Does your inner voice tell you you should change your environment, but you’re not sure what to do?
Today we’re going to have a look at ten reasons why a different place can make you happier.
I’m also going to show you practical ways to do this: perhaps you aren’t able to move to a completely different country (or you don’t want to), but you can still take action and change your surroundings.
At the end of this article you’ll also find a free downloadable summary of all the things I mentioned here.
Why choosing/changing your environment is powerful
When your environment changes, your level of awareness increases naturally.
I’m sure it’s already happened to you many times. Think of when you walked in a room you had never seen before; think of the first time you saw a particular building; think of when you were on holiday in a different city, or country.
When that happens, everything around you is new, so naturally you pay more attention. You notice all the different objects in that new place; you notice the sounds, the lighting, the colors, the temperature. This puts you in a different mental state.
When moving to a new place (whether it’s just for a day, or permanently), many people feel more inspired, more creative, and overall happier.
If it’s the most beautiful hotel room you ever saw, or some kind of tropical heaven in the Philippines, then it’s easy to see why you’d feel that way. But fortunately, this is likely to happen in any new environment.
2. New people
Are you currently dealing with too many negative people, whether it’s naysayers, energy vampires, people who are arrogant, aggressive, or too cynical?
Then perhaps it’s time to change your environment. We only have one life, so when possible, it makes sense to spend our time with those who inspire us.
Because our surroundings shape us (see reason number 3), you’ll find that different places attract different people. So if you want to change yourself, and you know you’d benefit from knowing new people, you should definitely consider moving to a new place.
Also: the people around you right now may be the nicest people on Earth — but they may still prevent you from changing your life.
Someone who genuinely cares about you (including your family, your partner, or your closest friends) could still make it difficult for you to change simply because they may have completely different goals. Or, they may have a different outlook on life, or different values.
Moving to a new place will give you the opportunity to interact with those on your wavelength.
3. Your environment controls you
Even if you’re the kind of person who is able to ignore negativity; even if you think you don’t care about what’s around you; even if you’re emotionally detached from your environment — I guarantee it will still have a huge influence on you.
You may think that you control the environment, but 99% of the time it’s the other way around. You are forced to interact with the things around you, so if you don’t like them, it’s time to change.
When facing a problem, most people assume that they themselves are the problem. This may be true from time to time, but usually the problem is their environment. In a different environment, their depression, anxiety, fears, lack of self esteem etc. would disappear effortlessly.
Why? Because, again, the place we live in controls us. Even when we are able to ignore the negativity around us, a part of our mind may still be fighting against it.
4. It’s super easy to change
Human beings are very good at adapting to new places. This happens both consciously and subconsciously.
If you want to change anything in your life, you want it to be easy. You want to make sure that there’s no obstacles holding you back. You want to make sure that the environment you’re in motivates you, so you can give your best and be your best.
For example, most people find that although working at home is more convenient, they won’t be as productive as they would be in the office. Similarly, if you’re a gym-goer you know that working out at the gym is usually ten times better than working out at home — not just because of the different equipment, but because it’s a different place.
I’ve seen countless people (including myself) change as soon as their environment changed. This includes being at a particular event, like a party or a formal meeting, or beginning a new career.
5. You discover what you want
New surroundings will help you identify what you want and what you don’t want, what you like and what you don’t like, and where you truly want to be.
For example, after visiting a poor country you may realize that for you being able to have a high income is a priority, regardless of what it takes. Or it could be the opposite: you may realize that you don’t really care about money, as long as you’re happy and you’re able to pay your bills.
Most people never spend enough time to write down their goals and desires, so they think they know what they want. In reality, they are simply following the path of other people.
Experiencing a new environment can also help you discover new ways to live. The best way to do this is to go on holiday in a completely different country and stay away from the touristy areas. You’ll discover new ways to communicate, eat, socialize, work, and enjoy life.
And chances are you’ll be amazed at some of them, and wonder why they’re not part of your culture as well.
6. You discover who you are
As we’ve seen, a new environment makes it easy to change your life. It also makes it easy to understand what you want.
So the more you experience new places, the easier it’ll be for you to identify who you are.
An example of this is when someone loses their job, which is usually a very stressful experience. But while some are stressed out simply because they can’t pay their bills, others are feeling low because their identity isn’t the same anymore. They realize they were not their job.
The truth is, you can be anything you want. So by being in a better place, you discover that you are better. When you feel empowered by those around you, you discover that you are powerful.
7. You see the truth
Having just one point of view can be very limiting. The world is a huge place, so you want to see more of it. This doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a country on the other side of Earth: it could be as simple as visiting an area of your country you’ve never been to.
Mainstream media and those around you may picture the world as a very depressing place. And interestingly enough, some people are depressed precisely because of this: they have been told life sucks, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
To see the truth, it’s not enough to watch the news, or listen to other people’s stories. The truth is what you see with your own eyes, touch with your own hands, feel with your own heart.
If you think the world we live in is depressing, it’s probably because what you’ve experienced so far wasn’t for you. Change your environment and you’ll change your outlook.
8. You become luckier
Like attracts like. When you experience positive things, you tend to attract more positivity. Many people have said that right after moving to a better place, starting a better job, or meeting better people, they became luckier. Why did this happen?
Logically, this is explained by the fact that when your mood changes, you focus on the things that you want, so it’s easier for you to get those things.
