How Spending Time Outdoors Benefits Your Mental Health

WellnessHow Spending Time Outdoors Benefits Your Mental Health

How Spending Time Outdoors Benefits Your Mental Health

green forest

Our busy lives mean we spend a lot of time indoors. We might be sitting at a desk, relaxing at home, in shops, hockey rinks, schools, gyms, libraries, or wherever our hectic schedules take us. Often, this means that we don’t make time for nature.

Aside from offering year-round beauty, the great outdoors can offer many surprising benefits, especially when it comes to your mental health and managing depression, anxiety, and stress.

You don’t need to go deep into the wilderness to enjoy the benefits! Even in cities, we have access to green spaces, parks, ravines, wooded areas, and trails. This means that no matter where we are, spending time with nature is as easy as it is beneficial.

You’re Surrounded by Soothing Sounds

If you happen to already enjoy the sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing through the trees, babbling brooks, and the natural soundtrack that occurs outdoors, then you’re in luck! It turns out that all those sounds and noises can be very relaxing to our ears. They can even lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol.[1]

Nature Reduces Negative Thoughts

According to a 2015 study,[2] this is exactly what happened, even if researchers aren’t completely sure why.

The study looked at brain activity after people spent ninety minutes either in nature or in a city setting. Those who spent the time in nature had lower activity in the area of the brain where negative thoughts and emotions occur.

Exercise Can Elevate Endorphins

Running, biking, hiking, you name it – however you prefer exercising outdoors, it turns out that the benefits aren’t just physical. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that can improve your mood and decrease pain. It’s no surprise that physicians are recommending that patients with mood disorders regularly exercise!

No matter how you decide to spend time outdoors in nature, the benefits to your mental health are hard to ignore. From lowering stress to boosting your endorphins, there are plenty of reasons to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and concentrate on feeling better.

How do you make time to get outside?



[2] Ibid

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