As many of us have learned during the past year, being cooped up in our homes is not the best thing for our mental health. The increased stress of living through a pandemic and the inability to get out into nature resulted in millions of people feeling depressed and anxious.
Your surroundings have been proven to have a large effect on your mood and mental health. People who work in offices with no windows are more likely to feel depressed than those with access to natural light sources. Just the presence of a view from a window can have a lifting effect on your mood. Imagine the mood-boosting power that getting outdoors and enjoying nature can do for your low-grade depression.
Many studies have uncovered that spending just 30 minutes a day outdoors can help to relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and lift depression. Along with a healthy diet and supplemental vitamins from Felix Health, getting outside can help you to feel invigorated and improve your mood. Let's take a closer look at a few ways that getting outdoors can help improve your mental health.
A study conducted in 2015 revealed that just viewing photographs of nature scenes had a positive effect on human brain activity. It is believed that humans possess a response derived through evolution to feel at ease when surrounded by nature. Spending more time out in nature can have uplifting physiological effects on the body. Outdoor activity can help to reduce blood pressure and reduce the production of cortisol in the body which is associated with high levels of stress. Being surrounded by a natural environment can help to refresh the brain leading to clearer thinking, more creativity, and more solid decision-making skills.
Being exposed to natural light can help to regulate your body's sleep cycle through its biological clock. Before electric lights became a standard part of life, people would naturally wake up to the sunrise and start to feel sleepy after dusk. With our lives now filled with artificial light at all hours, it is more difficult to regulate our sleep patterns.
If you are not getting enough sleep, it can profoundly negatively impact your mental health. Fatigue can lead to mood changes, a lack of concentration, and depression. Spending time out in nature and getting exposed to natural light patterns can help you regulate your sleep patterns and get the rest you need.
When you spend time outdoors, you are more likely to become involved in some type of physical activity. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can increase your circulation, boost your endorphins, and improve your mood. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood or hit the trails for a hike through the forest, outdoor physical activity has many great health benefits, including helping to maintain your mental health.
One of the most powerful tools to help you improve your mental health is right outside your door. Connecting with nature by getting outside can help you to reduce your stress, get better quality sleep and help you stay active.
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