthiness? I mean, perhaps it should be a focus point in the future design of public buildings for example, or cities, or clubs?
  • Feb 18 2012: Albert, YES! For one thing we can weed the garden of our lives to retain the positve people and to screen in positive people as we perambulate through our futures. All day long we have infinite choice. We may as well choose positive every time. I think that all of us need to re-program ourselves from the erroneous programming of the power and control freaks of the past. You seem to understand that and are doing it in your own creative ways. Right on, dude! POWER TO THE POSITIVE! Seems as though you are on the right track. I hope you achieve all of your positive goals. SEEKPOSITIVE/FINDPOSITIVE. That's one of the things I repeat a lot.
  • Feb 18 2012: There are at least two parts to the "perfect room", the objective room itself and our projection of it. My advice would be, decorate according to what makes you happy, then work with your subconscious projection of "the room" (reality) via meditation, yoga, self-hypnosis, esoteric work or something along those lines.
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    Feb 18 2012: There is some level of validity to the idea of psychological color properties; Businesses use them frequently.
    (Notice how restaurants are soft earthy and dark colors to provide a relaxed atmosphere, where fastfood outlets are bright colors, loud music and bright lights in an effort to make you order, eat and leave as quickly as possible to free up tables).

    But I don't believe that there is any one color that benefits all for this situation.
    The easiest way to work this out is to go to a cheap store and purchase large pieces of fabric/ bed sheets of varying colors and tack it to your wall infront of your line of sight where you typically work and see how it effects you.
    When you've found the one you prefer, paint your room in the same color.

    Here are some colors and their typically associated psychological effects:

    Yellow - Self esteem, confidence, optimism
    Blue - Intelligence, logic, reflection
    Red - Energy, strength, warmth, excitement
    Green - Money , refreshment, peace
  • Feb 26 2012: May I suggest you to read: "59 seconds, think a little change a lot from" dr Richard Wiseman.
    You will get plenty of ideas that have been scientifically tested... Like:
    - to overcome stress, Plants ( even plastic plants) work wonder (not posters with nature thus).
    - hold a pencil in between your teeth when you feel sad
    - get yourself a dog
    - to be more creative, put up a poster with something creative on it. Could be As simple as a black background with 8 green dots and one red dot.

    Personally for colors I would say that the symbolic and physical impact of specific colors is important, but the interaction of colors is an even greater key to create a greater change.
  • Feb 24 2012: And by the way, until science finally catches up with reality there is one thing that you really can devote time to study on this topic: Chakras. Read up a bit and decide for yourself if this very old spiritual knowledge actually seems to have some scientific weight to it.
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    Feb 23 2012: Albert, great idea regarding putting a design focus on mental health within homes and public space. For both indoor and outdoor environments, I think the most crucial element for me is lighting. While colours do have an impact, the colour temperature of the lighting fixtures used (warm/cold), how the light is bouncing off walls/ceiling, and how hard/soft or bright/dim the lighting is play an important role in our subconscious perception of our surroundings. Think of the flashing lights in clubs, the cold off-while lighting in office buildings, and the warm candle light in romantic restaurants – all of these projects very different mental states of being: fun, attentive, or relaxing. This also applies at home, as I’ve put an effort in redesigning the lighting in my home office so I could always work in a relaxing yet productive mood – the colour of the room, presence/absence of music etc. are actually secondary. The presence of streetlights also plays an important role in urban design as they give a better sense of security (and in fact research do show that areas with brightly illuminated sidewalks have lower crime rates). Lighting is often neglected or perceived as solely fulfilling ‘functional purposes’ but perhaps we should consider its critical role in social psychology, mental health, and spatial/urban design.