Environmental psychology is a discipline that studies a relationship between individuals and their environment.
According to its research, your immediate surroundings can affect your wellbeing.
The numbers are disheartening. In 2012, 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment.
Although this bleak statistic mainly refers to some extreme circumstances such as being exposed to toxic fumes or soil pollution, it can’t be denied that even much subtler environmental issues can be detrimental to our health.
Our personal environment impacts our mood, motivation, cognitive performances, and creativity.
For instance, a cluttered home may cause you to feel anxious and lethargic.
Let’s discuss how to make your space cozier and healthier?
Vitalizing Effects of Natural Lighting
Daylight has a profound effect on our bodies.
There is a link between natural light and the human circadian rhythm. This built-in clock determines our sleep patterns and relaxation. Exposure to natural light improves our mood and energy levels as well.
Use as much natural light as you can. If this isn’t an option, then try so-called blue-enriched light bulbs. They enhance work performance by reducing fatigue and supporting mental vitality and alertness.
Add some mirrors to your home so they can reflect the sunlight from the windows. To allow more natural light in your space, ditch the heavy drapes.
Selecting white or light-colored pastels for wall colors can brighten up the room.
Declutter Your Space
Home clutter usually starts as a symptom of procrastination.
But a messy home very quickly becomes the stress factor itself. Clutter isn’t just visually unappealing – it can affect negatively many areas of our lives. Among many other things, it can reduce our ability to focus on a task.
If your home needs some cleaning up, then your stress hormone cortisol might be elevated. Have someone help you declutter and get rid of the items you don’t need. We get attached to our possessions, so disposing of them tends to be difficult sometimes. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Remember that less is more. Only buy things you really need. Resist the urge to shop for yet another cute T-shirt.
Make sure to set manageable goals when tidying up your home. Being neat and living in a well-organized space reduces distractions and helps achieve mental clarity.
Minimize Noise Pollution
Long-term exposure to noise can contribute to serious health problems. Depression, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure are some of them. Due to the chronic noise pollution, the body’s stress response system is active all the time. As a result, mood disorders and cardiovascular issues are common.
A 2016 study found that people with long-term exposure to road traffic noise were more likely to develop symptoms of depression. Another study identified a significant association between exposure to noise pollution and heart problems.
Negative Effects of Indoor Pollution
Exposure to secondhand smoke in homes and workplaces is especially important, mainly due to the length of time people spend in these surroundings.
According to the National Cancer Institute, many harmful chemicals are found in secondhand smoke. Some of these substances – at least 69 of them, cause cancer.
In order to keep all these diseases at bay, don’t allow smoking in your home and car.
When talking about smoke and a safe personal environment it’s essential to mention the importance of mechanical ventilation and proper fire-resisting ductwork. Namely, accidents happen and if you want to be on the safe side, you need to make sure that your home has good ventilation and ducts that can remove smoke from a fire.
Mold is also a culprit behind different health issues. It produces allergens and irritants. Mold exposure can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. People with asthma allergic to this substance may develop asthma attacks when exposed to it. Also, it can irritate the eyes, nose, skin, and lungs.
Exposure to Electromagnetic Field (EMF) & Toxic Environments
There is some controversy around the electromagnetic field and its impact on human health.
Although physical harm hasn’t been proved, sleeping with your laptop or TV on disrupts your sleep pattern, which is bad for your overall health.
The presence of asbestos and other toxic materials in your surroundings is a cause for concern.
This is particularly dangerous to those who live in older buildings. Since asbestos is associated with some health issues, testing your home by a licensed company or a do-it-yourself testing kit is strongly advised.
Our personal space has a profound impact on our health. Embracing this fact gives us the power to make changes that can affect our wellbeing. We can manage environmental stress to a certain extent by creating a bright, clean, safe, and properly ventilated living spaces.
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