How the Environment Can Affect Your Behavior

Both social and physical environment can significantly affect our mental health and behavior. The environment can impact our mood, influence our actions, create or reduce stress, and inspire or discourage social interactions.

Home and Work Environment

Different studies show that bright rooms with lots of light (both natural and artificial) can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Moreover, scientists believe that a healthy and relaxing environment can do much more than simply boost your mood – it can affect your health and improve the immune system.

On the contrary, toxic environments can negatively affect your feelings, thoughts, and behavior. An unhealthy environment can create stress, weaken your confidence, and impact both your emotional and physical health.

How Your Home Environment Affects Your Behavior?

Keeping your home organized and clean will bring harmony and peacefulness in both your living space and your mental space. Also, decluttering and organizing your home environment can help ease stress and anxiety and promote positive family relationships.

For example, a clean and organized hallway will encourage you to store all your items away. Similarly, an inviting family space will encourage interactions and strengthen bonds within the family.

Furthermore, one of the best ways to promote relaxation and happiness at home are the wall colors. Colors can be a great stress management tool. One research found that room colors can affect our feelings and stress response. They can help reduce stress and promote calmness and harmony.

Research has also proved that when we are looking at the colors, our brain releases neurochemicals that affect our mood and overall mental and physical well-being. For example, green and white environments promote relaxation and have the power to calm us down in stressful situations while red color can make us more tense and anxious.

Similarly, the emotional atmosphere within the family can have a significant impact on our health and our behavior. For example, toxic family life can cause frustration, depression, anxiety as well as a variety of physical symptoms.

Toxic Work Environment and Mental Health

Studies by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) found that 35 percent of workers in the U.S. report being bullied at work. The intimidating treatment in the workplace may trigger mental health issues related to anxiety and depression. 

One research found that the negative rumination or the mentally replaying of an event form a workplace can have effects on insomnia and thus overall health. A toxic work environment stimulates people to ruminate about their negative experiences, causing anxiety, depression, and substance use.

Further research has found that this negatively affects organizations as well. Toxic work environments can lead to decreased productivity and lower level of employee commitment.

How to Cope with Toxic Environments?

Coping techniques can help lessen the negative effects of a toxic environment on your overall well-being.

Relaxation and meditation. It has long been known that practicing relaxation techniques is associated with fewer health complaints and less fatigue. Some of the relaxation techniques you can practice involve meditation, listening to music, reading a book, and spending time with positive people.

Counseling. If you think that you cannot cope with a toxic environment on your own, seek help of a mental health professional.

The Boundaries. Setting the boundaries can help you manage stress and frustration. In addition, the boundaries can boost your self-esteem and help you feel in control of your life.