A government survey in the US shows that depression amongst teenagers is increasing year on year. Experts suspect there is a correlation with studies that show how technology is damaging the mental health of young people.
Smartphones, TV and game consoles permeate are the world, but teenagers arguably suffer the most from technology because they have grown up with it since they were born. They don’t know anything else.
Screens of all sizes are perfectly standard fayre for young adults. Social media is a habit most of them are accustomed to. But social media prompts children to compare themselves with others which can dent their self-esteem.
What’s more, the blue light is causing a lack of sleep which has an impact on their ability to concentrate and focus. If your child’s schoolwork is suffering because they spend too much time in front of a screen, you need to drag them into nature.
Walking in nature has been found to stimulate the brain. Although scientists are not exactly sure why humans have such an innate connection with nature, a growing body of research unequivocally indicates nature walks have benefits for our physical, mental and emotional states.
Nature Walks Sedate Angry Teens
There are, of course, factors other than technology that is causing depression. The stress of being a teenager is hard enough but the challenges we’ve faced over the last two years exacerbated the depressing situations teenagers are seeing around the world.
Stress typically leads to anger issues in teenagers. You probably remember your own teenage rebellion. Experts suspect that extreme anger issues are also fuelled by a sense of social and emotional disconnection that most teenagers experience – because they’re all browsing their phones even when they’re together.
Walking in nature resolves this issue. It’s an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children. You could even ask your teenager to invite a friend or two along for the ride. No phones allowed.
Emotional bonding at an age helps to nurture a sense of self-esteem and wellbeing. It is particularly critical during your teen years to learn how to develop a relationship, process your emotions and try to understand why you are feeling a certain way.
In order to process emotions, you need to have clarity of mind. Taking walks in nature can help to clear the mind and reinvigorate feelings. This transformation can prompt individuals to take a moment to reflect and see things from a different perspective.
Teaching children about the benefits of nature whilst they are young can help build healthy habits they will carry into adulthood. The same can be said for understanding their own nature.
If your child needs motivation or inspiration, why not make your nature walks more engaging. For example, scavenger hunts bring a purpose to the walk, and you can use nature apps as a tool for educating children about nature.
Lifestyles cause depression and anxiety. So encourage your teenager to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Walking in nature is a great way to start – and should have a low barrier to get you started.