How comfortable do you feel in your physical surroundings?
Your health and happiness are made up of many factors—and your environment matters! This dimension considers the quality of your spaces—like noise, light, and air quality, and also your access to essential services—how easily you can access things like health care, transportation, schools, etc.
When your environmental health is high, you’ll feel like you’re living in harmony with your surroundings and nature. You’ll make efforts to keep your own physical surroundings clean and comfortable. You’ll also be aware of your own environmental impact and be taking steps to reduce your ecological footprint. If your environment isn’t healthy, you may feel uncomfortable or insecure in your environment.
Your environment affects the other health dimensions
Environment → work: Many factors in your work environment (noise, color, light, etc.) can directly affect your productivity and how much you like your job.
Environment → body: Spending time in nature reduces your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Environment → emotions: Feeling like you are a part of nature is correlated with greater life satisfaction and lower anxiety.
Improve your environment
We’re often conditioned to jump in and make drastic changes to our habits for a quick fix, but research shows that small habits lead to long-term changes. Imagine how much you might improve the health of your environment if you start with one small, new habit today! Dive in with curiosity and energy. But remember, changing habits is a long game. Start small, be consistent, be patient, and celebrate your accomplishments. Three things to do to start improving your environment today:
- Get outside! No matter the weather, get outside and into nature and appreciate your surroundings.
- Shop smart! When you buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. If so, consider buying it used.
- Buy bulk! When you buy food, think about the packaging it comes in. Buy things in bulk as much as possible.
Your environment is critical to your health and happiness, but there are other dimensions to consider, too!
Read about all eight dimensions of health. They overlap, intertwine, and impact one another. If you’re doing well in each of these dimensions, you’ll stay healthier and happier. Also, check out Carebook’s Facebook page where we’re building a healthy, happy community. We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences.