It’s no secret that time spent in nature can improve mental health. Many studies suggest it can have a therapeutic and restorative effect on the mind. Exposure to natural settings tends to increase feelings of well-being. Studies also reveal that merely watching nature videos can increase favorable emotions. Spending time in marine environments can help reduce stress, as well.
Unfortunately, nature settings are less and less accessible to those who live in large cities, which should be concerning with respect to overall health and well-being. Nature has multiple benefits for human mental health and well-being. A higher prevalence of mood disorders and anxiety and an increasing incidence of schizophrenia come from nature deprivation. A therapist understands this, and shares below seven ways in which nature helps mental health and wellness.
- Being in nature “clears the head.”
Indeed, a natural environment improves creativity and problem-solving abilities. Taking time out to experience nature can refresh the mind, resulting in a surge of subsequent creativity or the sudden appearance of a workable solution. Working memory improves, and anxiety and worry decrease when an individual is exposed to natural green space. Depressive disorders may improve after nature interaction, as well.
- Green exercise can reduce anxiety levels.
Of course, exercise is nearly universally recommended to improve overall health and wellness. However, the benefits of green exercise have recently been shown to mitigate anxiety levels. Green spaces may help to reduce stress for children and the elderly.
- Gardening helps with stress reduction.
Gardening is beneficial for alleviating acute stress. Studies reveal improved mood following gardening.
- Nature walks aid stress and cardiovascular health.
According to researchers, nature exerts benefits on cardiovascular function. Walks in nature reduce blood pressure and the stress-related hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.
- Green exercise improves mood and self-esteem.
Engaging in exercise and other activities in nature activities showed substantial improvements in mood and self-esteem and mood levels among people who regularly experience mental health issues.
- Nature exposure can improve the quality of life for aging adults.
As adults grow older, they may experience a diminished quality of life due to mental health concerns and medical issues. Researchers found that nature has a nuanced and influential effect on the lives of aging adults. Daily contact with nature can lead to a higher quality of life for this population.
- Natural environments can promote women’s emotional health and well-being.
A sedentary lifestyle with little natural exposure has been linked with poor mental health among women. However, merely getting up from the desk and taking a quick walk can enhance overall emotional health and well-being. Public access to natural environments may help women reduce stress and anxiety and promote clarity, emotional perspective, and reassurance.
Since nature is so beneficial to mental health, therapy sessions held outdoors in natural environments may be more helpful than those held inside. Talking therapy is a well-established and effective form of clinical psychology support for a wide range of mental health challenges. Still, a four-walled, windowless therapy room may not be the ideal place for it. Whatever way you choose to take advantage of the mental health benefits associated with psychotherapy and nature, a therapist, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center, wants to help. Contact an office today to schedule a visit.