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Japanese-inspired Minimalist Office Designs

Written by Teresa Te on August 22, 2017


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One of the biggest stress inducing activities is obviously working. When your mind is working all day, it’s hard to focus on the calm and serene. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, jumps into action when your body feels uneasy. There are different stimulants to stress and everyone is different.

There are several ways on how to help your body cope with stress and its effects. One great way of helping yourself recuperate and balance your stress levels is to surround yourself with calming essentials like nature, calming scents and sounds, easy colors, etc.

Japanese-inspired workspaces are taking the interest of the public for its undeniable effect on the human psyche. It mainly focuses on centering the human mind, organizing thoughts, improving both mental and physical health, and balancing stress levels. To achieve this, here are 3 ways to help reduce stress in your workspace; be it at home, or in an office, taking inspiration from an Eastern perspective.

1. Everything is in order.

The Japanese are fairly organized and disciplined people. They are known to keep order and discipline in everything they do such as riding a bike, eating, taking the subway, buying from a convenience store, and of course, working in an office. One great way of reducing stress is by organizing your thoughts; and what better way to start organizing your thoughts than to organize your space? If you’re the type of person who is always losing stuff and getting upset over it, try organizing your workspace/area. There have been studies to prove that decluttering and organizing helps reduce stress levels. Maybe it’s because it gives the illusion of more space and order, which puts everything into perspective. You can see everything, you know where everything is, everything has its own space and you just feel in control which basically gives you the feeling of accomplishment.

2. Create a space conducive to relaxation.

Being at work doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or peace of mind. We all know that working in an office can be stressful and irritating; sometimes, you deal with people you don’t even want to be in the same room with. If you’re the type of person who has made up his/her mind that the job you have now is the job you’ll be doing for the rest of your life, the least you can do for yourself is to not make it a burden to you or the people around you. You can try several things to help ease your mind during the perils of working in an office.

  • Humidifier to calm your senses, clear your airways (to help you breathe), to help you relax by using different scents to stimulate relaxation
  • Calendar and planner to help you organize your plans for the week, keep track of goals, and to help you look forward to things ahead
  • Mini Zen garden for meditation and maintaining inner peace
  • Photos of family, partner, pets, dream destination, dream house, crushes, etc. to help keep you inspired, increasing happy hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin
  • Small plants like succulents, cacti, or bonsai trees to bring life to your workspace so that you can have something to keep your mind off workload (i.e. actually keeping the plants alive). Indoor plants like “peace lilies” are known to improve air quality and also work well in low light areas

3. Use calming colors.

Japan is a country rich in culture, and a noticeable factor of their culture is their regard for nature and how they believe that humans are connected to it, which is a result of Shintoism, wherein the spirits they believe in, reside in nature. This is why they have such high regard for nature and what it can offer to the human body, mind, and soul. Browns, Greens, Greys, Whites, and little pops of color are good. The more you see colors of the earth, neutrals, natural colors, the more connected you feel. According to Mental Floss, being around nature or anything relating to nature keeps us calm because of certain reasons like:

  • It helps you unplug
  • It centers your mind
  • It gives your brain time to recharge
  • Lowers stress hormone levels
  • Affects your sense of well-being

There are lots of ways on how to reduce stress and how to balance mental health. These are both serious problems that can lead to even more serious health issues if not treated. The list given to you is just the tip of the iceberg. You can do so much more to avoid the feeling of burnout. Doing these steps is a small thing that can be a big of a deal in the long run. Don’t wait, try out these simple additions to your lifestyle and live a healthier and a more well-rounded life.