How Does Your Environment Affect You? |

It’s incredible the way our environment affects us without our even knowing about it. The effect is, quite simply, hypnotic. Before I became interested in hypnosis some years ago now, while I always believed in it, whenever I gave it any thought at all, I always considered it was conducted in a darkened room and by a gentleman with a deep, soothing voice.I mean, how does your environment affect you. Have you any idea?Well now, I’m partly right. I mean that would work very nicely, but it’s not at all necessary. Part of the trouble is that the word ‘hypnosis’ still isn’t properly understood. People are so wrapped up equating hypnosis with sleep. The more we study hypnosis, the more we realize that there are many layers to it.This is why we can be put in a state of hypnosis while reading a very absorbing book or even watching a television show. There’s also the old chestnut about driving along and missing our turn because our minds are miles away, thinking of other things. We’ve all heard of that one. But, of course, it’s true.Now this part, although partly hypnotic, boarders on psychology. So you can say that both psychology and hypnosis go hand in hand, which is why I’ll use the word ‘tend,’ and not be pedantic by saying positively, “this is what people do.”For instance, it’s a known and researched fact that we tend to pay taller men higher salaries. There’ll be exceptions to this, of course there will be, and some men will disagree, especially if they’re tall and broke! But we’re all well aware of the amazing amount of research that goes into every corner of our lives, it seems.Another pearl of wisdom that’s been discovered is that men find women dressed in red more attractive than, say, a lady in green. You’ll be equally astonished to learn that if a man has other women smiling at him, he’s found to be more attractive to women. If the picture of a man has smiling women surrounding it, it’s been found that he’s considered more attractive.Now this last earth-shattering piece of news does make sense. After all, if a man of plain countenance is placed in the middle of a group of attractive, smiling women, a lot of the female attraction is bound to brighten the most ordinary male face.Words; conversations, lessons, lectures, etc., these can have a profound effect on us. Just imagine if you went out for an evening with a couple who spent the time discussing their in-laws in terms that were totally negative. “Oh, she’s such a difficult woman.” “He’s such a gloomy man” “I despair of the son. He’s so stupid.”Talking about words, there was one that was pointed out to me that we always see in airports. I mean, imagine what it does to the poor person who’s terrified of flying, when one of the first words they see is ‘Terminal!” The irony of this made me laugh, but I must apologize for a rather skewed sense of humour.But it is absolutely true to say that our environment influences us a great deal more than we realize. Supposing your teenage son or daughter flatly refuse to clean their room. You can jump up and down, shout, scream, threaten them with serious bodily harm, but you’re far more likely to obtain positive results by wafting just a smidge of pine cleaner in their room.I do hope you enjoyed this article and that, perhaps, it helped you.

Green Up Your Inner Environment |

It’s not easy being green for Kermit the Frog but it sure is popular and easier than ever these days to “go green.” Paint, flowerpots, paper, shoes, cars and hundreds of other items we use every day are produced in environmentally friendly ways. We care about the environment around us, and judging from the statistics, not a moment too soon.Your inner environment could benefit from a green movement too; especially those who eat meat, who find it hard to get 9 servings of fruits and veggies into our diets every day, and let’s not forget those-like me-who count caffeine and adult beverages among our closest friends. These habits, otherwise fine on the surface, are all acid producing and as such can increase the aging process. Aging as in wrinkles, bone loss, and digestive upsets to name a few.The nutritional approach for protecting against too much acid is known as acid/alkaline balance. For years this was considered a fringe concept, one only “health nuts” cared about. As scientists learn more and our diets include more convenience foods, animal proteins, dairy, and sugar-all acid producers-mainstream health practitioners have come to see getting this right as an important component of healthy aging.If our basic western diet is acid forming, what can be done to restore balance?Do we have to give up all that good stuff? Hell no! Instead, Go green.Vegetables are alkalizing, greens especially so. Coconuts are too, (don’t fear the fat), likewise almonds, avocados, dates and more. If you have plenty of alkalizing food in your diet your body has plenty of reserves to work with when a high acid meal arrives.Consider what happens to your bones when your alkaline reserves are low.Bones rely on a slightly alkaline blood ph to maintain their calcium stores. Too much acid, whether created by what we eat, stress, or prescription drugs, has to be balanced out. To do this our brilliantly designed system robs calcium and other minerals to “buffer” the bones and other organs against the acid.The greatest store of calcium is in the bones and you want to keep it there.A study done in San Francisco on 9000 women and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with chronic acidosis-the name given to high acid blood levels–are at greater risk of bone loss than those with a normal ph.Don’t despair, just like our global environment, our inner environment can be improved over time by making small changes that won’t hurt a bit to incorporate into your life.Here’s the easiest thing you can do; drink water with fresh lemon. Lemons and other citrus fruits are considered acidic but in truth they have an alkalizing effect on our inner environment. Start your day with some citrus to boost your alkaline reserves-especially if your last bit of food or beverage before bed was a sugary one-this includes sweetened yogurt, milk, wine, pretzels, whole wheat crackers-they all contain or turn into sugar in your gut.Next up but not so easy for some is to increase your greens and all colors of vegetables. Eat some of them raw every day. What to go hardcore? Try adding a scoop of organic greens powder to water, juice, or a breakfast smoothie. Not only will it give you lasting energy, it will boost your alkaline storage for the day. If green drinks or gulp, wheat grass, sound too grassy for you-the taste is an acquired one–don’t despair. Just be sure to eat more vegetables and/or cut back on the coffee, alcohol, and animal proteins.Next time you are recycling or considering a green purchase to help the planet make sure you’ve done something green for you too.

