Nature and Outdoors are Good for Mental Health

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Nature and Outdoors are Good for Mental Health

Taking a stroll can clear your head and boost your immune system / Photo by Getty Images


We are aware of the various benefits of exercises, such as stress reduction and release of happy hormones like dopamine. However, many of us have overlooked the benefits of simply spending time with nature. Fresh air and outdoor activities are suitable for your body. This can give you good mental health, according to the National Institutes of Health and Harvard Medical School. Spending time outdoors in any form can do good to your mental outlook and refresh you.


How outdoors can improve mental health

Have you realized that you feel better and more relaxed after you have spent time in nature? 

Taking a stroll can clear your head and boost your immune system. If you can go outdoors regularly, then you can improve your mood. Even having 15 minutes of natural sunlight can provide your body with vitamin D and this can improve your mood. Sunlight can also reduce depression and anxiety. It can also help you sleep better at night. 

Based on a study from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, natural sunlight can help set the body clock. When we are well-rested, we have better moods and mental state. 

Those who are living in urban areas encounter sensory overload daily, and this can be called cognitive fatigue. Stepping into a park or finding a green space can give the brain a break from all the stimuli. Based on an article in Frontiers in Psychology, those who moved to locations with greener areas have a significant improvement in their mental health. Even seeing trees and nature can help lower stress levels compared to those who have skyscraper views. 


Physical benefits of outdoor activities

A lot of health benefits can be derived when you often spend time outdoors or with nature. You will have lower blood pressure, weight loss, and lower risks for different kinds of illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and others. When you allow time for exercises, such as hiking and brisk walking, you will have a lower chance of having chronic diseases. 


Social advantages of outdoor activities

There are a lot of outdoor activities that can provide opportunities to socialize. When you are involved in a recreation activity, you can meet new friends who share the same interests that you have. 


Mental benefits of outdoor activities

Taking part in outdoor recreation give you many psychological benefits. It can improve creativity and increase self-esteem. The outdoors can make you feel rejuvenated and calm. Participation in outdoor activities can decrease depression, anxiety, and stress. If you like to spend time in the park, you can increase your mood and reduce the stress hormones. Joining or choosing a sport can improve your health as a whole. 

Nature can help improve concentration and can also help children with attention deficit disorders, as well as older adults fighting dementia or Alzheimer's. Without the daily stress caused by man himself, the human mind can be more creative because there is less stress. This is why sometimes, you get eureka moment when you are out in nature. 

Nature and outdoors have brain benefits. Spending time outside can restore and increase your energy and focus. Do you sometimes feel stuck on an idea? Going out and taking in some fresh air may open up your creativity. 

If you are grieving, nature can help you cope better and improve your self-awareness. 


Get your daily dose of nature

You do not have to go on extended travels or do extreme sports to get your daily dose of nature experience. A simple walk around the park or a bike ride in any green space can improve your mood and lower stress and anxiety. Sitting outside where there is adequate sunshine can make you feel good too. As much as possible, spend some time in a park instead of along city streets. 

Outdoor sports can be useful for your mental health, but a simple walk through a forest can also be beneficial. Here are some simple activities that you can follow to get quality time with nature. 

Stroll in the woods
Walking in nature can fight stress and keep you sane. Aside from burning calories while walking, you can relax as well. This can clear your mind and make you feel good. 

A lot of health benefits can be derived when you often spend time outdoors or with nature / Photo by Getty Images


Do workout outdoors
Regular use of the park for your exercise and other physical activities can lower the risk for mental health by 50%. Walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga, while you are in nature, can make you feel happier. 

Take in your surroundings
Engage your senses to experience the benefits of being in nature fully. Take a deep breath and enjoy the smell of the grass and plants. This can help lower stress and anxiety. Listening to birds and other sounds of nature can make you feel more relaxed. 

Go camping 
Being in nature for an extended period of time can refresh you so that you become better prepared for the daily grind. 



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