Are you feeling a little blue?
Try going outside.
Researchers worldwide have proven what we all know to be true, spending time in nature is one of the best ways to boost our mental well-being.
Recent studies show nature can reduce symptoms of depression and lower anger, fatigue and stress levels while increasing our happiness.
Immersing ourselves in natural spaces can restore our attention, improve memory, release body tension and help us recover from fatigue.
In fact, researchers have discovered that spending as little as five minutes a day in nature can help our mental wellness.
The study called What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis showed that green spaces, particularly, improve our self-esteem and mood.
Allocating nature time into our busy weekly schedules has also been linked to improving our immune systems and lowering blood pressure.
Ensuring your make time for more nature-based activities is a perfect green prescription you can give yourself as a gift to boost your mood.
And just because we are talking about enjoying our great outdoors doesn’t mean we have to partake in rigorous physical activity.
Just relaxing by green vegetation and blue waters can make us feel better.
Take a moment to recall a memory: you are laying under an enormous tree canopy and watching the birds fluttering from branch to branch; you are running your fingers through warm sand and watching the clouds dance in a blue sky; you are exploring a pretty garden and taking the time to appreciate and smell the flowers.
How did it make you feel?
Isn’t it wonderful that we can tap into nature’s mental wellness benefits just by being outside!
A 2019 American study Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective, printed in Science Advances journal, found spending time in nature improves our happiness and decreases mental distress and stress.
Another 2019 study Understanding Nature and its cognitive benefits, printed in Sage Journals, found that nature helps our brains function better and improves attention and memory.
And even though we know that five minutes a day can improve our mood, UK researchers encourage us to allocate up to five hours a week.
Their report in the Scientific Reports journal called Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being also found if people spent up to 5 hours in nature a week, they recorded the highest well-being scores.
Another benefit of spending time outside is that you’ll get more exposure to the sun, which helps produce mood-stabilising chemicals like serotonin and boosts your vitamin D levels.
Our Life Synergy team love spending time in nature. Here are some of our favourite ways to boost our mental wellness.
- Bike riding.
- Exploring rock pools.
- Growing food.
- Mountain hiking.
- Ocean swim.
- River swim.
- Sunset watching.