The following article was kindly written and contributed by Arslan Hassan.
As important as it is to look after our physical wellbeing, we can’t neglect our mental health. To lead a healthy and happy life, we must implement practices in our lifestyle that promote mental wellness.
When it comes to improving our mental health, practicing sustainability, and going green have a dramatic cognitive effect on our health. Moreover, it’s known to decrease our carbon footprint, which can help lower the detrimental influence we have on the environment.
You can find abundant proof to back up the claims that adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle will contribute to a happier and stress-free life. A report conducted by Natural England deduced that individuals that participate in nature-based activities face lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many ways we can transition to a greener way of life that can benefit the planet and help us find a sense of fulfillment. To help you understand the significance of a sustainable lifestyle and the effects of going green on our mental health, let’s dive into some of the reasons why it feels so good to be more in tune with nature.
1. Gives You a Sense of Purpose
This is our planet, and we depend on it for our livelihood, thereby it’s our responsibility to look after it and ensure that it’s livable for the future generations. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that you’ve done your part in leaving behind a planet that’s a tad better than what it used to be.
People often believe that they lack a purpose in life, and this kind of attitude can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence issues. These problems arise from several environmental and social factors that can contribute to the development of mental health issues. But what people don’t realize is that embracing green and eco-friendly lifestyle helps us recover from mental fatigue and stress.
What is more, going green fosters a need for human beings to have a deeper connection with nature and stimulate positive emotions, resulting in a lighter and happier mood. Going green gives human beings, a purpose in life as they begin to grasp that they must raise awareness, educate others, and change the minds of people who – unintentionally or intentionally – mistreat the planet. Working together to implement change across the board can feel rewarding so that you feel empowered.
2. Going Green Teaches You to Be Mindful
People with eco-consciousness are more likely to practice minimalism, which in turn teaches them to be more mindful about what they consume, use, think, and want. The idea of sustainable living is to become mindful of our everyday activities and their environmental impacts. Once we’re aware of the influence of our actions and how they affect our overall health, then it becomes a lot easier to take on a more proactive approach in taking care of our planet.
Spending less, recycling more, and spreading awareness about important climatic changes helps sort out our priorities and put things in perspective. Being more aware of your surroundings helps to keep negative emotions in check and losing track of our thoughts.
Sustainable living is known to help people develop a clearer consciousness and focus on the bigger picture, which is to protect our planet’s health from deteriorating. When you’re practicing mindfulness, you’ll be eco-friendly in even the simplest task, such as cleaning. Environment conscious people choose organic cleaners and avoid products that harm the oceans with chemicals, their plastic waste, or their unsustainable manufacturing practices.
3. Joining Sustainable Communities Boosts Mental Wellness
Those individuals who are part of a community or group that is passionate about Mother Earth learn to collaboratively achieve sustainable goals and educate others on how to promote environmental health literacy. Being part of such a crowd inspires you to creatively work towards change and implement habits that teach you mindfulness and gratitude.
It’s incredibly uplifting when you know you’re leading a life that has a lower negative impact on the ecosystem. Above all, belonging to a community is known to have long-lasting benefits on your mental health as it decreases the chances of depression episodes, lowers stress levels, and induces a sense of togetherness and support amongst team members.
Having a sense of belonging and knowing that your part of a movement that’s going towards lasting change can be a life-altering experience. People that enjoy being active participants of eco-friendly neighborhoods have a greater inclination to help others and experience a stronger bonding with nature and themselves.
4. It Lowers Risk of Developing of Neurotic or Stress-Related Disorders
Children that have high exposure to green spaces are more adjusted to sustainable living and are less likely to develop psychiatric disorders. Of course, children are in no control of where they live, but this can naturally have adverse effects on their growth and mental health.
Parents can condition their home environments to be eco-friendly and teach their kids to care for nature as this enhances their emotional wellbeing and reduces the risk of developing mental health issues. Kids that grow around greener spaces are known to have better cognitive development and can easily moderate their emotions without stressing themselves out.
Going green encourages attention restoration and boosts concentration so they can focus on their schoolwork and other activities. This doesn’t just apply to kids but adults as well. Adults that adopt a sustainable lifestyle have better stress management capabilities and can concentrate on the tasks they’re performing.
Going green is not just good for our mental health and the planet, but our wallets, families, social settings, and more. Its benefits go far and beyond. So, if you’re making the conscious effort to be more environmentally responsible, then you’ll eventually experience drastic changes in your mood, mental health, relationships, and overall standard of living.
Engaging in simple activities that involve interacting with nature can dramatically improve existing mental health issues and help people feel empowered and accomplished. Going green is good for the soul and stimulates the mind to perform at its maximum capacity, making you more productive, active, and efficient.