How Your Environment Affects Your Emotions


environment emotions

If you think that your environment and your emotions are two entirely separate things — think again! It turns out that there are profound and intimate links between them, and one is not always separable from the other. Living in a dirty, messy home, for instance, has been shown to be damaging to mental health. It creates chaos and clutter when your unconscious mind wants order and stability. The type of city you live in also makes a difference. People who live in polluted or dangerous areas tend to have lower wellness scores than those that live in happy, productive, and clean locations.

Multiple environmental factors play into your mental health. However, as you might expect, each person is different — what affects one person might not affect another. Here’s how environmental factors impact your mental health, and what you can do about them.

Your Environment Impacts Your Well-Being

According to researchers, multiple environmental factors determine how you feel. These include physical factors around you as well as the community spirit. Your housing environment, for instance, can have an effect. People tend to have higher levels of well-being when they live in attractive, warm, and cozy properties. Their homes recharge their batteries, so to speak, enabling them to take on the challenges of the world with more confidence. Well-being tends to decline when properties are dilapidated, dirty, or affected by dampness.

Your community is also a factor. Areas with higher levels of crime tend to have lower levels of well-being, independent of the effects of crime themselves.

What’s interesting about this is the implications it has for our mental health. Adults spend the majority of their time in unnatural environments, either at work or at home. When people move from one place to another, it can profoundly influence their mood. Some people who suffer from depression find that their symptoms are alleviated when they get out into nature.

Social environments have a big impact as well. Individuals who don’t have as much support tend to struggle more with their mental health. It is easier to cope when other people are around. Those with friends, family, housemates, and community tend to deal with stressors more easily, as compared to those who don’t have these advantages.

There is also some evidence that lighting levels can affect your mood. People who live in brightly lit areas tend to feel better than those who occupy dark, dank environments. This is one of the reasons why many people don’t live in cellars — there just isn’t enough light to regulate their body clocks.

Environmental Factors That Affect Your Mental Health

Here are some of the specific factors that affect how you perceive and interpret your environment. Each of these influences provokes different psychological responses.


The familiarity you have with an environment can affect how you feel about it. If you have positive associations with going home to your parents’ house, you will actually experience this in your body when you arrive. You may feel a sense of peace or calm, which you simply can’t find when living somewhere else.

However, it can also work the other way. Familiarity can be a negative thing — dredging up unwanted memories from the past, and reminding you of times when you were depressed or treated poorly.

You can adjust the level of familiarity in your home by altering the environment. You might want to put familiar objects on the walls or atop the fireplace, such as family photos or keepsakes. These can subtly influence your mood and make you feel more connected to the space.

Likewise, you might also want to remove these items — if they are causing you distress.


The people you spend time with also have a profound impact on how you feel. If you are around elevating people who support you, you’ll feel like you can do just about anything you want with your life. Likewise, if you are around negative individuals who bring you down — life will feel like a constant series of battles.

So, be careful who you share your spaces with. Low conflict and compassionate relationships help to support your mental health. Even if they don’t feel exciting at times — embrace their peacefulness.


The lighting, smells, and color of an environment can also profoundly affect your mood. Shutter companies know this very well. They understand that the level of light that gets into a room determines how the occupants feel. When light levels are high — as they should be in the daytime — it helps to calibrate the your natural sleep-wake cycle.

Unwanted noises can be problematic. That’s why so many people install sound insulation — so they can stop sirens, street sounds, or even the weather from disturbing their tranquillity.


The level of tidiness can also make a substantial difference in how you feel. When your rooms are tidy, it has an influence on your unconscious. The less cluttered your environment — the less you have to think about — and the more you can ease into life.

If you must have objects around you, make sure that they are meaningful. Avoid cramming your home full of possessions, which don’t really add anything to the experience of your home.


It is critical to interact with people who share a similar culture and set of values to you, so you can avoid feeling isolated on a deeper level. If you hold views that other people don’t accept, it can be a lonely experience. Perhaps your politics or food preferences are different — or you are seeking a different kind of spiritual experience from the people around you.

In this situation, you must seek out like-minded people. You will want individuals that you can relate to, who share your passions and approach to life.

Concentrate On What You Can Control

Changing your environment might seem a little overwhelming at first. After all, there are some things that are outside of your control. You can’t, for instance, control the level of crime in your area. That’s a matter for the policymakers and the police.

The trick here is to solely focus on what you can control. Look at areas of your life that will have the most impact on how you feel and change them. For instance, a good place to start is decluttering your bedroom. At night, you want a place you can go that helps you relax and get restful sleep.

The next stop could be the kitchen. Cooking a meal from scratch is never a pleasant experience when there is a mountain of dirty dishes to be cleaned in the sink.

Adjust your relationships. Spend your time with elevating people that lift you up — and help you move toward the aspirations you have for your life. Avoid those who drain your energy, or who are outright abusive. Be very careful with the friends you choose to be with.

Adjust Your Perceptions

You can also try modifying your perceptions. How you choose to see the world has a massive impact on your mental health. If you believe that threats lie around every corner, you’re always going feel unease. However, if you engage in opportunities and don’t take yourself too seriously — then you will flourish. Things are easier when you can turn down the dial from time to time.

Forming a routine can also help. When you have habits — you create a sense of control — allowing yourself the space to pursue the things that you really want in life.

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