Reflection is a very underrated topic that not many of us speak upon. I think it is time we sit down and think about why we need reflection? In other words, what does having a space of reflection do for us? Reflection is helpful in our everyday lives, to cope with the overflow of  thoughts in our head. I’m sure every career uses reflection, most importantly being in the field of architecture. I’ve seen multiple videos and heard of many stories about the challenges of being an architect, especially when you are pursuing it with no motivation. You have to prepare yourself for the many sleepless nights, moments of frustration, and many errors along the way. It is okay to make mistakes, because we are human and we aren’t perfect. However, it is not okay to want to give up on your dream. Many architects lose passion once they realize it is a ton of work, and have no idea how to cope with the stress. Sometimes stress can even impact one’s mental health. At the end of the day, all the hard work and perseverance will pay off. But the real question is, how do we prevent discouragement? How do we improve our mental health? What are ways that architects can find a way back to their inspiration? I got interested in these questions because after three semesters in college, I realized everyone has their moments where they want to give up. Where work gets piled up when you don’t have a plan, and that is where stress happens. In my research, I hope to find the methods of how an architecture or a person in general uses to cope with stress and discouragement. In my opinion, I feel that useful ways of reflection may sometimes be being at peace, on your own. Even soft sounds, like meditations or even having comfort animals can decrease stress levels and help concentration.  

Drew Paul Bell. “The Stress of Architecture.” YouTube, 3 June 2016,

This source is a Youtube video from a youtuber named Drew Paul Bell, he talks about how to get out of depression during architecture school. An example is when you think of an idea in your head, and it doesn’t turn out how you expect. He mentions that whenever this happens, you may think you’re such a failure. However the best thing to do is to meditate because it helps you get back on track and move forward. Meditation relieves stress and chaos, and balances all off the school work. He shares his schedule when he meditates, and shows how having focus on something makes you more in control. He uses three different techniques, one which is clearing your mind of all thoughts by thinking about nothing. Another approach is staying focused on your presence wherever you are. The third way is to focus on one thing like your breath, it’s all about building a muscle about your focus. Whenever error happens again, now you have the mentality to accept what is wrong and use it to improve your abilities and try it again, instead of being upset it did not work out.

I agree with this Youtube video because he actually spoke with factual evidence. I feel that many people can relate to him, even me. Meditation is a technique that not many use however it makes a big impact on one’s mindset. It is true that meditation causes acceptance towards oneself, and makes you have a healthier mentality. Especially with architecture, there are going to be many trial and errors, and it is important to know when you’re wrong, and it is also even more important to know you are not a failure. Mistakes are part of life, and without them we won’t know what we are doing wrong. Bell says “Meditation helps you keep going at it” , basically saying meditations keeps you striving, gives you motivation to not quit. It is true that many people get discouraged and want to quit after one try, however meditation helps you know that it is okay to mess up, it is part of life. Meditation is a good practice, and many basketball players, singers, and wealthy people do so in order to be successful. 

The tone of the speaker was very optimistic, since he was giving tips on how to overcome difficult situations. The author’s intended audience is architect students, and the purpose of the Youtube video was to help students cope with depression during school. The author’s credentials is that he went to architect school for 4 to 5 years so he’s experienced the frustration of a design not turning out the way it was planned. Of course he is a reliable source because he successfully has overcome the stages of depression, and shared how his meditation stories affected his mindset positively. 

Giacobbe, Alyssa. “Day 3: Learn to Meditate, for Real.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 24 Oct. 2019, `1

This source is a newspaper article that talks about how architects use meditation to help cope with difficulties in their work. Giacobbe first proceeds to speak about how regular meditation is proven to reduce stress and blood pressure, improving attention and even helping make better choices. Meditation helps you arrange your thoughts, so that you have control over your thoughts and environment instead of it being the other way around. It is important to be consistent, and find the right time and place to meditate. Breathing can also bring joy and boost your emotions.

I strongly agree with the text because it adds on to my hypothesis that meditation helps reduce stress and adds on to reflection. In this article the author talks about a specific interior designer named Andy Crawford who was recommended meditation because he was drained out of his creativity and severely stressed. He stated, “… I realized some of my cons, as well. It was the self-knowledge I never knew I needed, but has helped me become a better interior designer, better boss, and a better person overall.” Beforehand, he believed he was good at everything, but that is where he was wrong, because it is important for someone to be accepting of their own mistakes. Meditations helped to shape his mindset, and gave him knowledge of how he can improve himself. Another designer named Kaeleen Weiser stated, “… meditation has helped me be able to pause before responding and reacting. It’s been a huge benefit to my design practice.” This proves meditation is a stress reliever that draws back all the negative energy in oneself, and helps you to become the best you can be. 

The author’s tone for this article is optimistic because he sees the bright side to everything. She is hopeful because she believes it is never too late to begin meditation, and if you have just started, then to keep going because it has long term positive effects on you. She talks about how it might be hard for a beginner to just sit there and empty their thoughts because that is where you start thinking about everything, but with practice you learn to have control over your own thoughts. I believe the author’s intended audience is for architects, and the purpose was to help people cope with stress, frustration and an unclear mindset. The author and this content is credible because she did her research and stated many facts on the benefits of meditations, and she included examples of how designers have benefited from it. 

