By Meleni Aldridge, executive coordinator

In our final week in this ‘reset over resolutions’ series, we address the last of 4 'containers' that profoundly influence our health: the environment. This isn’t just about nature, although it plays a starring role, but about how we engage with our world around us, as well as the world that’s within us. Humans have not been designed to exist as isolated islands, but to exist in a rich, interconnected network - an ecological system if you will, like the rain forests and the coral reefs, the most complex ecosystem yet studied by humans.

We function best when we are connected and in flow. Something that has been in precious short supply for too many people these past two years. The devastating effects of isolating humans from their world are to be seen all around us. But even if you’ve not suffered from the effects of isolation, it’s so worth re-assessing your Environment 'container' to identify the aspects in your life that might benefit from a reset.


The Environment; one of the four ‘containers’ that influence human health

>>> If you’re reading this article first, you’ll benefit from reading the first and second articles in the series. This series has been designed to take you on a journey to first identify the areas in your life where change is desired/required and then offer suggestions to catalyse your creativity and support your reset in those areas.  

Interconnectedness - humans and our environment

Human beings, just like all other living organisms on this planet, have avoided extinction because they’ve managed to adapt over millennia to dynamic internal and external environments that include an incredible array of living and non-living factors. The human populations that experience the lowest rates of disease and longest life spans – living in the ‘blue zones’ – all follow approaches to health and its care that are holistic in nature. They also all understand the inherent interconnectedness of stable and resilient living systems, and the consequences when some of these systems become disconnected.

Our biggest health scourges, covid-related aside, are still threatening to sink health delivery systems in the industrialised world - think cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases and the vast and increasing array of autoimmune conditions. These are all – to a large extent – symptoms of this disconnection, from nature, from our gut microbiota, from each other, and from the natural world around us. Technology has done some extraordinary things to get us this far, but it’s interesting that, so far, there’s little evidence that technology directly creates or regenerates health. Additionally, there's the synthetic chemical cocktail, often comprising thousands of discrete synthetic chemical compounds, to which most of us are exposed daily, that pose a risk to human health. 

We now understand far better the interconnectedness between organisms in the natural world, although humans very often like to see themselves as separated (and superior!). But all animals are unique with respect to genetics, physiology and abilities, and while we like to think it’s our intelligence, creativity and resourcefulness that sets us apart, there are many examples of extraordinary intelligence, creativity and resourcefulness shown by other species.

As uncomfortable as it might be to recognise, it is perhaps our capacity to so catastrophically alter the natural environment in our bid to separate ourselves from it, often through our use of technology, that makes us so unusual - and destructive, to ourselves and our world.

Elements of our Environmental container

  • Connection and access to nature and the outdoors
  • Exposure to environmental toxins in the air you breathe, water you drink and food you eat
  • Condition of your microbiome - your internal ecosystem of non-pathogenic, microbial ‘friends’ that are essential for a healthy and resilient life
  • Your stress level and an accurate acknowledgement of the specific stressors in your life
  • How supported you feel in your community of family, friends, work colleagues and social contacts
  • Your access to clean water, fresh air, wholesome and nutritious food
  • Exposure to electromagnetic fields from WiFi, mobile phones, computers, smart meters and digital tech in general
  • Your level of comfort, safety and security with your surroundings and everything with which you are familiar.

Take the first step…

My own relationship to deep and life-transforming change started early in my life. Something for which I now have deep gratitude, and understanding, because I was forced to find and evolve tools to allow me to survive, and later, thrive. Personally, my first step to creating lasting reset in my life lies in my engagement to nature - my external, as well as internal nature. Being in outdoor nature is my nourishment, my solace, my succour and my safe space. But my internal nature - especially my gut microbiome - has been hugely instrumental in changing my health trajectory and I urge you not to forget it. It's an important, even critical, part of your environment.

Initiating change at any level requires some silent contemplation time. And where best to do this than out in nature? Nature is already interconnected and part of a flow. We can derive so much from engaging in that space on as frequent a basis as we can manage, but it might not resonate as your first step.

The most important thing is that you find what feels right to you as a first step. Then take it, boldly and with commitment.

In the words of personal development guru, Tony Robbins, “Change your story, change your life”. Your ‘state’ (your level of health and energy) — affects your ‘story’ (your self-belief and self-talk) — and your state and your story together have a huge impact on your ‘strategy’ (your approach to living and succeeding in life). All of which are under our direct control.

Given that we exist in a physical body and are reliant on it for life, it makes sense that working on, and resetting, our ‘state’ will then positively affect every other aspect of our lives. Addressing any required changes or unmet needs in our Environment container is just too fundamental to our physical and emotional state to overlook. We owe it to ourselves to deepen our connection to nature - to come 'home' from where we evolved.

I hope the rewards surprise, delight and amaze you as they did me. It was not something of import instilled in my childhood, but a wondrous discovery as an adult that has shaped my life for the better and brought me great joy — and levels of health and vitality I never thought possible.

Support suggestions to reset your Environment container

To Read

'Toxicity is the new normal’ says natural medicine expert Pizzorno

ANH-Intl Feature: Big Food’s artificial sweeteners are killing us

Big Food’s sweet cop out

A gut feeling about Parkinson’s

ANH Feature: Eat a Rainbow for gut’s sake!

Depression: Mental condition or gut disorder?

H2O dear: The rising problem of drugs in our water supplies

Coming to a tap near you

To Watch

August Acceleration: Food, consciousness and community

August Acceleration: Sovereign breath and forest bathing

A conscious intergenerational conversation of consequence - human and planetary health

Can ancient tensor tech make modern day EMFs safe?

To choose clean food

The Clean Fifteen

The Dirty Dozen


>>> Visit our Food4Health campaign for more healthy eating guidance

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