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How Can Your Environment Affect Your Wellbeing?

 

 

 

A lush sunlit forest

It’s incredible how much the environment we are living in can affect us both physically and mentally. We may not even realize it, and in fact, most people don’t! They often wonder why they are feeling unwell, or why they have developed a disease or condition, when it is their environment that is to blame. When it comes to your emotional health, the environment can be even more devastating, and it is important to understand just what might happen and how to improve how you are feeling. 

1. No Control
Something that can often cause high levels of stress is the fact that there are some things in our immediate environment that we cannot control. It isn’t just the thing itself, but the lack of control that contributes to this problem. It might be glare, noise, heat, even crowds, and these can all be big stressors to people depending on their situation and their own emotional or mental health conditions. 

If you find that you are feeling out of control and there is nothing you can do about the place you are in and how it is functioning, then the best course of action is to step away. Go outside, or leave the venue and take some air, go for a walk, be on your own for a little while. You may feel up to going back once you have recovered, or you may prefer to go home, for example. The choice is yours, and it will depend on how you are feeling. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to remain in a place that makes you feel unwell or uncomfortable. 

2. Bright Light 
Bright lights can bring on symptoms of depression or worsen them. It can also, no matter whether it is natural or artificial, cause feelings of agitation and anxiety, plus it can cause problems with sleep patterns which makes everything a lot worse. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and brain don’t have the chance to repair themselves, and healing takes a lot longer. You will feel unwell and sluggish, and your productivity will be low. Plus long-term lack of sleep can lead to obesity, heart issues, high blood pressure, type II diabetes and more. 

If you find that you regularly need to visit places that have bright lighting, ensure that you always have a good pair of sunglasses with you. Wearing these, inside or outside, will provide you with the relief you need to be able to function more easily and more comfortably. 

3. Crowds
The design of a building can make it either easier or harder to interact socially, and whether this is a good thing or not for you will, again, depend on any conditions you might be suffering from. For some, being in crowds is the worst thing that can happen, but for others, being able to talk and interact with other people actually ensures that they feel good. Plus, studies have shown that being sociable is good for your health, and can lead to fewer illnesses such as colds. It can also contribute to lowering your blood pressure. 

However, if you find crowds to be a problem and the design of the building or even the outside space you are going to will mean that you have to be with and in crowds of people for at least part of the time, there are some things you can do to alleviate the bad feelings. Breathing exercises which allow you to slow down and focus are extremely good, at least in the short term, and so is having a good support network of people you can phone or even take with you to these places. Once you have found the technique that works for you, crowds will become a lot easier to deal with, and you won’t suffer as much. 

There will be different reasons why people aren’t happy to spend time with other people and crowds. It might be the feeling of confinement, for example, or perhaps the idea that you will need to speak to people and you feel you lack social skills and might make a mistake, or you can’t hear them properly due to a hearing problem. Working out what the reason behind your fear is will help you to deal with it more easily. You could read articles and books about holding conversations more easily, or you could look for more info on hearing aids which will make listening to others a lot easier. 

4. Lack Of Nature 
Being in nature is a great de-stressor, but due to our busy lives and how everything seems geared to keeping us indoors as much as possible, we don’t always get to experience the great outdoors as much as we might want to. However, being able to go out for a walk, or even to sit in your yard or a nearby park for just a few minutes (or more if you can!) can make a massive positive impact on your stress levels, your anxiety, and even any fear you might be experiencing. 

5. Colors 
You may not realize it, but the color that a room is decorated in can have a direct impact on your mood and even your emotional and mental health in a more long-term way. Blue and green shades tend to make people feel peaceful and calm, and green is said to aid concentration. Reds and oranges, however, can bring on feelings of anxiety and even anger. What color is the room in which you sleep or spend a lot of time? If it is a color that is damaging to you, then try re-painting or putting up some new wallpaper in a different color that will be more helpful to you. 

6. Smell
Smell is one of the most important senses because it can directly affect our mood; the olfactory system is connected to the limbic system, which is where emotions are regulated. Just a hint of a scent that is reminiscent of something from our childhood, for example, can set off a complex chain of emotions for good or bad. In order to ensure that your emotions are only affected in a good way, surround yourself with scents that make you feel happy.

 

 

 

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