Green spaces have lasting positive effects on well-being” – Mark Kiver, Environmental reporter, BBC News

Hi folks! If you are someone who loves fresh air, clean environment and an organic lifestyle… Then you are at the right place. Welcome to my blog here. Today we will see how the environment around us influences our mental health. A study in the UK suggests that if you live in an urban area with a lot of green spaces in it, then it is going to have a long-lasting positive effect on your mental well-being. You would be less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other psycho-physical ailments.

There are several ways in which you can learn and observe environment’s effect on you. For instance, record your mood and thoughts on a sunny day, during rainy season and colder months. You will find radical differences between your thoughts, moods, feelings and behavior. Similarly, try doing the exercise when you are in a crowded city, and in countryside with lush green plantations. These are some of the easiest ways to observe how environment affects you and your mental world.

Let us look into some of the important environmental factors that affect mental health:

  • Availability of green patch or greenery around us
  • Whether we reside in an industrial area or market area / gated-well-maintained community or a simple residential complex
  • Access to nature and natural environment
  • Sensory stimulation or signals that you get from the environment in the form of smell, vision, taste, auditory signals, etc
  • Sense of security and satisfaction
  • Living in urban or rural environment or settlements
  • Presence of natural and well-balanced ecosystem around you
  • Overall environmental scenario around you

Well, these were some of the important aspects of the environment that have potential capacity to exert pressure or influence your mental health and well-being. Following are some of the ways in which the environment affects you or has a role to play in your life:

  • The environment around you plays a significant role in your mental capital or cognitive abilities
  • Living in a safe, green, conducive environment is seen to have positive effects on physical health and mental well-being
  • Stress, depression, frustration, work or family life imbalance, learning disabilities, cognition problems… To a certain extent all these ailments also occur due to threatening environmental conditions
  • The greener, the better… Clean, nurturing and safe environment leads to overall sense of physical-mental health and well-being.

Now, let me impart you some tips to make your environment safe and healthy; how to transform a threatening environment into a nurturing and healthy one:

Tips and techniques to stay fit and mentally healthy via a nurturing environment:

  • Try to stay in a calm and clean environment. You can also make your living environment neat and tidy.
  • Industrial areas emit a lot of atmospheric/environmental pollutants which exert a negative impact on the body and mind. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid settlements or residing near industrial areas.
  • As the temperature rises, our body temperature and mental activities become more vigilant and vigorous. This leads to mental reactions like aggression, frustration, lack of control, agitation, etc. So, try to keep yourself calm and hydrated during the hot summer months. Similarly, winter brings depression and winter blues with it. Therefore, it is wise to manage your lifestyle in accordance to the changing environmental conditions.
  • “The greener, the better” – Green trees and greenery release fresh oxygen into the air. When you breathe this pure oxygen it has a positive health outcome in your body and mind. If you can stay near greenery then its great, otherwise you can also try having your own flower pots, garden, kitchen garden, terrace garden and so on.
  • Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle has magical effects too. Try using products that can be easily recycled. Keep mobile phone usage to minimum, stay away from dangerous and unhealthy EMFs or electromagnetic fields; try opting for organic foods rather than canned or under-processed ones.
  • Be friendly to the environment, it will be your best friend too!

The environment in which you dwell or work, your living conditions… Every single aspect of nature and the world has immense potentialities to affect your inner and outer mental make up. The more clean, healthy and conducive the environment around you is… The more mentally healthy you will be. Making the environment a nurturing one may be the responsibility of our State’s concerned authorities, however, as citizens of the civil society we can also make our own efforts to make our environment eco-friendly, safe and healthy. If you have more ideas on making our environment healthy and safe, do feel free to write to us. Together we can share and care; together we can build a happy-healthy-safe environment and reap its health benefits!!!

Stay safe, stay happy and stay healthy!