The Link Between Nature & Mental Health
There’s no denying that spring has most definitely sprung now. Everywhere you look, there’s lush greenery, beautiful flowers, bumblebees, butterflies, sunshine… this truly is a wonderful time of year and, no doubt, many of you out there are experiencing something of an uptick in your mood, in line with the longer days and shorter nights.
What’s particularly great about the change in the weather is that it gives us even more opportunities to get out and about in nature which, in turn, is amazing for our mental health and wellbeing.
Of course, it’s fun and enjoyable to explore your local countryside, but you might not have considered how it could impact your mental health, helping you to feel emotionally well and resilient, better able to take care of yourself effectively and engage deeply with what you care about and what matters to you most.
It can be very difficult indeed to manage our daily lives when our mental health is suffering and it’s very easy in this situation to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope… but getting out into nature can actually help you deal with feelings of this kind, so if you are experiencing mental health difficulties at the moment, some fresh air could be just the tonic you need.
There are all sorts of ways in which spending time in nature can deliver positive impacts for mental health and wellbeing, such as a boost to self-esteem and confidence, a feeling of inner peace, improved concentration, a more restful mind… the list goes on and on!
There’s a growing body of research linking access to nature and green spaces like gardens, parks, forest and fields, and improved mental health, greater life satisfaction and a drop in the risk of mental health difficulties.
What’s particularly interesting about this is that it seems you’re able to reap the benefits even if you don’t have easy access to wide expanses of beautiful countryside… even if you live in a city and are surrounded by buildings, you can give yourself a mental health boost by visiting your local park or popping down to a community garden.
Being in nature also represents an excellent opportunity to build strong and supportive relationships with others, which can also really help drive mental health benefits.
Green spaces can easily be used for picnics, group walks, playing sport of some kind - and the added benefit is that activities like this don’t cost anything (or very little), so you can have fun, support your mental health and protect your bank balance all at the same time!
And, as a final point, you might want to consider tuning into the sounds of nature and wildlife while you’re out enjoying the lovely fresh air this spring and summertime. Research has also found that listening to birdsong can have a hugely positive impact on your emotional health and wellbeing… so give it a go and see how good you could feel!
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