How Sustainability Benefits Wellness | Everything Sustainable
Sustainability is the essential answer to the question of how we continue to care for our planet to allow for a thriving future for all of humanity for generations to come. Scientific studies document the current ramifications of not living sustainably and predict disastrous future consequences if current practices don’t change. What isn’t discussed as much is the role a sustainable lifestyle plays in health and wellness, both your own and that of the people around you. The fact is that personal health is very much connected to environmental health.
Sustainable Living Begets General Wellness
For societies to thrive and prosper to their full potential, the individuals that comprise the community must be healthy and well. The quality of air and water, access to a healthy food supply, the ability and opportunity for physical exercise, and the management of resources and the avoidance of toxins are all components of personal health and wellness. Both companies and individuals are responsible for creating a society in which these things are possible, and the benefit is the reciprocity that sustainable living generates in terms of general health.
Nature Is an Integral Part of Wellness
Nature-based environments are an essential element of sustainability, especially in urban environments. Skyscrapers in large cities have given way to green spaces, community gardens, and parks, complete with flowers, trees, and more biodiversity. Incorporating more green space helps to reduce pollution and also provides a natural environment that can be enjoyed by people who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Ecopsychology supports scientific findings around the positive benefits of nature on health and well-being.
Physical Health Benefits From Sustainability
Not only are green space and nature-based environments good for sustainable living and the environment, but they’re also suitable for exercise. With green spaces, people can take a break from treadmills and gyms and immerse themselves in a natural setting. Sun exposure provides vitamin D, which plays a role in well-being. Running, yoga, playing frisbee, having fun with your children on the playground, walking your dog, or simply sitting on a park bench taking in the scenery all have positive impacts on your physical.
Mental Health Is a Natural Extension of Physical Health and Well-Being
Urbanization is not only a threat to the environment, but it is also a detriment to the mental health of those who live there. Recent studies have found that those who live in urban areas with access to green spaces are happier than those who live in concrete jungles. With depression, anxiety, and generalized stress reaching a boiling point, the need for emotional wellness, such as that which you experience in nature, is not only helpful but necessary.
Wellness Can Be a Function of Identity
Many religions and philosophies support being kind to others and leaving things better than you found them. That’s what sustainable living is all about. Shifting away from a lifestyle of consumption to one of sustainable living takes the focus off yourself and places it on those around you. It is the desire to do what you can to the benefit of all humanity. When you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself, you feel like your life has meaning and purpose.
Use your natural born abilities and skills to benefit those around you and you will experience meaning and purpose. Of all aspects of wellness, those are arguably the most important.
What are your thoughts on a sustainable lifestyle? Share your experiences in the comments below.