Many factors can determine the state of your emotional health. One of the most important factors is the environment you choose to be in. Where you live and who you live with can directly affect how your daily life will be. Everything from poverty and crime to environmental racism can bring about issues such as anxiety and depression. Even the places you have to go to, like work, hold significant stock in your well-being. The key is to identify what works best for you each day.
In many cases, though, some environments are difficult to escape. There are some healthy ways to cope and make the situation more sustainable. Many environmental factors can negatively affect your emotional health, and learning how to handle them can help you live healthier.
Poverty’s Effect on Mental Health
Your emotional health can easily be affected by the places you were born, grow up, or work. The wrong environment can change the trajectory of a child’s life, even into adulthood. The suicide rate among young people (age five to 19) is also higher in counties with higher concentrations of poverty. Poverty’s effect on mental health is so powerful that it can potentially prevent the underserved from performing their everyday tasks. The citizens of these neighborhoods experience anxiety and stress-inducing violence. They are faced with constant food insecurity, unstable living conditions, and overwhelming bills, burning up their cognitive capacity to be productive.
This environment has an even larger impact on children in the long run. Consistent trauma from poverty can trigger harmful stress hormones that have long-lasting effects on brain development. This problem can be solved by adding more programs that are educating and feeding the underserved. If there is more of a focus on diversity and inclusion, more underserved minorities will be given more opportunities to provide for their families.
School and Emotional Health
Depending on who you talk to, you might hear people say that kids have nothing to worry about in life. The truth is the school environment is loaded with depression and anxiety. Whether socially or academically related, going to school can leave your child stuck in bed without the necessary daily energy. One in six students battles emotional health issues that mirror mental health disorders. Teachers are saying that most students battling these problems are non-Hispanic Black students who are getting free or reduced lunch.
The link between the home environment and the school environment is closely knit. The same underserved group of kids is going to school with expectations of being productive. The solutions to these problems can be tackled by public health officials, pediatric clinics, and teachers working together to provide the resources the students need.
Toxic Work Environments
Most people are spending the majority of their time at work. Therefore, your work environment is just as important as your home environment. There is a lot of pressure that comes with having a job. Usually, your job is the source of income, meaning it’s not just how you pay your bills but also how you take care of your family and overall well-being. That thought alone can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for many people struggling to find satisfaction at their jobs. Factor in a toxic work environment, and it could make the situation even worse.
A toxic work environment can result in burning out, fatigue, and in some extreme cases, illness. Too much stress can take a significant toll on the brain and body. If a work environment has little to nothing good to offer outside of dysfunction, low morale, and high stress, people will often leave for something better.
If you notice these signs, you may want to start developing a plan of action to find a healthy work environment. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the luxury of being able to just quit a job at the drop of a hat. Temporarily learning how to stay afloat in this toxic environment is imperative. Try to find the people at your job who have similar feelings towards the workplace as you do. If you build a relationship with those who have similar feelings as you, it can be the beginning of building a strong support system.
Whether your workplace is toxic or not, the workplace is a huge part of everyone’s life. Make sure that you find something that helps you relax and enjoy life during your time off.
The truth is, everyone isn’t provided the luxury of choosing their permanent environment. Where you grow up and where you go every day to make a living plays a huge role in the well-being of many people. One of the first steps to solving this problem is awareness. Once you are aware of the problem, you can begin to analyze the triggers coming from your environment. If the triggers come from home, you should reach out to programs that can assist you and the specific problems. Another considerable step to solving the problem is seeking out professional help from facilities specializing in helping people battling large amounts of stress and anxiety. Professionals at HealthyU can help you and your loved ones get the help you need to succeed in your environment. We offer many forms of treatment that are preventative and will lead you to a healthier way of life. Contact us at (619) 542-9542 to begin your journey to healthy living.