How Does Your Personal Environment Affect Your Mental Health?

Your personal environment plays a significant role in your mental health. It's easy to overlook the impact of your surroundings on your well-being, but research shows that your physical environment can have a profound effect on your mental health.

In this blog, we'll explore how your personal environment affects your mental health and what you can do to create a more positive and supportive space.

  1. Clutter and Chaos

Clutter and chaos in your home or workspace can be a source of stress and anxiety. Research shows that a cluttered environment can increase cortisol levels, which is a hormone associated with stress. When your physical space is chaotic, it can be challenging to focus and feel productive. It can also create feelings of overwhelm and make it harder to relax and unwind.

To start decluttering, it's important to focus on one area at a time, whether it's a single room or a specific category of items. Begin by removing all items from the space and sorting them into piles of keep, donate, and discard. Be honest with yourself about what you actually use and need in your life, and let go of items that are no longer serving a purpose. Once you have decluttered, make a plan to keep the space organized going forward, whether it's creating designated storage areas or implementing a regular cleaning routine. By decluttering your environment, you can create a more peaceful and calming space, which can in turn boost your mental health and well-being.

  1. Lighting and Color

The lighting and color of your environment can also impact your mental health. Exposure to natural light has been shown to improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression. On the other hand, fluorescent lighting can cause headaches and eye strain. Color can also affect your mood. For example, blues and greens are calming, while yellows and reds can be energizing.

  1. Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can be a significant source of stress and anxiety. Loud or constant noise can make it difficult to concentrate, disrupt sleep, and create feelings of irritability and frustration. Noise pollution can come from traffic, neighbors, or even the hum of electronics.

One way to reduce noise pollution is by using noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs when in noisy environments. You can also try soundproofing your home or workspace by adding weather stripping to doors and windows, or by installing sound-absorbing panels or curtains. Another strategy is to create a calming environment with soothing sounds, such as playing nature sounds or soft music. It's also important to set boundaries with noisy neighbors or coworkers by politely communicating your needs for a quieter environment.

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  1. Nature and Fresh Air

Exposure to nature and fresh air has been shown to improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Spending time outside or having plants and natural elements in your home or workspace can create a more calming and positive environment.

There are many ways to incorporate nature into your daily routine, such as going for a walk in a park or forest, gardening, or simply sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air. You can also try practicing mindfulness in nature by paying attention to your senses and surroundings, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. By spending time outside in nature, you can benefit from the restorative and calming effects of the natural world, which can lead to improved mental health and a greater sense of well-being.

5. Toxic Friendships

Being in a toxic friendship can do a real number on your mental health by depleting your energy, making you lash out on loved ones, and even lose sleep. So if you aren't getting what you need from a friendship, then it may just be time to leave it in the past. As hard as it may be, it is necessary - not only to you, but to them also. The 5 people you spend the most amount of time with, you eventually adapt to. Their belief systems only take 18 months to merge with yours and you start to align with their morals, actions and way of thinking pretty quickly.  Your circle should be full of individuals who support your goals, but also tell you when you are in the wrong. It’s important to have friends and people in your circles who call you on your bullshit too. Often we get stuck in circles that tell us we aren’t the problem or agree with us -  when in reality a dose of tough love is exactly what we need to have self awareness of a pattern or behaviour. Read more about toxic friendships here >

In conclusion, your personal environment plays a significant role in your mental health. Clutter, lighting, color, noise pollution, and exposure to nature all have an impact on your well-being. By creating a more positive and supportive environment, you can improve your mood, decrease stress and anxiety, and promote better mental health.

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