If you’re feeling stressed out or struggling with your mental health, consider incorporating more time outside into your routine. The world is full of stressors, but spending time in nature can help to normalize your feelings and boost your mood.
Studies show that direct sunlight and fresh air can improve your overall mood. It can also increase serotonin levels, which helps to fight depression and anxiety.
1. Reduces Stress
Getting outside is one of the best things you can do to boost mental health. It can improve your mood, relieve stress, and even make you more generous with those around you.
Many of us spend a lot of time inside, cooped up in front of screens and other devices. It can take a toll on our bodies and minds, especially when we aren’t getting enough exercise or fresh air.
In a time when a global pandemic has us feeling overwhelmed by life, it’s easy to forget that our natural surroundings have a lot to offer. Whether it’s the smell of trees, the sound of birds chirping or the feel of grass under our feet, spending time outdoors can help you relax and feel at peace.
According to Megan Showers, a licensed clinical social worker in West Virginia and Pennsylvania who incorporates nature, the outdoors, and recreational wilderness therapies into her mental health practice, it’s important to find ways to connect with nature in order to reduce stress. For her, the key is finding a place that allows you to focus on nothing but yourself and nature.
This can be as simple as a walk in the park or a trip to your favorite local spot. For some, it takes a longer trip to the mountains, beaches, or other remote places where you can experience nature’s beauty for yourself.
If you’re feeling stressed out or anxious, spending time outdoors can help reduce those symptoms by reducing your levels of cortisol, a natural hormone in your body that causes stress. By taking a short break from your day and spending 20-30 minutes outside, you can see a big change in your mood and stress levels!
2. Relieves Anxiety
A new study found that spending time outdoors can reduce your stress hormone, cortisol, which is a major contributor to feelings of anxiety and depression.
This is because being outside can help your body produce more of its natural mood-boosting hormones, including serotonin and melatonin. In addition to that, sunlight is known to trigger production of vitamin D and promote the release of endorphins in the brain, which also make you feel more relaxed.
Even more, being in nature can slow the so-called “rumination cycle” of people suffering from anxiety or depression by allowing them to avoid replaying negative experiences over and over.
In fact, psychologists have a special term for the benefits of outdoor activities, called ecotherapy, which focuses on therapy sessions that take place in nature. Megan Showers, a licensed clinical social worker in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, says that she incorporates nature, the outdoors, and recreational wilderness therapies into her mental health practice to help her clients with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Another benefit of spending time in the outdoors is that it improves your sleep and helps you get enough rest. A 2015 study of over 250,000 adults found that those who spent at least 20 minutes a day outside were more likely to meet the World Health Organization’s guidelines for adequate sleep, which is crucial for your overall physical and mental well-being.
To maximize the benefits of spending time outdoors, it is important to find a safe and relaxing environment. It is recommended to spend a minimum of two hours a week at nature parks, hiking trails, or camping in the woods.
3. Boosts Mood
Whether you’re a nature lover or just enjoy a good walk in the park, spending time outdoors can improve your mental health. Many studies have shown that nature can reduce stress and anxiety, boost focus, and help you feel happier.
Spending time outdoors can also increase your level of vitamin D, which is essential for bone growth and immune system function. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased risk for depression, and getting enough sunlight can help boost your level.
The sun is a natural mood stabilizer, as it increases serotonin levels in your brain, which can decrease depression and anxiety. Additionally, it’s been shown to increase endorphins, which make you feel happy and relieve stress.
Even just 20 minutes outside can reduce your levels of cortisol, the hormone in your body that causes stress. So, if you’re feeling stressed, try taking a walk and spending some time in the sunshine.
Moreover, spending time outside can also improve your eyesight. People who are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which is the result of long periods of staring at a computer screen, may find that being outside helps alleviate blurred or double vision, red eyes, and headaches.
Overall, the benefits of spending time outdoors are significant and can be easily achieved. It doesn’t have to be a big-time commitment, and it can be as simple as finding a quiet spot among trees or green space to relax.
Having a place to go where you can disconnect from technology and connect with Mother Nature is important for all of us. It can help improve your focus and mood, and it can also make you feel more connected to others in your community.
4. Improves Focus
While a good night’s sleep and proper diet can improve your mental health, it’s also important to spend time outdoors. The outdoor environment can help you relax and recharge, allowing you to return to work refreshed and ready for action.
In fact, studies have shown that spending time outdoors can actually improve your concentration and improve your overall cognitive abilities. In one study, participants who spent 20 minutes walking in a park had an improved ability to concentrate than people who walked around a busy urban area.
This study is just one of many that proves that spending time in nature can have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing. In addition to improving focus, spending time in nature can boost your creativity and even help you heal from illness or injury.
Another benefit of spending time in nature is that it can increase your natural immunity. As you spend more time outside, your body produces phytoncides, which have been shown to boost natural killer cells and strengthen infection-fighting T cells in the immune system.
The benefits of being in nature are endless, so take advantage of them when you can. If you live in a big city, try taking a walk through the park or a hike in your local mountains.
The great Romantic-era composer Johannes Brahms was known for finding inspiration for his masterpieces while walking through a field of flowers and trees. In a recent study, backpackers who went camping for four days found they were more creative than those who didn’t go on a wilderness adventure. Getting in touch with nature can also give you an emotional boost and allow you to reconnect with the things that are most important to you.
5. Reduces Loneliness
Getting out into nature is not only good for your physical health, but it can also help you build mental resilience. Research has found that people who spend time outside are less likely to develop depression and anxiety, compared to those who spent most of their time indoors.
In addition, a recent study found that contact with nature can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness. The study used real-time data to see how much time people spent in natural places and how they felt.
The results showed that when people were able to see trees, the sky or hear birds they experienced a significant decrease in feelings of loneliness. This was even more significant when feelings of social inclusion were also present.
It’s worth noting that these findings are based on a small sample size of people. These results are not representative of the wider population, but they do show that spending time outdoors can reduce feelings of loneliness.
This is because feeling connected to nature helps reduce loneliness by reminding you that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. This can be especially helpful when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Moreover, it can also improve your cognition. One study found that people who spent more time in nature performed better on a test for attention and memory.
While the benefits of spending time outdoors are well-known, not everyone has access to natural spaces in their area. This is particularly true for people who live in areas with high levels of poverty and those who have low incomes. To learn more about instant lawn in Melbourne please visit Lilydale Instant lawn.