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Mental health and nature: the benefits of being outdoors

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

How many hours do you spend looking at life through a window or a screen? According to studies, spending just 5 minutes in nature can improve people's mental health.

Human beings have the need to be in contact with nature constantly, even if we are not aware of it, and we have been raised in it since the beginning of civilization. That is why the researchers conclude that spending time outdoors represents a benefit for the human brain, since today it is stressed by the pressures of modern society.

What do the experts say?

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, from a walk in a city park to a day of hiking in nature, exposure to nature has been linked to a number of benefits, including better focus, lower stress, improved mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders, and even increases in empathy and cooperation.

Most studies have focused on large green spaces, such as parks and forests, but experts say that spending time in blue spaces - places with rivers or the sea - has the same effect on humans.

According to Lisa Nisbet, a professor at Trent University in Canada, something as simple as walking in nature can be a mood lift, as the connection you have with the natural world contributes to happiness, even if you're not physically immersed in it.

What activities to do in nature?

We have no excuse, even in big cities there are green areas. That is why the simple act of going for a walk in a park for five minutes is beneficial for our mental health. To be in contact with nature you just have to leave home.

Other activities that can be carried out, without spending money, are activities such as taking your pet for a walk, planting flowers in your garden, cultivating a small orchard or enjoying a day in the countryside.

These simple activities help maintain physical functions, stimulate us cognitively, reduce the onset of sedentary-related diseases, reduce stress and help improve quality of life.

It is in our hands to promote contact with nature, since the more it is appreciated, the more it will be cared for, and the longer our planet Earth will last, since right now it is in limit hours.

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