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Environmental Wellness

By Christine Peace, Behavior Coach

Do you ever find yourself experiencing one thing in the moment, and getting tripped up by some internal experience lingering around from the past? On the other hand, have you ever tripped over clutter left lying around (by yourself, your spouse, student etc.)? I know I have. The pain and frustration, from stubbed toe or banged shin, both rising. If this is a regular occurrence, it may speak to our overall environmental wellness. What do you think of when you hear the phrase “environmental wellness?” From a holistic perspective, our environmental wellness includes both internal environments like emotional and physical health as well as external environments, which includes our home, work community, transportation, and a balanced exchange of resources.

Let’s take a few moments to check in about our external environment. Are our home and work environments safe and comfortable? Are they also clean and organized? Do we have community, and does that community support our needs, interests, and goals? Is our transportation safe, stable, and clean? To explore a “balanced exchange of resources” we can ask the following. Do we recycle? Do we refrain from littering, giving more than we take from the earth? Do we find ways to incorporate nature into our lives?

What about the wellness of our internal environmental? Internal environment includes our thoughts (and thought patterns) our emotions, beliefs, judgements, and perceptions. Our internal environment also includes our health, i.e., what are we putting into our bodies? (We will focus more on that piece with physical wellness in a later article.) Do we have the skills to manage our emotions? Or the skills to change our thought patterns or adjust our perceptions? If you answered yes to any of the questions, you have a strength in that area.

If you answered no to any of those questions- you are not alone. ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, awareness of these answer can increase autonomy on your internal environment. Both our internal and external environment have the power to influence one another, for good or bad. Often, we have more control over our internal environment than our external. Without practice of exerting this control, this may not feel true. To improve the state of our internal environment, one task we can try is a senses meditation in which we create a visual for our internal environment. Here is a link that can take you through this process:

The key to assessing your wellness in any dimension is to increase our awareness. It is not intended to be a judgement, but instead an empowering experience. Next time one of us trips over clutter, externally or internally, we can pause to consider, “what can I do to adjust my environment?


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