TEDx Talks. “Cats, Dogs and Mental Health | Ellie Harvey | TEDxKingAlfredSchool.” YouTube, 24 Feb. 2020,

This source is a TEDx talk where we have Ellie Harvey talking about her experience in animal assisted therapy. She speaks about growing up, she was always surrounded by horses and fish and all kinds of animals but all she ever wanted was a dog. It wasn’t until she moved back to London, that they got a rescue dog named Indi. Her father was the least person who loved her, but now is inseparable from her. Ellie uncovers the reason for the dog, which was that a psychologist recommended getting a dog because her father had seasonal depression. Comfort animals are given to patients with mental disorders. She continues to speak of examples of how animals decrease anxiety and stress levels. There is far more research to be conducted however one thing that is known is that animals are a soothing therapy for humans. They rescued Indi, but Indi was the one who rescued them. 

After seeing this TEDx Talk, I never related more to someone in my life. Two years ago, I was given a kitten for Christmas, which was my first pet so I did not know how to react. At first I didn’t love him, as time passed I grew an enormous love for him. Whenever he was on my lap or by my side, I felt at peace. The cat was like therapy to me, a companionship, someone I would talk to. I never felt alone because he was there, and he would make me forget about my stress, and help me reflect on my life and what I should be doing? Similarly, Ellie states “One test shows a significant drop in stress hormones in patients when they are around animals.” The dog Indi comforted her father to get up everyday and have a motivation towards life. Believe it or not, animals have a great impact on humans.  Ellie added on many psychological questions like “Is it because animals don’t talk or judge? Is that why it is so easy for people to open up to them.” After I heard her speech, her questions made me think, since there is no scientific study on anything yet. Overall, architects do create feelings of discouragement when things are too difficult and they can’t cope with the loads of work, so why not get a pet if they don’t already have one?

The speaker’s tone is very neutral, she is not too serious but not too happy either. In the beginning she seems a bit sad and sincere, however towards the end she addresses how thankful she is. The speaker’s intended audience is for people that have difficulty coping with mental issues, and I believe the purpose is to make the audience realize that pets can make a difference. The speaker’s credentials is that she has done many studies regarding animal therapy, and had even lived through a situation including one. She speaks about how ancient Greeks used horses to lift patients’ spirits, and in the 1840s when veterans would come and interact with farm animals when they were wounded so that they could take their minds off their experiences in war. Additionally, a study proves small animals help decrease people’s anxiety. 

Hurst, Katherine. “Benefits Of Being Alone: Why Spending Time Alone Is Good For You.” The Law Of Attraction, 4 Apr. 2019, 

This source is a magazine article that speaks upon the Law of Attraction. Mainly, it talks about the benefits of having time for yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely and anti-social. It just means you rather spend time with yourself and don’t want others to drain your energy. A main benefit of being alone is having the time to self reflect on your life. It is a positive thing to be able to attract all your goals and success. Another thing is that you become more productive, since you have less distractions, also you manifest to the things you want done. Also, you create a greater sense of independence, and realize the power you have control over. Most importantly you get to know yourself, and discover what you like and what you dislike.

I agree with the text because sometimes there is nothing better than having time for yourself. Most of the time, we spend so much of our time being with our friends and family, don’t get me wrong there is nothing with having a good time, however sometimes they can drain your energy. Sometimes we don’t fulfill the idea of putting yourself first, and that is when we start to not feel empowered. When you’re alone it is a good time to be able to reflect on life and how we can improve to become successful. Katherine Hurst states, “ Plus, you can more clearly consider where you are on the path to your Law of Attraction goals, and adjust your plan of action if necessary.” Reflection is crucial to our health and helps to make us become the best we can be. Another thing she says is “…you begin to recognize the power and effectiveness of your independence. This will underline the belief that you can achieve any goal you set.” This helps us create a greater sense of determination. Especially being an architect, we lose motivation most of the time when designs fail, maybe being alone might be the answer to discouragement. When you’re alone you have more time to take note of what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing perfectly fine. 

The tone of the article is very hopeful and optimistic since it is speaking of the law of attraction. The author sounds very motivational throughout her whole article. The intended audience for this article might be people who may find spending most of their time alone, and think there is something wrong with that. The purpose of the article is so the audience can realize there are many benefits of spending time on your own. The author uses an expository writing style, which is great so she doesn’t let her beliefs get in the way of what she wants to share. If everything is a fact, it makes her more reliable as a source. She is a reliable source because she’s faced many experiences that changed her way of thinking, plus the whole website speaks upon the Law of Attraction. 

In summation, I learned that space for reflection is very important for one’s health, especially when pursuing architecture. I learned that there are many ways you can reflect, and feel at home. Maybe your best way is to be on your own, reflecting more when meditating, or having a comfort animal besides you. Everyone has their own spaces of reflection. One thing that surprised me while doing my research is that not enough scientific research has been conducted about therapeutic animals relieving stress and depression. It was surprising because I have heard many stories of how pets positively affect one’s mental health. I believe that what I learned is very useful because the field of architecture is not easy as everyone thinks. Yes,  it can be fun to create designs and have a sense of imagination, however it is loads of work and there are always deadlines to be aware of. Not everything is done right in the first try, we have to come to a realization  that it is all about trial and error, and not everything comes out perfect the first time. Most of the time many people get discouraged, lose inspiration and lack motivation and that’s reality. With all these methods of reflection, it will help me in the future to cope with stress, anxiety and maybe even depression. I will be able to fall in acceptance and learn from my mistakes and keep striving. Reflection is something that improves one’s mental health. Specifically, many of my peers going through the same thing need to hear about this so they can know that they are not alone. However, I feel that my close loved ones also need to hear about it so they can know what I can possibly go through, and know what is going through my head. They need to discover what my methods of reflecting are.