The Role Environment Plays On Your Mental Health

Inhabiting or Inhibiting?

Have you ever been surrounded by people, your loved ones but still feel so lonely?

If yes, that’s the characteristic of a dysfunctional environment. Dysfunctional in the way that the people around don’t serve its purpose.

When you suffer from mental illness, at first, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly your problems are. You find out that you’re different on so many levels. When others around you are laughing, that’s when you’re expressionless, when they gather together, that’s when you choose to be alone and when they’re celebrating others, you don’t even want to be seen.

It’s almost like you’re regarded as being around but unavailable.

There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be alone to process your emotions as excruciatingly painful or daunting as they may be, whilst watering down the fact that you’re different — after all, Tim Denning once asserted in one his write-ups, that a period of isolation is needed for rebirth. But the main problem lies with getting to relate that feeling to the others around you, needing their validation for each and every ounce of emotion/action that you feel and take or with getting them to understand you when you misbehave.

Metal Health

At the same time, you’re forced to live the way they do. If only you could chat, laugh, celebrate and all be together when they do — but your brain doesn’t nudge you so.

The problem ensues

One thing certain about an environment where you’re different from the rest is that it messes with your head, it leaves you stuck in a back and forth state of confusion. It causes you to question yourself over and over again. One time, you’re giving in to the pressure to fit in,other times you’re simply feeling and living on your terms, albeit the aftermath from either leaves you feeling frustrated and guilty respectively, all at once.

The second thing about the environment is when it’s not a supportive one.

Yes, it’s been ascertained that you think, act and behave differently. The worst thing to aggravate these would be an environment that silently judges you. An environment that perceives you as abnormal and does not hesitate in letting you know when the slightest opportunity arises. An environment that doesn’t necessarily ask you questions but rather gives answers in the form of an advice. An environment that makes your difference even more amplified and hence, creating and enabling a feedback loop filled with more alienation with even more silent judgments and advice and less support.

The third thing about the environment is that they believe they are doing all they can.

All except the one thing you need — mental and emotional support.

And when you aren’t showing gratitude, they wonder why; never asking why and then term you an ungrateful person, in which case, you’re tempted again to explain yourself.

This makes your brain have ceaseless bouts of destructive self-reflective thoughts which include you questioning yourself over again, who you are, what you are, why you’re so different and in turn, leads to a more mental derailment.

To recapitulate,

Your environment plays a key role in your life. It helps form who you are through your habits, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. This originates from conforming to the evolutionary expectations which have been laid out by your parents/relatives/loved ones — whatever makes up your environment, thus, it can be hard to break that cycle.

With a strong sense of mindfulness and being present in your own life will enable you slowly fish out who you really are, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses devoid of the distractions in form of expectations and also help you create and start to live according to your own terms and conditions.

Quit allowing your environment to influence you by controlling how you respond to it. It’s once been said by Nick Wignall the psychologist, that emotions cannot be controlled but your actions and behavior towards it can be controlled by you.

Bearing that in mind, start devising a way or ways to remove yourself from it (the environment) as that is the ultimate means to rid all its effects.

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