When we talk about wellness, we often focus on physical and mental aspects such as exercise, diet, and stress management. However, there is another dimension that is equally important- the environmental dimensions of wellness. This dimension focuses on our relationship with our surroundings- the air we breathe, water we drink, and nature that surrounds us.
With climate change becoming a pressing issue in today's world, it has become more important than ever to take care of our environment. Not only does it play a significant role in ensuring the sustainability of life on earth but also has an impact on our overall wellbeing.
In this article, we will delve into the importance of environmental dimensions of wellness and explore how you can incorporate eco-friendly habits into your daily routine for better health outcomes. So sit back and read ahead to discover how you can contribute towards creating a healthier planet while also improving your personal wellbeing!
Environmental dimensions of wellness refer to how our surroundings affect our health and wellbeing. This includes elements such as air, water, land, biodiversity, and climate change that play a crucial role in maintaining balance on earth and keeping all living beings healthy. Protecting the environment is not only good for the planet but also beneficial for personal wellbeing. Caring for the environment ensures clean air free from pollutants or toxins harmful to your body’s respiratory system while spending time in nature has been shown by several studies to have significant benefits on mental health outcomes including reducing stress hormones like cortisol and lowering blood pressure levels.
Environmental Dimensions of Wellness: The Importance of Protecting Our Planet
In recent years, the concept of wellness has expanded beyond just physical health. It now also includes mental and emotional wellbeing, social connections, and even environmental dimensions. Yes, you read that right – the state of our environment can significantly impact our overall wellness.
Understanding Environmental Dimensions of Wellness
Environmental dimensions refer to how our surroundings affect our health and wellbeing. This includes everything from air quality to access to green spaces. As humans, we are deeply interconnected with nature, which means that any harm done to it can cause harm to us as well.
The five main aspects included in environmental dimensions are:
- Climate Change
All these elements play a crucial role in maintaining balance on earth and keeping all living beings healthy.
The Benefits of Caring for Our Environment
Protecting the environment is not only good for the planet but also beneficial for your personal wellbeing. Here are some ways taking care of Mother Earth can improve different areas related to wellness:
Caring for the environment ensures clean air free from pollutants or toxins harmful to your body's respiratory system.
Accessing natural environments like forests or parks will increase opportunities for exercise.
Growing fresh produce (fruits/vegetables) at home will ensure consumption by reducing exposure pesticide residue.
Choosing food products produced locally reduces carbon emissions linked with transportation while supporting local farmers who use sustainable practices such as crop rotation hence producing more nutritious foods
Spending time in nature has been shown by several studies to have significant benefits on mental health outcomes including:
- Reducing stress hormones like cortisol - Lower blood pressure levels
People who live closer within proximity or spend moderate amounts (150 min p/wk)in nature settings report experiencing less anxiety, depression and greater happiness levels compared to those who spend less time outdoors .
Taking part in community-based environment protection projects can build social connections between people with shared values and interests. This includes planting trees, cleaning up parks, or collecting recyclables.
In addition to the more apparent health benefits of taking care of our environment there are also some economic ones:
- Environmentally friendly practices such as recycling reduce waste disposal costs
- Reducing carbon emissions through using public transportation or cycling reduces fuel consumption hence saving money
Tips for Supporting Environmental Wellness
Now that we know how vital environmental wellness is let's look at some steps you can take towards ensuring it:
- Reduce energy consumption by opting for LED light bulbs or turning off electronics when not in use
- Choose organic foods where possible and avoid products containing harmful pesticides
- Avoid single-use plastics by carrying a reusable water bottle/cup/bag
- Plant a garden in your backyard if space allows (even small potted plants on your balcony/window) to have fresh produce access throughout the year. You could also join community gardens.
- Choose eco-friendly household cleaning products that do not contain harmful chemicals.
The state of our planet significantly impacts our overall wellness. Understanding environmental dimensions of wellness helps us appreciate why nature conservation matters towards achieving a healthy lifestyle while reducing adverse effects on living beings' general well-being.
