Environmental psychology & cocooning - living with a sense of well-being
What is environmental psychology? And what is behind the "cocooning" trend?
Many People have had to spend significantly more time in their own homes - not least because of the Coronavirus crisis. According to a survey on the Statista portal, Germans spent 11% more money than usual on household items during the first weeks of the Corona lockdown alone. In other countries, the figure is even higher. (https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1108146/umfrage/produkte-fuer-die-wegen-der-covid-19-pandemie-mehr-ausgegeben-wird/)
In fact, Germany turned itself into a do-it-yourself country for some time. The lockdown forced many to focus more on their own homes and gave them the freedom to realize long-delayed projects.
The beautification of homes in accordance with one's own wishes also brings science into the equation. Experts focus on the influence of living space on People and their health under the name of "environmental psychology". But how big is this influence really? And what about the "cocooning" trend?
Environmental psychology – the influence of living space on our well-being
Farid Zitoun, manager of Bottrop’s naturopathic practice, has been aware of the effect of living spaces on Humans for a long time: "Our immediate environment has a massive influence on us. When we are surrounded by things we like, we usually feel better automatically. And the same is also true vice-versa. I have therefore Personally observed the development of environmental psychology with great interest."
The potentially great significance of living space in the field of psychology, among other things, has been highlighted in a study by the University of Texas at Austin: http://faculty.missouri.edu/segerti/3830/GoslingPsych%20of%20Environmental%20Space.pdf. The author pleads here for a greater scientific focus on the domestic environment, in which many everyday processes take place.
Can the wrong home promote depression?
Although the field of environmental psychology is still in its infancy, there are already some sources that make the impact of our environment on our health and well-being clear. For example, the authors of a study, which was published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry, found that the environment has an effect on depressive moods: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29212385/
While the study largely refers to circumstances that extend beyond actual living space, some of the findings, such as the importance of plants and natural elements, are also reflected in naturopathy. Naturopath, Farid Zitoun agrees with this: "Naturopathy is about having a holistic view of People, including their direct environment. Of course, this also includes their living arrangements. In this respect, there is a long tradition of environmental psychology in complementary medicine. A comfortable feel-good environment usually makes even difficult situations easier to handle for those affected.
For this reason, we have deliberately geared the Bottrop facility for alternative medicine toward the well-being of our patients. This includes, above all, health-promoting and natural materials, plants and, in addition, a lot of natural light. Of course, we share our knowledge of this with patients and interested parties for their own homes."
The blog section of the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop website also contains exciting, interesting and practical tips on how to feel good at home.
Cocooning as evidence of growing awareness
People's growing awareness of their direct living environment is also reflected in a new trend – so-called "cocooning". This refers to a movement to increasingly receive social contacts within your own four walls (once again) and thus to shift many aspects of your social life into the home.
Farid Zitoun from Nabo (short for ‘Naturheilzentrum Bottrop’) sees cocooning as an indication of People's growing awareness of their environment in general:
"In my view, the fact that more and more People are developing social lives in their living quarters through cocooning indicates that People are becoming more aware of their surroundings. Because with cocooning, you focus extensively your home and living environment and set it up in such a way that you can also feel comfortable in it. This fits in with other trends, such as the fight against climate change, which is also about the extended living environment."
The bloggers, Farid Zitoun and his colleague Christian Rüger deal with environmental psychology and cocooning in more detail in their new video on the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop YouTube channel. They also provide even more useful and effective recommendations on how to improve health and well-being at home.