Mental health is the extent to which a person's thoughts and feelings are influenced by coping with their day to day life. Mental illnesses is responsible for some of the most challenging health issues faced by society, responsible for vast numbers of hospitalizations, disabilities resulting in billions in lost productivity, and sharply high risks for suicide.
The environment which is one of the major causes of mental health problems in the society today plays an important role in determining the health status of an individual. Everyone lives in both a social environment and a physical one and the two interrelate.
Physical surroundings may have their effects on the human psyche through their direct sensory effects. Alternatively our surroundings may affect our thoughts and feelings by the way they inhibit or filter our experience of other things (buildings, for example, detach us from the external environment). In addition, our physical surroundings mediate, inhibit or encourage our social and personal relationships.
The following are ways by which the environment influences our mental health:
- 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.
- Effect of climate change on humans
- Chronic stressors, such as economic hardship or social struggles
- Low quality of life, due to poverty or a feeling of dissatisfaction with one's life
- Exposure to toxins, especially at certain developmental stages
- Family and/or relationships problems
- Lack of access to nature and natural environment.
- The greener, the better… Clean, nurturing and safe environment leads to overall sense of physical-mental health and well-being.
Ways to stay fit and mentally healthy via a nurturing environment
1. Be friendly to the environment, it will be your best friend too!
2. Try to stay in a calm and clean environment. You can also make your living environment neat and tidy.
3. 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.
4. Industrial areas emit a lot of atmospheric/environmental pollutants which exert a negative impact on the body and mind.