By making small changes within our households such as choosing environmentally friendly alternatives like eco-cleaning agents/papers/ gardening practices alongside reducing energy consumption will help contribute positively towards preserving mother earth while staying healthy both physically & mentally.
. Bratman G et al., Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation., PNAS 2015;112(28):8567–8572
What are the environmental dimensions of wellness?
The environmental dimensions of wellness refer to the aspects of our surroundings and how they impact our overall health and well-being. This includes both natural and man-made environments, such as air quality, access to green spaces, availability of healthy food options, and exposure to toxins. Environmental wellness recognizes that our personal health is interconnected with the health of our environment.
In addition to physical factors like air quality, environmental dimensions also encompass social aspects like community support systems and a sense of belonging. For example, living in an area with strong neighborhood ties can contribute positively to psychological well-being.
By recognizing the importance that these external factors have on individual well-being and taking steps towards improving them where possible – whether by advocating for better public policy or making changes in one's own behavior – individuals can improve their overall wellness outcomes.
How does pollution impact my environmental dimension?
Pollution refers specifically to any type of harmful substance or energy introduced into an environment which has negative impacts on its surrounding ecosystem or human inhabitants. As such it’s important factor when considering your environmental dimension as it directly affects your physical wellbeing.
Air pollution from sources like traffic exhaust fumes can have long-lasting effects on respiratory functions while water pollution from runoff chemicals seeping into nearby lakes or rivers could lead to a reduction in safe drinking water supplies causing adverse effects including diarrhoea among others illnesses
However beyond direct effecting us humans through harmfull substances Pollution is responsible for negatively impacting ecosystems by reducing biodiversity leading ultimately having indirect negative consequences for human populations down stream
To mitigate this risk individuals can make conscious choices around use low-emission transportation methods whenever possible (like biking instead driving), supporting environmentally-friendly policies at local government levels (limiting polluting factories) , using less single-use products & recycling waste properly
Why is access green spaces important?
Accessing green space provides numerous benefits that are key contributors towards maintaining good mental & physical health. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors in natural environments can promote feelings of relaxation, creativity and a sense of well-being. Furthermore it contributes to better quality air and exposure to vital sunlight for Vitamin D which has been linked to preventing cancer.
In addition, Green spaces often provide opportunities for physical activity such as hiking or biking which can significantly improve cardiorespiratory fitness while helping reduce stress levels & anxiety associated with modern-day life however not everyone is close enough to green spaces so it’s important where possible individuals create simple solutions like bringing nature indoors through houseplants
How does my built environment influence my wellness?
Our built environment refers specifically elements that are man-made including buildings, public transportation infrastructure & pavement walkways in our cities towns etc. Our interaction with these structures plays an important role in how we function on day-to-day basis leading us towards a path good wellness outcomes.
For example accessibly designed buildings make it easier for people with disabilities or mobility issues to move around independently promoting self-confidence while less dynamic designs (Stairs without handrails) could limit the ability of those people (often elderly persons) who may need extra support when moving around the building hence impacting their overall wellbeing
The design of public space also play critical role towards our social dimensions whereby one would feel more comfortable walking down an aesthetically pleasing street versus dark alleyway at night
What actions can I take within my community?
Individuals themselves have a significant impact on environmental dimensions they experience by influencing local decision-making processes related land use policies that affect accessiblity safe sidewalks/bike lanes/park areas and pollution reduction efforts like recycling among others.
One way citizens get involved is by actively participating in town hall meetings; attending school board sessions; joining local organizations working towards improving environmental dimension changes within your locality.
Another way indivuals would work together through small-scale initatives such as setting up community gardens – reducing food waste by composting; organizing local clean-up days to reduce litter in communal areas.
By supporting community-level changes and making an effort towards a more sustainable lifestyle, individuals can contribute to improving environmental dimensions of wellness around them while promoting their own wellbeing as well.