The consumerist, throwaway culture of a globalized world has caused some extreme damage to the environment. From destroying natural habitats to an increase in extreme weather, the health risks to both humans and animals are well documented. However, there has been less research into the psychological effect of environmental degradation. India’s spiritual reputation is at risk if the pollution of urban growth continues. Here’s how environmentally friendly policies can promote spiritual well-being.
Another consequence of our consumerist culture (beyond the environmental damage) is that we are working more and resting less. As a result, there is a serious global stress epidemic. Almost half of Indian workers experience some form of stress.
However, there is another more natural way to cure stress. Spending time in nature reduces stress by giving people a chance to exercise, which boosts mood and energy, while relieving tension in the body. The therapeutic effect of ‘forest bathing’ or simply gazing at a lake can lower heart rate and lift overall wellbeing. By destroying our forests, we are making it increasingly difficult to disconnect from modern, urban living in order to feel these benefits.
The Effects of Cleaner Air
In recent years, scientists have found links between air pollution and several mental health problems including anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s and poor academic performance. So it is not only your lungs you have to worry about, but your cognitive performance and happiness levels as well. By investing in clean energy, such as wind and solar, we can help humans to awaken spiritually among nature. By breathing in clean air, our brains receive the oxygen it needs to function fully. Polluted air, conversely, leads to feelings of lethargy and queasiness.
If we shift to more environmental policies, then people won’t need to be master meditators or expert yogis to feel spiritually more awakened. The clean air and natural surroundings will help people to feel more at peace within themselves. By feeling happier and healthier, people will be more likely to be kind to one another, free from stress, anxiety and irritation which causes so many hateful feelings.
While the economic and physical health problems associated with environmental damage are important, there is another way of looking at this. Environmentally friendly policies will improve the mental health of the world’s populations, thereby helping them to grow spiritually. Individuals will feel happier in themselves and society might just be a kinder place to live.
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