A Place I Call Om. - Creating Your Zen Den
A quiet place isn't just the title of a scary movie. It's also something that so few of us have these days. Whether it's an escape from the noise of city life, a busy home life or just a place to collect our thoughts, we all need a get away. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of people creating "Zen Dens". Simply put, a Zen Den is an area of your home or office that you have set aside for the purpose of recharging or nurturing your energies; mental, physical and spiritual. No two Zen Dens are exactly the same and neither are their sizes. Your Zen Den or meditative space should be tailor-made for you and take into consideration the space you have available.
Before I get into how to create your ideal Zen Den, I first want to focus on how to make that space available. I want to stress the importance of de-cluttering and organizing. Take a moment and think about how you feel when you see your home or office in disarray. Is your frame of mind impacted by your surroundings being clean or disheveled? If you said "Yes" know that you're not the only one, there are studies that prove this occurrence. As scientists and researchers dig deeper into the mind-body connection we continue to learn that our physical and emotional states play off of each other. Our 'body' is not just our physical form but our environment as well. Spending increasing amounts of time inside means it's much easier to accumulate mess, especially now with the world's experiencing a global pandemic; with forced orders of quarantine and social distancing. By reducing clutter and organizing your surroundings effectively you can turn a small area into serene chill spot.
Location, Location, Location...
As the popular real estate slogan states, it's all about location. When it comes to a Zen Den however, the location you choose to transform is entirely up to you and the space you have available. Ideally a spare room or office is what most people would imagine, but you don't need an entire room. The corner of your living room, bedroom or large closet could suffice as your potential tranquil area. Ideally, your Zen Den should be out the way of any high traffic areas or anywhere that can get noisy and disrupt your quiet. If there's no space available inside, outside is always an option too. A back porch or balcony can be a quiet space too, leaving any stress or noise inside. Plus, there's the added benefit of getting some fresh air and maybe a calming breeze.
Set the tone
When it comes to setting the tone of your Zen Den keep in mind it's primary function is to help you relax. That being said the color(s) you choose to surround yourself in will play a big part in your journey to serenity. Choosing the right colors can create a calming effect, making it easier to 'turn off' and clear your mind. Studies have shown the color blue can make people feel less impulsive and calm, lowering both pulse rates and body temperature. As important as color is I don't want you to think that you need to pick just one. Play around with color combinations. For example, combining blues, cool greys and a natural wood can help create a tranquil aesthetic reminiscent of the sea and sky.
In these days of Zoom and socially distant interviews, lighting is everything. It plays a bigger role than you might think for illuminating your Zen Den. Depending on the location of your meditative space, you have a number of options available to you. If your Zen Den is in a room that has a lot of natural light your in luck. Natural light will instantly enhance your mood. If you're someone who likes to meditate in the morning choose a spot with an east-facing window so you can take advantage of the sunrise while you relax. On the other hand, if your Zen Den is located in a space with no windows or it's later in the day you may want to consider other sources of light.
Do use: floor lamps, candles, electric diffusers, etc.
Do NOT use: ceiling-mounted lighting, i.e. recessed lights or chandeliers
You want to look for sources of light that are dimmed down or diffused to create gentle pools of warm light throughout the area. Low lighting also helps with the production of melatonin; helping you to relax and regulating the body's circadian rhythm [improving sleep quality].
Our recommendation: 3D Moon Night Light / Essential Oil Diffuser / Humidifier
When it comes to relaxing a key element to consider is personal comfort. I'm speaking literally, you need to be physically comfortable. Try to sit low to the floor and layer on extra cushions and blankets for comfort. Soft furnishings are not only a place to sit, but they also help to soften and absorb the background noise. It’s important to make this space cozy and relaxing, not hard or constricting – which you may associate with sitting at a desk.
Our recommendation: Lotus Embroidered Sitting Cushion
When accessorizing, remember that less is more. Small items add an extra layer of detail, creating a memorable and interesting space to spend time in. The space should be free of clutter, unnecessary objects, and NO technology that could distract you. A signature scent, foliage and calming visuals can enhance a space and add extra layers of details. Memorable scents from candles and diffusers can enhance the relaxing experience. Essential oils such as lavender, frankincense and lemon are known to relieve anxiety and bring you into a calmer state of mind. Try hanging one piece of oversized art to draw your eye and encourage focus. Plants are also an excellent addition to your Zen Den. They bring the outside in and have been shown to lower stress, improve mood and clean the air within your home from pollutants.
Once you’ve created your ideal space, try playing some relaxing background music to add to the ambiance. Whatever your Zen Den looks like, it's your personal space to disconnect and leave stress behind. Dedicate 15 minutes of quiet time per day, whether this is with meditation, reading, practicing yoga or just being still and sitting with your own thoughts.