Take a look around your home. Are there some places that you look at and it just causes you anxiety, stress, and physical pain. That’s a sign your environment is affecting your mental health. There may be some other factors in why your environment is affecting your mental health. Let’s talk about that…
I can’t believe it’s May already. What a year it’s been so far. I hope you guys are doing well and staying sane. I say that because May is mental health awareness month. For the next 4 weeks, we will be talking about all things Mental Health. We’re going to Deep dive into some topics I feel should be talked about more.
The 2 factors that make up your environment
This week’s topic is about how your environment may be affecting your mental health. This doesn’t just mean your physical environment. That is only part of it. The 2 factors that make up your environment are physical (I.E your surroundings home, car, noises) and social (I.E. safety, hobbies, toxic relationships)
Both of these factors have multiple examples of what could be affecting your mental health. Have you ever stopped and thought that what is around you is affecting your mood? Are you thinking about it now? Let’s dive into other examples of physical and social factors that could attribute to your mood and mental health.
As I have said before physical factors have to do with what physically surrounds you. Let’s take a deeper look at how this environment is affecting your mental health. These are just some of the factors, there are many more out there. These are just the ones I have knowledge of. I will update the post when I learn more about others.
Have you ever heard someone chewing loudly and it just annoyed you that you felt like you could physically hurt this person? You may have just thought it was a pet peeve, but having a sensitivity to sounds is something that affects your mood.
Not just chewing, but the slightest sound could have significant side effects on your mental health. Being easily annoyed by sounds isn’t something to take lightly. Certain noises could increase your anxiety, and blood pressure, spark depression, and many other things.
Have you always wondered why you get a little bit more moody and grumpy… maybe even a little depressed during a certain season of the year? I read an article from Psychiatry.Org about extreme weather conditions have also been associated with increases in aggressive behavior and domestic violence.
Did you know the weather could affect your moods? I have noticed I have more energy and more motivation during the cooler fall day and cold “winter” days. I get easily annoyed and irritated if I am in hot weather for too long. Who would have thunk that being from and living in Florida? I was born in the wrong state.
How does the weather affect your mood?
Hazardous working conditions
This doesn’t just mean your job is dangerous and may put you at risk. It is one of many reasons. Hazardous working conditions can mean anything from worrying about job security to doing the job of 3 people, but only getting paid for the job of one.
Work conditions like that take a toll on your mental health because what you should be feeling is up in the air. You don’t know which direction you should be leaning towards. Having a manager or boss that flipflops with the “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of mentality. They demand more of you and may take advantage of you being a team player.
I had to quit my job because I was working under hazardous work conditions. It took a toll on my mental health. If you would like to read that post you can find it here: Why I had to quit my job – When obligation comes before health.
This doesn’t have to be limited to moving your body, this could also include language barriers, knowledge, fear, and poverty. Having the limitations of moving your body, but also moving around your home can affect your mental health by not having the means or space to move around.
Language barriers could be hard to deal with when people don’t understand you and get frustrated with you and give up trying. That can bleed into fear of speaking, so not only are you limiting your mobility of speaking you are creating this fear of speaking so you are not made fun of or made to feel less.
That could also cause stress to you to be subjected to someone else’s stigma including racism, sexism, homophobia, or other prejudices, which are also physical factors of a mental health problem. That is a whole other post that should happen, but I won’t be doing it. My post would bias since I am against all of that. I will let others talk about that.
Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Not getting enough sleep can affect your psychological and mental health state. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can prevent you from thinking clearly or keeping your emotions in check.
Not only would you have a “foggy” brain and forget things that you know to be true. On top of not getting enough sleep at night could lead to mood swings of anger and depression. Excessive sleepiness nights can put you at risk at work or affect your relationships.
Environment affecting your Mental Health
As I have said before social factors have to do with the people who surround you. Including the relationships you have with others and yourself. Let’s take a deeper look as to how this environment is affecting your mental health These are just some of the factors, there are many more out there. These are just the ones I have knowledge of. I will update the post when I learn more about others.
You wouldn’t have thought poverty could affect your mental health, but it can. Those who experience poverty for an extended period of time are more at risk for developing health and developmental outcomes in their life.
Having financial stress, life-changing events or not having certain access to things causes these mechanisms to happen that can affect the brain circuit in a person. Not only does poverty affect adults it can also affect children, which can lead to hostile home life, child abuse, and neglect as well as many other things.
Lack of social support
It is important to have strong social network support. People need family and friends to lean on for emotional support. Having a group of people to turn to in a crisis or having people cheering us on as we reach our goals helps boost our motivation and our confidence.
Not having that strong social network has been linked to depression and loneliness. Without that social support could increase the risk of depression, suicide, or alcohol abuse.
If you are someone who needs social support or are lacking people in your support group. I encourage you to read my post on How to believe in yourself when it feels like no one else is.
Have you ever felt emotional and physically drained after speaking to someone? Raise your hand if after speaking to someone you feel worse than when you started.
Those are the people I like to call them Dementors. If you are a fan of Harry Potter you know that Dementors are the dark creatures that consume human happiness, creating an ambiance of coldness, darkness, misery, and despair. Making them the perfect guards of the prison Azkaban.
These toxic people you have relationships with are trying to keep you in Azkaban by sucking your happiness, hope, and will to better yourself. These toxic relationships you have in your life may cause you to feel not worthy, and have fear and anxiety. They cause you to be insecure and paranoid about things in your life you wouldn’t normally question.
I was in a relationship with a narcissist and left with what little belongings I had. That was wild having to start over after leaving an abusive relationship. Once I left him and got myself on track, I cut a lot of people out of my life that made me feel worthless. I talk about that on the Our Redonkulous Life podcast. Check it out if you would like to get to know me more and how I got into personal growth.
Having an untidy home could be affecting your mental health. Just looking at a messy home and not knowing where to start can feel overwhelming.
Feeling overwhelmed… Don’t know where to start? You look around your home and know it needs to be cleaned, but you are drowning in knowing where to start. Which then leads you not to do anything and then beat yourself up about it.
Right there… That is how it affects your mental health. Looking at it gives you anxiety. Beating yourself up over not cleaning is giving you anxiety and maybe depression. You might start calling yourself names like lazy or a loser. Even worse you could have a family member or friend say those things to you.
I have been there and still have those days. I kinda end up making a game out of cleaning you can read about it here, if interested. 10 ways to motivate you to clean – for the days when you don’t want to.
Lacking meaningful work or hobbies
Growing up well into my college days I was always doing something creative as I got older and got into a serious relationship and put on my soon-to-be wife and stepmom cap I kind of lost myself. I did everything I could for my family and put myself on the back burner till one day I realized I had nothing for myself. However, I wasn’t doing anything for myself.
Turns out I wasn’t the same creative person I was 10 years, hell even 15 years ago. Realizing this put me in a funk and made me ask myself the most important question and I couldn’t answer it. The question is “Who am I”. It took me almost a year to figure out what I wanted in life I started by asking myself more questions like the ones here Self Discovery: 25 questions you never ask yourself, but should.
I needed to take the time to create new habits. Take the time necessary to figure out me and try new things. I ended up creating this blog which is meaningful work to me. If you can try new things whenever you can and find hobbies that make you happy. I took up journaling which really helped to get all my thoughts out of my brain and onto paper.
Lack of self-care or relaxation
As I said above I did everything I could for my family and put myself on the back burner. As a stepmother and a soon-to-be wife, I stopped doing the little things that made me feel like a human. I stopped putting on makeup, doing my hair, and doing many other things.
When Mike was at work overnight and Mikayla was at her mom’s I did a self-care night. Ate the things I loved without the judgment of my family because they hate it. I watched those trashy reality TV shows, did a face mask, and painted my nails. Just took a night for myself and relaxed. I didn’t worry about the laundry or the housework.
Have a Self-care night, because you need to take care of yo’ self.
If you are starting a personal growth journey I would recommend taking a look at your surroundings. Since a lot of us are still quarantined this is something you can do without leaving your home. You can work on the environment that is affecting your mental health
Not all these factors could be affecting you, but if some of them are…. just choose one and work on it for the week. I repeat the week. Not in a day. Changing the life you are surviving takes more time to build so you get get the life you love living.
Until next time, Have a great day!