Mental Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Photo Credit: Mathilde Langevin
Do you ever notice that after spending time outside in a park, by the beach, or somewhere outside that you feel a sense of calm or inner peace afterwards? Nature can have many benefits to our mental health and well-being. Prior to the pandemic in 2020, I must admit that I didn't care too much for spending time in outdoors. I would occasionally go on hikes or check out a national park, but I didn't have the gratitude and appreciation for nature that I do now. Exposure to nature gives us so many benefits, and I always encourage my clients to spend time outdoors whenever they have the opportunity. Here are the mental health and wellness benefits of spending time in nature:
Improves your overall mood
Reduce feelings of stress & anger
Increased feelings of happiness
Increased feelings of connection to one another and to Mother Earth
Reduces feelings of loneliness
Encourages you to be more physically active
Increases feelings of relaxation
I've also noticed that nature encourages us to practice mindfulness. By paying attention to the colors around us, tuning into the sounds, feeling the breeze on our skin, and stopping to admire the flowers on our walk, we are able to become more present. Being present can be difficult to do in our everyday lives and it can certainly feel like life moves too fast. Spending time in nature allows for us to slow down. In an ever changing world, we need more moments of calm, peace, and serenity. Nature is good medicine for soothing our nervous system.
Spending time outdoors also encourages us to take better care of our planet, which is something that everyone must take part in. We only have one planet that we call our home and it is imperative that we take good care of her. So whether you are able to head to a national park, walk with your lover on the beach, or take your dog on a walk through the woods, I encourage everyone to spend more time outdoors and admire the beauty that Mother Earth has gifted us.
Here is a link to an article that discusses more in depth about nature's benefits for your mental health: