The Environment’s Impact On An Individual’s Mental Health

Some of the critical factors that contribute to an individual’s growth and development include their genetics, the environment of their upbringing, education, culture, and so much more. By far, the factor that may happen to contribute the most would be their environment. Some psychologists have linked not only an individual’s development but as well as their mental state to the environment they live in. Our environment may come in two forms – physical and social environment.


Physical Environment

According to Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC “Your environment, both your social and natural surroundings, can greatly impact how you feel.” Our physical environment involves the things that we physically see or feel around us. These may come from the heat of the weather or the workplace we go to every morning. Some suggest that this affects our biology or neurochemistry in some way, thus causing the disorder. Didn’t know that these changed us in some way? Well here are four sources and its effect on your mental health.


  1. Noisy Public Areas

We all get annoyed by the heavy traffic. The loud sound coming from the trucks and cars on the road can get irritating to the point that we end up falling heavily asleep once we get home. Numerous studies have linked a noisy environment to increased depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and heart disease. According to some researchers, this increase in the likelihood of such mental disorders caused by stressful experiences. The experience an individual receives from a stressful noise translates in the brain’s amygdala. Here, the brain gets a distress signal which it sends to the Hypothalamus. The adrenaline glands are then triggered by the hypothalamus, therefore, causing physiological changes in the body.

  1. Air Pollution

Several researchers have also looked in the connection of mental health issues to toxic air caused by air pollution. Surprisingly, they found out that this is associated with dementia, as well as a possible cause for behavioral changes, which can lead to social isolation and decreased levels of physical activities.

  1. Weather Condition

Climate change is the main contributor to changes in an area’s weather conditions. Unfortunately, not only does it have a significant effect on ecosystems and daily activities, but it is also responsible for affecting an individual’s mental health. Trauma from natural disasters such as floods can often lead to losing a home or loved one, thus, leading to post-traumatic stress disorders. Studies have also shown how rainy weather often links to depression. Prolonged drought has also been identified to increase anxiety. In general, one can receive seasonal affective disorders from weather conditions.

  1. Cluttered Workspaces

“Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.” Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. said. A cluttered workspace can not only be distracting, but it can also be bad for one’s mental health. Researchers have linked this to stress, anxiety, and burning out. Having a lot of things in front of you can get overwhelming. It can also be a huge frustration that can lead to mood swings. Therefore, you should start cleaning your space.

Social Environment                                             

Even our social environment has a significant effect on our mental health. It comes in the form of our relationships with people, people’s perceptions of socioeconomic, and racial conditions. These factors can all have a significant influence on one’s mental health. Here are three of the most common causes.


  1. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can be a nightmare to most parents. Research has determined peer pressure to push children to use drugs, drinking alcohol, depression, and anxiety. With the wrong and corrupt group of people, peer pressure can lead to significantly damaging effects on your child’s life. It makes it even difficult for them to adjust to their environment and the people around them. Make sure to notice the early signs such as their sleeping and eating habits, or their poor school performance. Remember, “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. said.

  1. Family Problems

Family problems can result in anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases, post-traumatic stress disorders. Family problems have the most considerable effect on children. These can come in the form of prolonged abuse from parents, hearing continual arguments between their parents, or family feuds between relatives. These do not only negatively affect their mental health, but it also promotes unhealthy growth and development.

  1. Lack Of A Support System

What’s worse compared to not having someone to share your worries with? We usually look for someone to share and seek some advice from. Friends and family can serve as a tremendous help to enable you to cope up with the stresses you receive from school, work, or anywhere else. A strong bond between such people can feel very uplifting and encouraging.

It is essential that we observe and pay attention to our environment. Now that we know the different ways it can affect us and our mental health, we should be more careful. Always consider these things when you feel like you’re having a bad day.

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