Our environment plays a pivotal role

There is a big mirror that is often seen but not really observed, looked at yet overlooked. It speaks volumes about who we are. Like a book, it reflects the intricacies and peculiarities of our personalities and our identities: our homes. Homes are books that narrate us, but they are often left unread and unanalyzed by their narrator: us.

In the pursuit of contentment within our living spaces, even small architectural adjustments can wield significant influence.

In the journey of self-discovery and personal growth, our environment plays a pivotal role. By observing our surroundings, we gain insights into our preferences, habits, and aspirations. We can introspect by examining our environment and then adjusting it to shape our desired identity.

Start by consciously observing your living space—its colors, organization, and the objects within it. Reflect on how these elements make you feel and what they reveal about your current state of mind and lifestyle. Consider the aspects of your personality and goals that you want to emphasize or cultivate. Do you aspire to be more focused, creative, or relaxed? Your environment can reflect these aspirations through its layout, decorations, and functionality.

Make deliberate adjustments to your environment based on your observations and aspirations. For instance, if you aim to enhance creativity, create a designated space with inspiring elements that project that intention. If relaxation is a priority, incorporate soothing colors, comfortable seating, and soft lighting.

Regularly assess how your modified environment influences your mood and behaviors. Adjust elements as needed to maintain alignment with your evolving goals and self-perception.

By using your environment as a mirror for self-expression and personal development, you can actively shape who you want to become. Each adjustment serves as a reflection of your evolving identity and a catalyst for positive change in your life.

Introducing vibrant, sizable plants strategically enhances both visual appeal and air quality. A well-balanced arrangement not only overwhelms with natural beauty but also attracts positivity and tranquility.

Incorporating scents into your space—through incense, for instance—awakens the sense of smell, fostering a soothing ambiance and enhancing relaxation. Adding sensory elements like calming music can further enhance the experience.


Incense creates lots of forms. Do you notice?

Functionality in layout is crucial for study. Is the furniture arranged to facilitate easy movement and conversation flow, thereby enhancing both functionality and comfort?

"I like placing dried flower arrangements with various textures around the space. I also use throw pillows with different textures to make it feel cozier and more welcoming. Additionally, I add wallpaper to some walls to create contrast," said Cris, a Kyoto-based psychologist from Brazil.

"Cushions made a big change for me," said Mikarin, a Kobe-based Japanese resident.

Striking a balance between light and shadow adds depth and dimension to interiors. This nuanced approach avoids overwashing spaces with harsh light, promoting a harmonious environment. Well-being can further be enhanced by maximizing natural light exposure through strategically placed windows, skylights, or light tubes. Natural light boosts mood and productivity while reducing energy consumption.


The most charming time of the day reveals balanced lighting


A space that strikes a balance between light and shadow is often referred to as having "play of light and shadow" or "balanced lighting." It suggests an intentional design that uses both light and shadow effectively to create a visually appealing and atmospheric environment.

Mixing polished, structured elements with rugged, irregular shapes adds character and authenticity. This blend reflects a balance between order and spontaneity, enriching the visual and emotional experience of a space.

People often associate a happy space with yellows and soft blues. However, for those focused on building a business, for example, and aspiring to rise like the phoenix from the ashes, black elements might feel more comforting and aligned with their way. Color, like many other factors, becomes a subjective initiative.

“I have been studying in different countries for a long time, often living alone, and have long been accustomed to a self-centered lifestyle,” said Yiwei Mao, a Chinese PhD student residing in Fukuoka. “Recently, I placed a rubber plant in my home, and it made me realize that sometimes your attention needs to shift to another life. By caring for it, watering it, and giving it sunlight, I learned that subtle changes are happening in my home every day, besides just myself. Sometimes its leaves get diseased, and you need to prune them and find ways to treat the illness. You need love to keep it healthy, just like a family member. Having this rubber plant at home has taught me how to coexist with this ever-changing world and how to embrace those who matter most to you with love.”

Imagining your home as a person—what attitude would it embody? Aligning your living environment with your personality cultivates a sense of belonging and authenticity. You are the five closest elements to what surrounds you. Are you surrounded by a library or yesterday's clothes?


Aside from the room's outdated design elements, the chair —strategically positioned— next to numerous bookshelves signals a commitment to continuous improvement, an invitation to engage in thoughtful reflection and maximize mental potential.

Keeping spaces organized and free of unnecessary items can promote a sense of calm. This can be done by using smart and efficient storage solutions.

Avoiding clutter and unnecessary objects promotes mental clarity and concentration. Clearing space not only declutters the physical environment but also clears the mind, allowing for deeper self-awareness and introspection.

Your home serves as more than just a living space; it’s a reflection of your inner world. By making thoughtful architectural adjustments and embracing a mindful approach to design, you can transform your surroundings into a sanctuary of contentment and self-discovery.