Feeling Down? Get Outside! No really... Go!
Spending time in nature in your everyday life can benefit your mental and physical health in many unexpected ways. Whether you’re growing your own food, exercising outdoors, or taking the dog for a walk, enjoying time outside can do wonders for your health.
Here are just a few of the many benefits from spending outside!
- Improved mood
- Reduced feelings of stress or anger
- Improved relaxation
- Improved physical health
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Increased connection with Earth’s natural frequency
Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. In fact, the scientific industry has done research into a type of therapy called ecotherapy. This has been described as a type of treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature. Amazingly, ecotherapy has been found to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression.
Being outside in natural light can also be helpful if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons or times of year. Getting out into nature and spending valuable time away from electronics and screens often proves to have an overall positive effect on mental health.
Although it isn’t entirely clear why being outside has such a positive effect, it’s efficiency is outstanding. In an incredibly interesting 2015 study, “researchers compared the brain activity of healthy people after they walked for 90 minutes in either a natural setting or an urban one. They found that those who did a nature walk had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that is active during rumination — defined as repetitive thoughts that focus on negative emotions.”
WOW! The power of nature is amazing!
Take a look outside and you may not be too surprised to learn that interacting with nature may offer therapeutic benefits. In fact, simply existing and being present in nature can provide a calming effect. For example, “calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body's fight-or-flight response.”
Focusing on the beauty around you can reduce the amount of negative thoughts, replacing them with peaceful or positive thoughts.
Sometimes, starting and actually DOING is the hardest part! To help make it even easier for you, here are some ideas for fun ways to get outside and enjoy the world around you.
Ideas on How to Get Outside:
- Go on a walk
- Meditate or practice yoga in an outdoor setting
- Explore a nearby State, National, or Public Park
- Play Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, or go for a run
- Paint, draw, or play an instrument in a park/outdoor space
- Walk your dog or a friend’s dog
- Plan a weekend to go camping and get off the grid
- Start a garden or planter box
- Go for a swim in a lake or the ocean
- Live in a cold climate? Try bundling up for some cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or just a nice winter walk.
Next time you are feeling down, experiencing anxiety or depression, or just feeling off, try your own version of ecotherapy!
Have you experienced the powerful, calming influence of mother nature? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share your favorite way to experience the great outdoors