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Why We Need White Space

In the design world, we often refer to the term, white space. This is the space between graphical elements where the white of the paper would show or merely the empty space on a web page. Just like the color white is not the lack of colors but is actually the combination of all colors, white space is so much more than a lack of. White space serves many purposes: to give the reader’s eyes a break, to separate sections, to frame an image, to create the look of elegance and luxury. I’ve always been a fan of minimalism and have learned to embrace white space in my work, but I also found that white space is important in all aspects of my life. Embracing white space can make you happier, reduce your stress, and improve your productivity. Here are 3 ways to embrace white space in our daily lives.

White space in your schedule

We often feel that doing nothing is a waste of time. We feel guilty for being lazy or unproductive. But if we are constantly moving from one task to the next, sooner or later, we become burned out, overtired, and stressed. Taking some time out to walk in nature, sit quietly, or read a book can have huge benefits to our overall well-being and will make us more productive when we need to be.

White space in conversation

How often do you find yourself not listening to another person when they’re talking because you’re thinking of the next thing to say? This is because we are wired to constantly try to fill in the gaps during conversation. Instead, why not embrace those gaps, pauses, and brief moments of silence? Having actually listened to what the other person said, what you say back would be that much more valuable.

White space between thoughts

Most of us are stuck in a stream of incessant mind chatter. The things we think about are usually repetitive, and always about the past or future. Not only does this cause anxiety, fear, and general unease, it means that we are never fully in the present. Inviting more gaps between thoughts is a way to detox our minds of all the useless mind chatter. What we gain is more clarity, creativity, and an overall sense of well-being.

In today’s world, filled with endless streams of social media, emails, television, and texting, let’s find more ways to invite white space into our lives.