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Elevate your Environment

In my previous entry of the Rewiring for Creativity series, I talked about how our clothing choices can help create mindset shifts. In a similar light, what we have in our surroundings and how we decorate our home can also serve as a source of support for our inner ecosystem.

As early part of my incremental training practices, I started to pursue various home projects where I would reorganize rooms and make spaces in my environment feel more welcoming and inspiring. This had a profound impact on my mental state and the switch up of my familiar space also supported more neuroplasticity in my brain. In choosing what would go where, I researched a bit about Feng Shui to bring more intention and balance to my spaces.

Feng Shui Bagua (Energy Map)

Before she was on Netflix, I also read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and used her teachings to help make my spaces feel less heavy and more supportive for my journey. In shedding things that no longer brought me joy, I made space for the things that did. I began to collect affirmative and inspirational quotes and display them throughout my house. If I found myself in a neuroplastic moment or inclined to engage old neural-pathways, the quotes would serve as a visual cue for my brain to access the mindset I preferred to embody.

Like many people who experience limbic system impairment, when I started brain retraining, my inner voice was more often negative than positive and hopeful or optimistic thinking felt uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Having encouraging and supportive sayings in my environment allowed me to repetitively encounter positivity and assisted in it feeling more natural or authentic. It became more integrated with my life and having tangible affirmations in my home was a visual way to counter negative-thinking that didn't require my higher self to be cognitively present—my environment was also serving to support me.

I invite you to pin or tape encouraging words in any neuroplastic spaces of your home, on your bathroom mirror, a kitchen cabinet or fridge, a work space, or any other places that may be helpful to have the presence of supportive material to use for redirecting thoughts. You can also set the wallpaper on your digital devices to have these helpful sayings as well.

If you need some inspiration or want to cultivate a growth mindset, the Brain Gardening shop has a collection of unique, handmade signs I painted with some of my favorite quotes and sayings.

See more at the Brain Gardening shop

Until next time! 🙂

About the Series:

Every other Wednesday, I give more insight on tools I used to heal from chronic health issues, anxiety, and tap back into my creative self as part of my Rewiring for Creativity series.

The series began last year with a general overview of how creativity can be used to promote neuroplasticity. I discussed the creative and neuroplastic benefits of doodling, as well as offered some examples on how music and dance supported my creative pursuits and rewiring journey. This year I've discussed how Photography helped me build new association and overcome certain phobias. I also introduced the topic of decorating by discussing my transformation and use of an off-limits space in my home using rainbows, as well as benefits I found from gardening and dopamine-dressing.


About Alina

Alina is a multidisciplinary artist who used brain retraining coupled with creative pursuits to recover from a lifetime of chronic illness. Her healing journey has inspired her to create Brain Gardening, an online resource featuring resilience tools that are rooted in science and cultivated through the arts.

Brain Gardening takes neuroplasticity research and presents it through a designer lens using simple language and interactive materials, while reflecting the deep insight of Alina's personal experience navigating the journey herself. Through this platform for healing, Alina will be creating and curating evidence-based resources for cultivating wellness through neuroplasticity that can be incorporated into an existing self-care practice or serve as an introduction to neural retraining techniques.

Subscribe to the mailing list at Brain Gardening to stay informed as new offerings emerge.

If you're on Instagram, follow @braingardening where you can find Alina's "Mindful Moments in Nature" every Monday and "Ask Alina" where you can submit your own brain retraining questions for answers on her monthly IGTV series.

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