When people talk about going green, they often focus on the benefits that being eco-friendly has for the environment, such as reducing waste and lowering energy consumption. Turns out, these lifestyle changes can also improve your mental wellbeing.
Shopping more responsibly, reusing or repurposing used items, when possible, recycling when not, and consuming less energy not only lowers your environmental footprint but also anxiety and stress levels.
Keeping these benefits in mind helps you maintain your motivation to live more sustainably in the long term.
Feel More Relaxed After Spending Time In Nature
Many aspects of an eco-conscious lifestyle encourage you to get outside and soak up the sunshine. For instance, you might choose to bike to work rather than drive your gas-guzzling car. You might decide to go for a hike on the weekend rather than spending the day binge-watching television shows and using up electricity in the process.
People who spend more time in natural green spaces are known to report feeling less stressed, less aggressive, and have an increased ability to focus on tasks.
Reduce the Impact of Chemicals On Your Body
Another popular lifestyle change you’ll make as an eco-friendly shopper is looking for products that contain fewer chemicals. Choosing cleaners and other household products that are made with natural ingredients helps you to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals.
Since exposure to environmental chemicals is linked to an increased risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety, choosing natural alternatives helps you feel better.
Build Stronger Connections Within Your Community
You might feel like you are connecting with your friends and family while you scroll your way through your social media pages, but you aren’t. Choosing to unplug and reach out in person helps you to enjoy more opportunities for authentic social encounters.
You’ll also find that living sustainably encourages you to do things outside of the house, such as going to a local farmer’s market or volunteering at a community organization.
Spending more time around other people can make you feel more connected, more a part of your community. You may also notice that you have more empathy, a greater feeling of self-esteem, and decreased incidence of depression.
Gain Strength for Making Other Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Being overwhelmed by mental stress makes it harder to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and avoiding drugs and alcohol. As you make minor lifestyle changes, such as choosing to take a walk after dinner rather than watch TV, you’ll also notice that you feel more confident about making major decisions that impact your health.
Lower Your Stress Levels By Eliminating Clutter
Living in a cluttered environment makes it harder to perform even the most simple tasks. For instance, you might struggle with figuring out what to wear when all your clothing is scattered throughout the house. Or, you might find yourself running late if you couldn’t find your laptop underneath the weekend’s shopping bags.
These types of stressful events go away when you only keep what you need in the house. Lowering the amount of clutter in your life also helps you to reduce your body’s cortisol levels, which has an impact on how relaxed you feel as you go about your daily routine.
Develop a Positive Outlook About the Future
Anxiety about climate change can impact you emotionally and lead to physical symptoms such as grinding your teeth. Making eco-friendly lifestyle changes helps to reduce anxiety by giving you a sense of control over the future.
You might not be able to stop major corporations from polluting the air, but you can choose to drive an electric car or carpool when possible. Instead of sitting around fretting about the disturbing things you hear on the evening news, you can spend that time enjoying the beauty of your outdoor garden.
Shifting your mindset by making intentional choices that improve your future makes it possible to feel a sense of hope that dispels your fears.
Improve the Symptoms of Your Mental Health Conditions
Many common household items contain chemicals that are meant to provide benefits, such as keeping food from sticking to your pans or your clothes from catching on fire. But now, people are beginning to recognize they sometimes have unwanted and long-lasting consequences.
These aptly named “forever chemicals” are linked to lower levels of dopamine in the brain. When your brain has less dopamine, you may experience fewer instances of pleasure and motivation.
Make an effort to reduce your exposure to these chemicals in your products by looking for natural alternatives By helping your brain to release and process hormones properly, you avoid emotional disruption.
Going green is more than just a trendy way to let people know you care about the environment; it’s a lifestyle change that improves every facet of your life.
Living sustainably helps you to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, enjoy stronger friendships, and get more enjoyment out of each moment of your life.
- Udel.edu - Human Benefits of Green Spaces
- Healthandenvironment.org - Mental Health and Environmental Exposures
- Ccare.stanford.edu - Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection
- Sunshinebehavioralhealth.com - Drug Rehab in Huntington Beach, CA
- Nytimes.com - The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter
- Npr.org - Anxiety from climate change isn't going away. Here's how you can manage it