Pollution And Mental Health| How These Two Are Related and Why It Should Concern You
If you hear the word “Pollution” what are the first few things that are likely to come to your mind. Environment, life, hazardous impact on your physical health, and more such related concepts? Is there a chance that mental health comes to your mind?
Certainly not because we have never thought of relating the word Pollution with Mental health. But what if I told you that Pollution can result in poor mental wellness? Well, that is what recent findings have to suggest! On the 2nd of December, which is marked as National Pollution Control Day, why not learn about the new factors related to it and identify how pollution impacts our mental health. Maybe this could further motivate us to control pollution from our end!
Also Read: Sleep and Mental health | Are They Related?
Impact of Pollution on Mental Health:
1. Pollution Exposes You To Depression And Anxiety
The quality of air influences our happy feeling and continuous exposure to the same can increase our tendency to have a negative perspective on life. In a laboratory study, a group of mice who were exposed to high levels of pollution showed decreased levels of interest in simple pleasures and an increased tendency to give up. On the contrary, the mice who weren’t exposed to air pollution did not show any sign of depression. Another study has shown that noise pollution doesn’t just annoy us, but even its minimum exposure can lead to anxiety and depression. This clearly tells that pollution is a big contributor to giving rise to depression and anxiety among the masses.
2. Pollution Increases The Risk Of Developing Psychiatric Disorders
Surprised? Well, pollution does increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Prenatal exposure to pollution was found to be linked with autism in one study. While another study pointed out that being in a high pollution area during the early stages of life can in turn result in dementia later. It might come as a surprise but there is evidence supporting a link between pollution and self-harm tendencies as well. These findings clearly point out that pollution can make an individual vulnerable to different mental health conditions.
3. Pollution Increases Our Stress Levels
According to studies, people who live in higher polluted areas report higher levels of distress when compared to those who lived in moderate and low levels of pollution. Not only this, the people who worked in more pollution prone areas had more stress and thus, poor work performance.
4. Pollution Is Harmful To Children Mental Health
Multiple studies have analyzed the impact of pollution on children’s cognition. Lead and black carbon in particular were found to be linked with poor mental health of kids. A study also compared kids of two cities (less polluted and more polluted ones) and found that those who lived in polluted areas had poor attendance, lower scores on memory, cognition, and intelligence level, and decreased interest in performing activities. These findings are alarming and we should definitely start working upon pollution before we risk our future any more.
5. Pollution Tempers Your Memory
Pollution and memory might not sound like two words sailing in the same boat but, they both are linked together. It has been found that the pollution in the air can impair human memory. It further suggests that air quality can increase the risk of dementia among older adults. Another study that was conducted on 20,000 people also found that exposure to pollution can result in poor cognitive performance. This clearly the negative relation between pollution and memory.
So what is the alternative?
To remove the clouds of pollution hovering over your mental health you can take into account the following measures:
1. Add A Green Space
While many studies suggest the ill impact of pollution on our mental health, some studies suggest the best anecdote for the same. New research has shown that people who have a greenspace view or green space around them, tend to be more happy and relaxed in their life. So even you can add a little planter to your view to keep the ill impact of pollution on your mental health at bay.
2. Plant A Tree On Your Special Day
You can also do your part in removing pollution by adding green to the environment. Here is what I do on my birthday- I plant a little planter and take care of it in the future. So I would suggest you do the same. Take one special day from your life and devote it to make your surroundings green and happy!
3. Monitor Your Air Quality
Many gadgets are now available to monitor air quality in your immediate surroundings. You can either use those appliances to monitor air quality and maintain the pollution level in your surroundings. This will eventually display in your overall wellness. In addition to this, you can also make sure that you keep the sources of harmful air pollutants out of your lifestyle.
From the above discussion, one thing is clear that pollution not only causes harm to the outside world, but also does impact us from within. That is why it is important for us to understand the link between pollution and mental health and do our part in reducing it.
Which tactics are you going to give a shot on doing your part in reducing pollution from your surroundings and eventually from the globe? Share it with us in the comment section.
Remember: Be a part of the solution, not a part of the pollution. That’s what it takes to beat the impact of pollution on mental health.