The Habits of Health Transformational System covers the full picture of health. The wellness industry wants to sell you diets and exercise equipment, so that’s what they market. In reality, though, optimal wellbeing is the culmination of choices that you make in all areas of your life because no part of our lives exists in isolation from the rest.
Your environment is a great example of this. The people and things you surround yourself with can make you more likely to build lasting Habits of Health. The challenge is that, for many of us, our environments are entirely invisible to us. We don’t see them as having a role in our health or as being something we can change, so they run on autopilot in the background.
But you can actually harness your environment to your advantage. Spring cleaning can be a great place to start.
- Clutter and disorganization have been found to increase anxiety, and that persistent stress can create new challenges for your Habits of Health. By tidying your surroundings, you actually make it easier to make healthy choices.
- Household dust, though it seems benign, can cause a range of health complications, from aggravating allergies to worsening respiratory problems. Cleaning your home takes these problems out of the equation for you, lowering the number of distractions in your day-to-day life and protecting your longevity along the way.
- Cleaning is an opportunity to redesign your environment. As you’re picking up, think about what you can do with your surroundings to support your health. Maybe your running shoes should be by your bed or maybe those dusty blinds should stay open to let in more sunlight.
- The physical activity of cleaning is generally not as strenuous as a workout, but as you’ve learned from the NEAT System, regularly doing chores adds valuable motion to your routine in addition to the other benefits.
Cleaning may not be your favorite activity, but there is potential for joy when you see how powerful your environment can be. For me, every detail of my home and my office were selected to support my professional goals and my health goals. When I sit at my desk, I feel empowered to help others. When I sit down on the couch to watch movies with my daughters, I feel comfortable and focused in the moment.
The more you can see what your environment can do for you, the easier it will be to take care of it. If that idea feels overwhelming for you, it’s okay. Start small. Organize your bedroom so you can start and end your day in a good place. That will get you started!