The Impact of Environment on Children’s Ability to Learn |

A student’s physical classroom environment plays a major role in his or her ability to learn. Because of this, classroom design is essential to the success of students in the classroom. There are factors such as lighting, temperature, noise and furniture that can be just as important to a child’s learning environment.Importance of Lighting in Classroom DesignObviously good lighting is essential for any classroom. Students need light to see the teacher and to read their books, the chalk board, or the projection screen. However, the amount of daylight (versus artificial light) in a classroom actually impacts students’ performance on standardized tests. The following observations were fond by a study that the Heschong Mahone Group conducted for Pacific Gas and Electric:
Students with the most daylight in their classrooms progressed twenty-six percent faster on reading tests and 20% faster on math tests in a year than did those with the least amount of daylight.
Students with the largest window areas progressed 23% faster in reading and 15% faster in math than those with the least.
Students in classrooms with skylights that diffused the daylight and allowed teachers to control the amount of daylight entering the room improved on their tests 19-20% faster than students without these skylights.
A 2003 follow-up study found that when direct sunlight beams into student’s faces, it is detrimental to their ability to learn. Not only is it a distraction, but it also causes unpleasant temperature changes that are hard to control. Additionally, light that creates a glare on the chalkboard impairs students’ ability to learn, particularly in math. The use of shades or blinds is an important element of classroom design that allows teachers to regulate sunlight in the classroom so students can benefits from natural daylight without being distracted by it.
The Role of Temperature in the Classroom EnvironmentClassroom temperature is another element that plays a role students’ ability to learn. While it’s impossible to make all student comfortable all of the time, classroom temperature should be set to an ideal temperature that that is acceptable for most of the class. This can be accomplished through a class discussion and teaching children the concept of compromise. Most teachers agree that a classroom should border on the cooler side. This is because while warm temperatures can lead to sleepiness and loss of attention, cooler temperatures keep students more alert. If some children find the room too cool for some, they can bring a jacket or sweater to class, thereby learning to take responsibility for their own comfort.The Impact of Acoustics on the Ability to LearnAcoustics in the classroom also create an impact on students’ ability to learn. Reverberant noises, or the sounds of equipment or machinery from outside the classroom are a hindrance to learning. They are distracting and interrupt the thought-flow process. Loud noises especially impact students’ ability to read. Independent research studies show a correlation between loud noises from outside the classroom and decreased reading proficiency. Installing soundproofing in the classroom can help eliminate some of the outside noise and whenever possible, big maintenance jobs should be reserved for after school hours.The Impact of Classroom Furniture on ChildrenChildren spend most of their waking hours in a classroom., and yet until recently the only consideration made for classroom Furniture purchases was the factor durability. In recent years some American companies like Hertz Furniture have invested in providing ergonomically designed, green furniture that considers the health of children including orthopedics and posture. Well designed school furniture also impacts the behavior of children in the classroom and recent research has shown an improvement in task related behaviors when children are provided with “healthy” furniture options.There are, of course, many variables within the classroom environment that impact children’s learning. Not all of these variables are controllable. But by taking steps to control the ones that are, both schools and teachers can give students the best possible environment to help them in their educational journey.