In order for us to better understand the needs of the environment we need to appreciate there are four distinct categories – the environment of the self, the environment of the body, the external environment and the wider environment of the planet.
Once we understand these different environments, we can begin to see that meeting the needs in each area will require different things. It’s important to say that although these four environments do require different resources, there is an intimate relationship between them as one underpins and supports the next. The overlap and connections between these four environments are countless.
1) The environment of the self – our inner landscape – thoughts, feelings, moods etc.
a) Creating a habit of introspection is crucial to our internal mindscape. Positive silence alters the way the brain communicates with itself. With the advances in technology this communication can be interpreted and understood through our brain waves and other biological measurements – so we now know that positive silence brings harmony to mind and body.
b) Laughter is a wonderful tonic for the mind. It lifts the spirit. Consciously make time to listen to or watch things that make you laugh. Spend time with those individuals who enhance your mood and lighten your spirit.
c) Everybody wins in a charitable world. Kindness benefits everyone – the giver, the receiver and the watcher are all elevated by acts of kindness, big and small. Find ways to spread kindness wherever you go and your spirit will soar.
2) The environment of the body – those 60 trillion cells that conspire to give us life.
a) Nutrition is the lifeblood of the body. Meeting the nutritional needs of the body actually alters our brain chemistry, which in turn impacts on our perception and how we feel about ourselves. So take diet and supplementation seriously.
b) Avoid dehydration alert. When there is insufficient water in the body, this creates a state of panic within the cells. The body is unsure whether there’ll be adequate water to carry out all its tasks and under those conditions it moves into a protective mode – as a result nothing works quite as it should, which causes various stresses around the body. Remember, dehydration is at the root of many diseases.
c) Consciously support your immune system. In a world that is increasingly polluted, the body is under perpetual challenge. It’s not possible to avoid most of these environmental assaults but what is possible is boosting our primary line of defence against these pathogens. There are numerous things you can do, but increasing your vitamin C and beta glucans intake (the primary food the immune system needs) are two of the most important things you can do.
3) The external environment – which includes: our physical space, our families, relationships, communities and society.
a) Where possible, create a physical sanctuary, a space for reflection and self-nurture. Having space that’s dedicated to positive mental activity actually helps in developing the discipline of self-care. This is because routine is good for establishing new patterns and habits. Make an appointment to engage in reflective and self-nurturing activities regularly.
b) Developing a social conscience is vital. Start by creating or adding to a culture where all are equally valued and respected – family, friends and colleagues. Don’t expect the world to create what you’re looking for, go and create that world for yourself.
c) De-cluttering and creating order is good for the mind and the spirit. Order creates peace. Chaos creates confusion. Actively create order at home and where possible at work. You will find that your mind is clearer and you’ll become more efficient and effective.
4) The environment of the planet – the stage on which the drama of life is played out.
a) Soil erosion is considered one of the most serious environmental and public health problems facing human society. The loss of soil from land surfaces is widespread globally and is adversely affecting the productivity of all natural ecosystems. As a result it is suggested that the bio-diversity of plants, animals and microbes in the soil is being damaged, which in turn affects the nutrient profile – this has been much researched and exposed since the 1990s. We all need to find ways of positively contributing to this conversation.
b) Consciously minimise your negative impact on the world by managing your carbon footprint. Don’t consider you’re too insignificant to make a difference. We are unable by ourselves to make the global changes required but if we develop the attitude of being part of the solution we’re much more likely to get there.
c) Avoid waste in all of its forms. Waste weakens. It harms the mind, body and spirit – and of course the planet. We need to learn to conserve energy and make the most of the resources available to us.
Understanding these four environments reminds us that they each need our on-going attention and respect.