But then there’s another explanation: the Law of Attraction, or Law of Resonance. Because your environment controls you, when you’re in a new, better place, your vibration (or state) changes. If it’s a higher, more positive vibration, then it will attract good things.
Conversely, a place that’s negative will always generate more negativity. If that’s where you are right now, consider moving, so you can attract good luck.
9. It’s normal
If they wanted, most people could live in the same place for their whole life. Same city, town, or village; same job; same friends; same habits. We take it for granted that we could settle down somewhere, plant roots, and live an easy life.
The truth is that, as human beings, for most of our history we had to be nomads. Because of survival pressures, some tribes would have to constantly move around, so they could gather enough food. Some groups would spend different seasons in different places.
Having the opportunity to settle down is certainly a good thing, and I wouldn’t recommend moving to gather more food (your local supermarket is probably good enough).
However, don’t take it for granted. If you know you’d enjoy life more in a different place, then keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to move.
10. You feel liberated
In Goodbye, Things Fumio Sasaki describes what he calls a minimalist state. It happens when you are on holiday, and arrive at your hotel.
“You aren’t surrounded by all the things that usually distract you, the stuff that takes up so much of your attention. That’s why travel accommodations often feel so comfortable. You set down your bag and step out for a walk around the neighborhood. You feel light on your feet, like you could keep walking forever.”
In our current environment we may have accumulated too many things that oppress us. This isn’t just physical things: it could be habits, or even memories.
When we experience a new environment, we usually feel liberated. Our space, time, and energy are limited. Sometimes, in order to embrace growth, we have to eliminate things from the past. Not necessarily forever, but for a while.
Let’s now take a look at some practical tips to change your surroundings, so you can experience everything I’ve written so far.
So, how do you do this?
If you want to truly change your life, and you’re serious about it, then ideally you should move to a different city, or town. As I’ve explained, it’s one of the most effective ways to change, and if you’re willing to go through the process, you’ll be amazed at how much you grow.
However, I understand this isn’t always possible. As I said at the beginning of this article, there are other ways to change your environment. While they won’t be as powerful, they are easier and faster to implement, and will still lead to some pretty good results.
Change your room~house
Even if most of your day is spent outside, chances are you are in your house for quite a lot of time. If you work from home, or don’t work at all, perhaps you are almost always there.
So by changing your room, you change at least part of your environment.
Make sure that what you see around you is inspiring. If you currently have goals, or dreams, create visual reminders (for instance, a picture or a quote that describes what you want to accomplish). You could also get a new journal and always keep it in the same place.
If you have accumulated too much clutter, then I recommend you follow a minimalist approach and get rid of the stuff that you don’t need anymore. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it’ll be to clean everything, and how much more productive you’ll become.
Change your looks
This isn’t changing who you are, but simply changing what you wear. The goal here is to become as “new” as possible.
Think of the last time you attended a party, had a job interview, went to the beach, or worked out. You were probably wearing different clothes; perhaps your hairstyle was different as well. How did that make you feel?
If it was formal clothes, then you may have felt more confident, more professional, or more productive. If it was athletic clothes, then you may have felt a sense of freedom, and you may have had more energy — at least mentally.
It may sound stupid, but changing your outfit may make you feel different (especially if you’re wearing the same outfit every day and it reminds you of who you were in the past). This is why people love to dress up for Carnival: by wearing a costume, they can instantly turn into someone else, without being judged by anyone.
Tiny changes can be more powerful than you think, so if you can’t move to a completely different place, consider changing some of your clothes.
Change the places you go to
Sometimes all it takes is one new place to feel different.
There’s many ways you could do this: attend a language school, join yoga classes, eat out at a different place, shop at a different store, join a new gym, read a book at a park.
Or, you could make an interesting experiment: get in your car and drive somewhere you’ve never been to. If you don’t own a car, just walk there, or use public transport. The point is to get to an unknown place, so your mind doesn’t know what to expect.
Many people find it frustrating to be in the same workplace for years because they already know everything and everyone there. When you get to a place where you don’t know anything and anyone, it may feel a bit intimidating at first, but it can be an exciting experience which helps you empty your mind.
Use social media wisely
What kind of content do you watch on social media? Does it promote your growth? Does it inspire you? Does it make you happier?
Remember: your environment isn’t just where you are, but also what you see and what you listen to.
If you find it overwhelming to interact with the same people over and over again (even if it’s just on your phone or laptop), then there’s nothing wrong with taking a break.
If your Facebook or Instagram do nothing but remind you of your past, and you find it limiting or depressing in any way, then you should either choose to interact with other people or stop using the account — for a week, a month, or even permanently.
Turn into a super introvert (temporarily)
This can be a bit extreme, but it works, and it works fast.
If you are socially anxious, or depressed, or you already tend to isolate, then this is probably the last thing you want to do. But if you are always super busy and need to recharge; if you feel the need to seclude yourself from the world for a while, then do it.
This shouldn’t be long term: it could be a weekend, or a week, or a couple weeks. Just pretend to be a super introvert and go into hermit mode. Don’t use your phone unless necessary, don’t listen to the radio, don’t watch the TV. Most importantly, forget about the outside world and all the stressful things you may have experienced so far.
Sleep a lot; if you can, wake up at a different time. Read a new book, meditate, listen to soothing music, start a new hobby. Just make sure you are doing something new, and your mind isn’t disturbed. It will help you find inner peace.
Thank you for reading this article! As promised, here’s a short downloadable summary of what you’ve just read 👇