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How Nature Can Improve Your Mental Health

By: Loveli Brown


Nature has a profound effect on people's mental health and well-being. Research from 2020 suggests spending time in nature can help you feel more relaxed and focused, especially when you take the time to notice your surroundings. To get these benefits, you might consider doing slow-paced, contemplative activities like hiking in the woods or kayaking on a lake.


Research has also shown that there was overwhelming evidence that cortisol levels decreased when participants were exposed to a natural environment. In numerous studies, salivary cortisol levels decreased after mild to moderate exercise in a natural environment compared with an urban environment.


The forest therapy hailed the following results: (1) it decreased the levels of salivary cortisol, a typical stress hormone; (2) it decreased the pulse rate; (3) it decreased the systolic and diastolic blood pressures; (4) it increased HF; and (5) it decreased the LF/HF ratio. These findings show that viewing or walking around a forest environment for a 15 min session of forest therapy induces a state of physiological relaxation. The results were almost identical to those of an experiment conducted on 420 participants in 35 locations.


Here are 10 ways that nature can help you improve your mental health:


  1. Reduces stress and anxiety: Being in nature has a calming effect on the mind and body. It helps to reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body.

  2. Boosts mood: Nature has been shown to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Exposure to natural environments can help to reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall mood.

  3. Improves cognitive function: Spending time in nature can improve cognitive function, including memory and attention span.

  4. Increases creativity: Nature has been shown to enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities. Being in a natural environment can help to stimulate the imagination and inspire new ideas.

  5. Enhances self-esteem: Being in nature can help to boost self-esteem and confidence. It provides a sense of accomplishment and can help to build a positive self-image.

  6. Improves sleep: Exposure to natural light and fresh air can help to regulate the body's circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality.

  7. Increases physical activity: Spending time in nature often involves physical activity, such as hiking or gardening, which can help to improve overall health and well-being.

  8. Provides a sense of purpose: Connecting with nature can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It helps to foster a connection with the natural world and a sense of responsibility to protect it.

  9. Offers a sense of peace: Nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, providing a sense of peace and tranquility.

  10. Promotes social connection: Spending time in nature can help to strengthen social connections and build relationships. It provides an opportunity to connect with others who share a love of the outdoors and can help to foster a sense of community.


Interesting Facts:


• Children living in neighborhoods with more green space had a reduced risk of developing depression, mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and substance use disorder.


• Even being in the presence of indoor plants is worthwhile – studies have found this to improve focus, memory, and stress tolerance.


• Children living in neighborhoods with more green space had a reduced risk of developing depression, mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and substance use disorder.


• Even being in the presence of indoor plants is worthwhile – studies have found this to improve focus, memory, and stress tolerance.


• Accessible nature in a neighborhood, such as parks, lakes, or gardens, are associated with an increased sense of community belonging.


• People who reported not feeling connected to nature also didn’t feel connected to themselves, to others, or to spirituality/purpose.


Urban Green Spaces


What are urban green spaces?


Urban green space is open-space areas reserved for parks and other "green spaces", including plant life, water features - also referred to as blue spaces - and other kinds of natural environment. Most urban open spaces are green spaces, but occasionally include other kinds of open areas. The landscape of urban open spaces can range from playing fields to highly maintained environments to relatively natural landscapes.


It is important to recognize that not all users see green spaces in the same way. Studies have shown that there is an implied “correct” way to use green space, specifically for an appreciation of nature, quiet contemplation, and gentle recreation. Users who perceive the green spaces as a “playground”, who value the entertainment opportunities, cafes, organized events, and facilities can be seen as in conflict with these ideas. An appreciation of the variety of ways in which people use green spaces is therefore vital for effective planning.


Urban areas have greatly expanded, resulting in over half of the world's population being located in urban locations. As the population continues to grow, this number is predicted to be at two-thirds of people living in urban areas by 2050.


Read the below article about green spaces in urban areas.




Check out the local organizations:



So, enjoy nature! Enjoy every tree, plant, ocean, lake, harbor, rain shower, etc.


We have one world so try to enjoy it.


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