As mental health Nature continues to worsen, nature is shown to play a significant role in promoting general well-being. It’s no coincidence that more and more countries are handing out green prescriptions to patients fighting depression.
Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress levels which is a significant contributor to mental health problems. The more stress you’re under the more your mental health can tailspin.
Stress can manifest in various ways such as irritability or aggression, a feeling of loss of control, insomnia, fatigue or exhaustion, sadness or tears, concentration or memory problems, or more
Spending time in natural settings can lower cortisol, a stress hormone, leading to a more relaxed and calm state.
Walking in nature encourages mindfulness, the practice of being fully present in the moment. The sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural environment provide an opportunity to be in the present, reducing rumination and worry associated with depression.
How does nature reduce stress?
Researchers are not sure why nature is such a good healer. However, numerous studies show that nature exposure has been linked to improvements in mood and reductions in symptoms of depression.
One school of thought is that the tranquillity and beauty of natural landscapes have a positive impact on emotional well-being. Being in nature can foster a sense of connection with the environment and the world at large.
This connection has been associated with increased feelings of meaning and purpose, which can be beneficial for individuals dealing with depression.
Finding purpose and meaning in your life helps to put things in perspective and pull you out of a mind slump that makes you feel lost and hopeless
This is largely due to enhanced cognitive function which increases attention and focus. This can be particularly relevant for individuals experiencing cognitive difficulties associated with depression.
Get Into Nature
Spending time outdoors often involves physical activities, such as walking, hiking, or gardening. Regular physical activity has well-established benefits for mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression.
Nature offers a positive and pleasant distraction from the challenges and stressors of daily life. Engaging with the natural world can provide a mental break and shift focus away from negative thoughts.
The physical excess of exercise also causes you to breathe more deeply. Getting more oxygen into the bloodstream and brain gives your mental health a boost.
Activities in nature can be enjoyed socially, whether through group hikes, nature clubs, or simply spending time outdoors with friends and family. Social interaction is beneficial for mental health, and nature provides a conducive setting for positive social experiences.
Exposure to nature has been found to restore mental fatigue and improve attention and cognitive performance. This restoration effect can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing mental exhaustion associated with depression.
Nature walks can also be good fun. Why not play games that challenge and inform you about the environment? Learning about your natural surroundings is a great way to exercise your brain. This article by Sweatcoin is packed with some great ideas about how to make nature walks more interesting.