Many of you may not see the perfect day out as a trip through the forest, for some it may even make Cabin in the Woods come to mind (or just about every other horror film). You may be very interested to know however, that you don’t have to be a mother (nature) lover to reap her benefits!
Ok, so you probably already know about the benefits of food and clothes and air and paper etc. but it is becoming increasingly apparent that nature has many mental health benefits too. There has been an increasing amount of interest regarding mental health problems, and with 1 in 4 of us being affected by it on a yearly basis we have every reason to.
Evidence which supports the notion of the effect of nature on maintaining and developing a sense of mental wellness is on the rise. Some studies have found a relationship between urban living and increased reports of psychotic symptoms (http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/4/293.short check this out for a summary, you can also check out the full article if interested). Others have found that green exercise, which is essentially getting your workout done in the great green outdoors, has been beneficial in leading to both short and long term positive mental health outcomes in those with or without existing mental health difficulties (http://www.travelwest.info/sites/default/files/documents/Essential%20Evidence%20No%20122%20What%20is%20the%20best%20dose%20of%20nature%20and%20green%20exercise%20for%20improving%20mental%20health.pdf )
The more concrete landscapes are being built, the more vital it is for us to try and tune in with nature. Here are just a few ideas on some activities you can try outdoors:
- Tree climbing (just because…nostalgia!)
- Bike ride through the park
- A Walk in the park (it’s not just a saying)
- Yoga (maybe when it’s a bit warmer)
- Jogging through the park (the scenery is such good motivation! But know your limits)
- Gardening (cheap and good stress buster)
- Outdoor gyms (are on the rise and no subscription needed)
- Meditation (having the wind and the trees surrounding you can aid in sharpening your breathing technique)
- Spending time near a waterside (river or beach)
- Lay on the grass reading a book or listening to music
Danielle & SGO