Senior Features Writer
Just the other day, I had a cousin visiting me from Kerala, and the only concern he had was the pollution level in Delhi. He didn't ask me in as many words but I understood his worries instantly. And honestly, if you ask me, for a guy coming from God's Own Country, it's an absolutely valid concern. So, speaking of pollution, the Autumn of 2017 experienced frightening levels of pollution and smog in Delhi and while there were a million precautions taken to reduce it, not much helped.
We all have been learning about the adverse effects of pollution since class five and it's safe to say that we all have directly established the link between health issues and pollution, whether air, water, sound or land. However, what we've never really considered is the detrimental impact it can have on our mental health. Yes! You heard that right. According to a recent study, the increase in pollution levels have a really negative impact on our mental health as much as it does on our physical health.
Why, you ask? Let's focus on the things that happen when you live in a densely polluted area. A research in China says that people are less likely to feel happy and enter a weird state of anxiety and depression when they live in areas that are polluted. This means that you, for obvious reasons, will find excuses to be by yourself. Which in turns causes social exclusion and loneliness. While so many of us have become reclusive, I now know why. Even children living in polluted areas are seen to not do as well in cognitive tasks as compared to children living in a less polluted area.
Pollution levels also affect the happiness index of a city. People who live in polluted areas are less likely to be happy in their daily activities hence pushing them close to depression. All this results in anxiety in a lot of people which in turn provokes unethical behaviour. This might also be responsible for giving rise to crime in a city. Anxiety issues are common in millennials and we hate to admit that but, these days, a lot of us need therapies and programmes aimed at helping combat stress and anxiety.
Clearly, the excessive levels of pollutions have an adverse effect on each one of us and it's damaging us in ways that we don't even realize. But what we really need to do is choose a lifestyle that, if nothing else, will help save our own self. And I say this because while we may want to protect Mother Nature, the real motivation will come when we're in danger. So now is the time to take small steps and make a difference from your side, starting today.
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