How to Improve Your Environment at All Levels
“The way our environment is designed influences the way we choose to behave.”Y Studios, 2019
If you want to know how to improve your environment, just read any self-help book these days and you will eventually get to the part where you have to set yourself up for success. That may mean setting your workout clothes out the night before, putting a glass of water by your bed to drink in the morning, or making your bed, or moving to a place with better opportunities.
That’s the topic for today’s post. All about how and why your environment can set you up for success, and how you can take small steps to have your environment support you in living your best life.
This is the seventh post in my Life Is a Puzzle series. If you want to go back to the beginning and read the earlier posts, you can find them here: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial. Basically, each one describes the various “corners” of our Life Puzzle and suggests ways that we can work to pull them back together when life has tossed them apart.
What is your environment?
I think that we all have a kind of sort of idea about what environmental health means. And truly, it can be used in a couple different contexts. For the purposes of my Life Puzzle series, I’m talking about the things that physically surround and support you. That starts with your home and personal spaces, whatever they may be. It then expands to your neighborhood and city. From there it expands to include your region, nation and the whole world. There are things that at each of these levels impact you and the choices that you can make.
Evaluate your current environment
At the home and personal space level, these are the places where you spend your time. What does your home and /or personal space look like? Does it reflect your character? Values? Priorities? Does it feel comfortable and safe? If your answer is yes, that’s great. If not, it may mean that your immediate environment is working against you and you may need to figure out how to improve your environment.
In real terms this may mean that you can’t do the things that you want to do. You might not be able to make the choices that reflect the way you want to live your life. And when your sense of self is disrupted in this way, you will tend to have a pervasive sense of overwhelm, and anxiety. You will tend to feel like you are always swimming upstream. It will be as if things are just always stacked against you. And that is because, basically, they are.
Any time that your immediate space works against your values and goals, you will find yourself constantly thwarted when you try to do things. You will find that something else “always” gets in the way. Surprisingly, this can pertain to the people that you live with as well. If they are not supporting you, if they are not team players, pulling their own weight around the home, you will struggle to get your own wants and needs met, as you will find yourself constantly struggling to meet their needs as well.
How do you improve your environment?
Improving Home Environments
If you want to pursue your dreams, you will need to find ways to make your home environment as welcoming and supportive of them as possible. That may mean starting with just a corner, or a chair, or your bedroom. Take that space and make it as peaceful and reflective of you as possible. Whether that’s through decorations, scents, or lighting, you will feel better and more productive when you have carved out, and protected a small space that is just for you. One super comfy thing that I invested in was this fleece blanket from Amazon. (Affiliate link) This is so warm and cozy, and I love it!
Improving Neighborhood and City Environments
From the home, you next will want to look at your neighborhood and city. While your ability to directly change the space at this level will be more limited, you do have the ability to move to a place that aligns with and supports your values and goals. If are wondering how to improve your environment in your neighborhood and city because they aren’t supportive, then you will want to read the financial corner, and figure out the steps you need to take to get to a place that does support you. Volunteering for community groups is one way that you can make your neighborhood and city more welcoming and supportive to you, as well as those like you.
Improving Regional and National Environments
Bridging the gap between neighborhood, region and nation is the political arena. Each of these areas has political representation. (at least they do in the USA) While you may be able to do some volunteer work, most of the policy is set by politicians. That’s why voting for those who will enact policies that support healthy and safe environments is so important.
Improve the World
And oddly, while the world, climate change, politics and national policy can influence you and your environment, it’s the seemingly small things that you can do that can change the world. The financial choices that you make will have the biggest impact worldwide in our global economy. You can choose to buy from small businesses, and that will reduce the influence of big businesses. You can reduce, reuse and recycle, and while you can only impact your personal choices, your choices will change the world. Global businesses run on money, so choose where you spend yours to reflect and support your values and needs. You can buy healthier groceries from local farms and farm markets. You can buy less toxic cleaning supplies.
So, what happens when you take these steps to improve your environment on all levels? You have a greater likelihood of improving your own health. You can reduce your stress levels by living in a place that reflects your values and supports your lifestyle. And finally, you will see your productivity increase as you feel more comfortable in your spaces.
What do you think? Where can you make a difference? How do you make your environment safe, comfortable and productive? Let me know in the comments below.
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Y Studios. (2019, 07 25). How Our Environment Influences Our Life. Retrieved from Y Studios: https://ystudios.com/insights-place/environment-influences#:~:text=The%20way%20our%20environment%20is,rely%20on%20to%20make%20decisions.