Becoming an advocate for planetary health involves, for many of us, a change in the lifestyle choices we make every day. But in order to make sustainable, lasting change in our lives, we need to investigate the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that shape our choices.
Two questions that are important to investigate are:
- How important is it to me to have a livable planet for humans in 2100?
- Where do my own values and sense of purpose align with planetary health?
Notice your reactions
Try this: close your eyes and relax. Take a deep breath and let your attention rest on the sensations of your body. Ask yourself: "How important is it to me to have a livable planet for humans in 2100?" Pay attention to the response in your body. Do you feel energized, with a lightness in your body or a tingling in your abdomen? Or perhaps you feel heavier, as if taking a breath becomes slightly more difficult. What about your thoughts and feelings? Do you feel skeptical or defeated, motivated or inspired?
Explore mindfulnessLearning to notice your unconscious responses can help you identify where you are right now, and what your next step might be. Maybe you are overwhelmed by feelings of urgency for the planet's health, and you feel stressed - if so, practicing relaxation techniques might be the right first step before committing to an action plan. Maybe you don't quite understand the connection between the environment and your own wellbeing, and you want to seek out more education.
Or maybe you feel engaged and eager to take action to reduce your impact on the earth's natural resources, and you are ready to take a big step by changing your behaviors or volunteering for an organization dedicated to global environmental health.