This dimension is not only where you can find your source of fuel in your physical dimension, but it also has an overall effect on societies’ longevity. As inhabitants of this planet, it’s our responsibility to live harmoniously with our shared home. Our daily choices are either improving or destroying this dimension, which in return positively or negatively affects not only your longevity but that of every species living on this planet.
You can develop illnesses related to your environment; some of those illnesses are cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, obesity, depression, occupational injuries, and more. The environmental risk factors for disease are pollution; microbes in the air, water, or soil; contaminants in food; weather conditions (e.g. droughts, heat waves); pesticides, pests and parasites; radiation; poverty; and more. All of these issues are manufactured by modern societies’ attachment to consumerism and blatant irresponsibility.
We are, as a whole, disconnected from nature. As more of us move into cities and adopt modern habits, we continue to perpetuate this behavior to future generations. Environmental wellness is often overlooked, but the 7 remaining dimensions are completely reliant upon it. In a book written by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods, the author mentions Nature-Deficit Disorder. This disorder can have profound effects on our problem-solving skills, eyesight, energy levels, memory, emotional wellness, and social wellness.
To fuel your environmental wellness dimension, you must interact with the environment more. Attempt to improve the quality of your personal, communal, and global environment. This simple interaction will support all the remaining dimensions of wellness. Practices as simple as engaging in a home or community garden will give you the benefit directly fueling your physical wellness.
It is important that we keep our living spaces and workspaces organized, because clutter in your personal environment can trigger anxiety, reduce your sleep quality, and promote more bacteria in your living spaces. You already know the sensation of a clean living space or workspace as opposed to a cluttered one. To take that experience to deeper levels, learning more about interior design or the art of feng shui. Not only will this improve your intellectual wellness, but you will also be able to experiment with how the new knowledge directly affects your day to day experience.
Lastly, it is important to realize that your living space is also a part of your broadcast. The color schemes, lighting, decorations, and everything that makes up your design all reflect the frequency you are resonant with. Since we are in the search for flow and longevity, design a space that increases these aspects. Bring into your space only things that will get you closer to your desired frequency (exercise equipment, comfortable bed set, books, etc.), and things that will bring pleasurable experiences to your spaces.
Communal and Global Environments
Like I mentioned in part one about our application of the 4 Tactics to Frequent The Frequency, we have to apply the macro to the micro and use the same mentality in our communal and global living spaces. Remember that we are not only living with ourselves, but with every species on the planet. Although my recommendation may sound like a practice, we have to acquire the information before we can do anything about it. So what do we do?
You have to pay attention to global environmental issues by going to your trusted news sources and tuning into what’s happening. Issues like global warming can be addressed by taking a small action in your home and community. By researching preventative and restorative measures, you may find a small action you can perform to aid the efforts of a global community. Even better, you may be able to find a local community organization that needs your help.
Life is simpler when you are in harmony with nature and maintain pleasurable personal, communal, and global habitable spaces. Block a recurring time on your calendar to invest in the practice of this dimension of wellness, and incorporate more nature into your daily life. What I am listing may seem like practices; these are suggestions to reduce your lifestyle to only the necessities.
Reduce your investments in material goods.
Reduce your carbon emission.
Reduce your plastic use.
Reduce your water wastage.
Reduce your living space to what is needed.
Reduce and/or eliminate the consumption of animal products.
Reduce your energy consumption.
“Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fiber, and energy for provision of local needs. People, their buildings, and the ways in which they organize themselves are central to permaculture. Permaculture integrates people into Nature’s design. A permaculture design provides us with shelter, food, water, income, community and aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment within a balanced and healthy biological community.” - David Holmgren
I have found a set of ethics that everyone can practice from Permaculture. The three ethics of permaculture are earth care, people care, and fair share.
The planet takes care of us without asking anything of us. The least we can do is not damage our natural ecosystems. By partaking in practices that improve or don’t harm our planet, we are practicing earth care. Some examples are:
Storing and capturing water.
Reusing and recycling.
Growing something green.
Composting instead of trashing.
And so much more.
You understand how to care for yourself, but keep in mind that every species on our planet is interdependent upon each other. Some practical methods for people care are:
Sharing your services or products to help your neighbor, community, or humanity.
Understanding you can’t do everything yourself.
See social and emotional wellness for more.
There is a limit to how much everyone actually needs. Define what you actually need, and of course, enjoy what you want responsibly as it doesn’t affect the first two ethics. The surplus of our needs can be shared with others, or invested in the first two ethics. The future is dependent upon all of our abilities to live in abundance. It is like passing a pie sliced in 8 around a table of 8 people. Each person has the ability to get one slice of the pie, but if someone at the table decides to take an extra slice because they just want an extra slice, it leaves a person without a slice of pie.
When you become aware of your disconnection from this dimension, the most effective step is to get back into the practice of planning time for your environmental wellness, or the environment will remind you why it is important. It is a relationship, so when you see your partner in trouble, help them carry the burden. When you notice that you are tripping over clothes, your snake plant is dying, your dishes are stacked for a week, and/or your car becomes a second trash can, it is time to clean up and engage with the practices and ideas presented in this dimension of wellness.
Berman, Marc G., et al. “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature - Marc G. Berman, John Jonides, Stephen Kaplan, 2008.” SAGE Journals, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x.
“KU News Release.” Researchers Find Time in Wild Boosts Creativity, Insight and Problem Solving - KU News, http://archive.news.ku.edu/2012/april/23/outdoors.shtml.
Lv, Jinmei, et al. “Effects of Several Environmental Factors on Longevity and Health of the Human Population of Zhongxiang, Hubei, China.” Biological Trace Element Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21153714/.
Mollison, Bill, and David Holmgren. Permaculture One: a Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements. Tagari, 1987.
Resnik, David B., and Christopher J. Portier. “Environment, Ethics, and Human Health.” The Hastings Center, https://www.thehastingscenter.org/briefingbook/environmental-health/.
Rose, Kathryn A, et al. “Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children.” Ophthalmology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18294691.
Seymour, Valentine. “The Human–Nature Relationship and Its Impact on Health: A Critical Review.” Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 4, 2016, doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00260.
Wolch, Jennifer, et al. “Childhood Obesity and Proximity to Urban Parks and Recreational Resources: a Longitudinal Cohort Study.” Health & Place, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380517/.