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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

3 Simple Ways To Spend More Time Outdoors

We often hear these days about the importance of spending time outdoors in nature. Fresh air and green spaces can help us relieve the stresses and strains of everyday life, as well as being good for our physical self.

It’s important to take into consideration the quality of the air where you choose to spend your time however. A recent study reported in The Guardian shed some light on the link between air quality and mental health.

The team of researchers from the universities of Oxford and Beijing and Imperial College London studied the records of 500,000 adults in the UK over a period of 11 years, and they found a link between poor air quality and instances of depression and anxiety. This was true even when the air pollution was within legal limits.

The team concluded that long term exposure to even fairly low levels of air pollution can lead to worse mental health outcomes over a number of years. This is worrying news for people who live in busy urban areas, and don’t have open countryside to spend time in on their doorstep.

However, we can take some simple steps to prioritise some quality outdoor time in our lives. Here are a few tips.

Research your nearest country parks

The UK is brimming with country parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, areas of special scientific interest, and National Parks. Even people who live in major cities will find they are only a short bus or train ride away from many of these places.

Websites such as the National Trust, the Wildlife Trust, and English Heritage are full of useful information about places to visit, how to get there, and activities to do when you are in the area.

Find an outdoor activity that you love

If you spend a lot of time at the gym, why not consider swapping some of that time for an outdoor activity instead? This will build some outdoor time into your usual routine without you having to find any spare time in your schedule. Maybe find a local park to run through instead of the usual treadmill session for example.

There are plenty of other options, from off-road mountain biking, joining a walking group, taking up windsurfing or paddleboarding, learning to horse ride, or open water swimming to name but a few.

Focus on quality not quantity

If you don’t live near any open green spaces with good air quality and don’t have a lot of time to spend in nature, it is still possible to have a meaningful experience that refreshes your mind and body.

By focusing on the present moment and really taking your time to notice your surroundings, you can still benefit from the healing powers of nature in even ten or twenty minutes. Simply allow yourself to slow down, breathe deeply, and concentrate on the sounds and sensations around you, such as the birdsong, the rush of water, or the wind in the trees.

If you are looking for Harley Street hypnotherapy, please get in touch with us today.

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