We Are Our Environments

We are our Environments and Environments is what Sollievo is all about.

When it comes to Architecture of course we all know that it deals with physical spaces and the built-environments around us.
Environment however encompasses far more that the physical space that surrounds us and that we live in.

The Merriam-Webster's definition of Environment is:
"The circumstances, objects and conditions by which one is surrounded."
In the following image I try to outline what contributes to creating "circumstances and conditions" we are surrounded by.

Our thoughts and emotions go a long way in defining our experience of life, and certainly are major contributing factors on whether we are creating positive and supportive surroundings (environments) or not.
An even more significant factor, that directly affects our thoughts and emotions, is our overall internal physiology, like the nervous system and all of the autonomic systems it regulates (respiratory, digestive, circulatory, hormonal, neurological, motor-muscular systems etc.).
When this internal physiology is "out of sorts", our thoughts and emotions are usually "altered" or somewhat "impaired". This indeed governs our actions & behavior within our surroundings, which in turn affects the quality of our relationships, physical spaces and built-environment.

So, what might bring our nervous system to be "out of sorts"?

Multiple factors can lead the nervous system to be triggered into the "defense" physiology of "fight/flight/freeze".
This may happen when we consciously feel threatened. It could be caused by a situation we perceive as stressful, or, in more extreme cases, in a situation where our physical safety and wellbeing, or even our life, are threatened (something that could result in a traumatic experience).
This may also happen when our bodies are feeling physiologically attacked (so subconsciously, and we may not be fully aware of it) like in the case of chemical pollutants that are extraneous to our organisms, like in the case of chemicals assimilated through water, air, food or personal care products (pesticides, preservatives, synthetic ingredients and the likes).
One more way the nervous system may be altered is by overworking, overexerting, over exercising, dehydration and fasting/starvation. In these cases the body physiologically perceives the "pushing through" the boundaries of comfort as it would if you were trying to survive a physically dangerous situation similar to trying to outrun a lion or other threat.

Consequently, as you can deduce, even if you do not consciously feel stressed your physiology might still be in need of help and support.
And there might in fact be a physiological reason as to why one or more areas of your life are not working as smoothly as you wish.

What can be done about it?

There are indeed many approaches to changing and improving one's life and our approach is through improving environments. Of course one might start this process by directly addressing the specific issues that are causing distress (whether it is a challenging relationship, an overwhelming job, troubling behavior or mental and emotional anguish). Yet, to tackle problems this way may feel overwhelming, out of reach and would often require qualities that are not readily available in a time of difficulty, like determination, confidence, discipline and perseverance.

Our recommended strategy is to start from the inside, from the nervous system that is, through the use of T.R.E. (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises).
In fact, when laying a solid inner foundation the effects and benefits experienced will organically ripple throughout the organism, through all areas of our lives (starting with our physiology, thoughts and emotions) all the way to the outer manifestations of our lives (in our behaviors, relationships and built-environments).

As the nervous system gets downregulated and resets to its intended "baseline" we find ourselves naturally curious, open to learning new things, excited about life, interested in the highest quality of life for ourselves and those around us. It is in this state that our creativity is at its best and we may best address our needs within the outer environments.

This is indeed the best way to approach a new architectural project, with curiosity, excitement and with creativity at its fullest expression.

Explore the other TOOLS that can assist you in starting your projects with the best foot forward!