How The Outdoors Can Support Your Mental Health
While curling up indoors with a good book is something that provides us with great comfort, taking a few moments out of your day to embrace the great outdoors will do wonders for your mental health.
Nature provides numerous benefits to your wellbeing by surrounding you with natural elements such as greenery and sunlight to restore, revitalize and rejuvenate your mind and body.
The best part is, you do not need to spend hours outside before the benefits kick in!
Let’s explore why spending time in nature is essential for your mental health.
Immersing yourself in nature has been proven to lower cortisol levels, which is the natural chemical found in your body that causes stress. You do not need to be outdoors for longer than 20-30 minutes before you begin to experience the impact that it has on your well-being.
Whether you choose to partake in a short walk around the block or engage in gardening, you will soon experience the calming effects that the great outdoors has to offer.
Direct sunlight and fresh air both have numerous health benefits for your mind and body. Natural sunlight stimulates the release of serotonin, which is the body’s natural feel-good chemical that is responsible for stabilizing one’s mood.
Studies have shown that the human brain possesses higher levels of serotonin on bright and sunny days, regardless of whether it is warm or cold outside.
Your body's internal clock typically follows the sun, making you feel awake during the day and sleepy at night. This is known as your circadian rhythm, where your body follows the natural pattern of waking when the sun rises and going to sleep when it sets.
By exposing your body to natural sunlight throughout the day, your quality of sleep will drastically improve from falling asleep faster, remaining asleep throughout the night, and waking up feeling rested and refreshed.
Improved Emotional Well-Being
Spending time in nature allows your mind to unwind from the world’s stressors, and recharge in a healthy and revitalizing way.
Simply immersing yourself in nature allows your mind to relax, and promotes emotions you want to feel more of, like happiness, peace, and optimism.
Nature is often referred to as a restorative environment, which works to support your physical and emotional well-being. The natural elements of greenery, sunlight, wind and water all work together to provide you with a positive impact on your emotions.
Now that we have established the wondrous impacts that the great outdoors has on your mental health, here are a few activities to get you started on the path of immersing yourself in everything nature has to offer:
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