Psychological Benefits Of Being In Nature


When you hear the word nature you think about greenery, forests, flowers, green mountains, parks, gardens, and grass. These things do not just create our environment but very essential for the well-being and existence of humankind. Nature is very important for both our physical and mental health. In Canada, doctors made a headline by prescribing nature to patients in the year 2020. We all know how greenery and plants are very important for our environment. They are also essential for our inner body environment and our mental health. There is much research evidence is present those claim that connection with nature makes you physically and mentally healthy. Even people who are related to nature and have a close connection to nature have dietary diversity and good vegetable and fruit intake. 

Even spending two hours per week in green space improves a person’s physical as well as mental well-being. Staying in green space helps a lot of people having mental disorders such as anxiety, stress, and especially depression. Different research on Eco-therapy claims that being in the natural environment and spending time with greenery can help a person with depression with mild to moderate symptoms. Frequent interaction and exposure to nature or greenery also help to improve concentration and faster thinking skills.

Benefits of Nature

Nature helps to improve our physical as well as mental health in many ways. Nature impacts us so much because what we see, hear, or experience at a moment not only affects our mood but also made changes in the working of our immune system, nervous system as well as endocrine system. It soothes, heals, or restore our inner and outer body. There are different benefits of nature mentioned below:

  • Improve our mood state
  • Reduce fear, anger, and stress
  • Enhance our cognition including increasing concentration level and boosting our ability to pay attention etc.
  • Calming effect on the brain and body and generate a sense of peace
  • Help in regulating heartbeat, blood pressure and release muscle tension
  • It works as an anti-depressant
  • Nature also boosts your self-esteem and confidence level
  • It helps our tired brain to be happy and relaxed
  • It also helps to reduce stress hormones and help to produce happy hormones
  • Nature helps us to be more active and also reduces loneliness

How Does Nature Benefit Your Mental Health?

Nature has a soothing and healing effect. It not only improves our emotions but also improves our physical well-being. According to public health researchers, nature also helps to reduce mortality. Green space works as a natural healer because it helps in reducing pain. The reason behind this is that we humans are genetically programmed as they always find green plants, flowers, trees, flowing water, and other natural elements engrossing. When we are surrounded by natural scenery and absorbed by greenery our brain is distracted to feel any discomfort and pain. Research claims that in hospitals people who have a view of trees from their windows can better tolerate the pain of surgery and spend less time in the hospital than people who don’t have a view of trees.

Nature helps us to restore our mental state and mood. A study on Mind claims that 95% of their participants report that spending time in green space helps them to improve their mood from depression, anxiety, and stress to happiness and calm. Spending time with greenery also helps us to focus, and improves our ability to pay attention, meaningfulness, and vitality. This is because we find nature inherently interesting. Time spent in nature also distracts our overthinking mind and refreshes us for new tasks.

Nature as Anti-depressant

Nature is very helpful for depression. Recent research conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health claims that nature helps to reduce depression symptoms in middle age women. Depression leads to so many other mental disorders so spending time in green space also protect us from those disorders such as dementia. This is because green space increases our physical activities and social connection that affect positively on our mental health. Green space also gives us relief from stress caused by air and noise pollution. 

Spending time with greenery helps people to cope with seasonal affective disorder. It is a type of depression in which people develop depressive symptoms during a particular time or season of the year. The reason behind this is that when we spend time in green space we develop mindfulness and gratitude. Due to the peace and quietness of nature people can clear their minds from stress, anxiety, tension, and unnecessary worries. 

Nature Connects

We are living in the age of technology and we spend all our time in front of digital screens and we are disconnecting from our surroundings. This makes us subconsciously alone. When we spend time in green space, it helps us to connect with our surroundings, the larger world, and with other people. Research conducted by the University of Illinois also provides us evidence that people living in areas surrounded by trees and plants are more social, more supported, have a sense of helping others, are concerned, and have strong feelings of belongingness.

Close interaction with nature also helps to reduce the level of aggression and violence between partners and also helps to cope better with life demands such as living in poverty. Studies conducted on brain activities using fMRI explain the connection between nature and being more social. When a person looks at plants and trees the brain regions connected to love and empathy are lit up. In contrast to that, when people look at urban areas brain regions control anxiety and fear activate.

Nature and Happiness

Science has proven that our senses have a great impact on our mood. What we see, smell, hear and taste affects our mood and emotions. Similarly, when you are surrounded by an unpleasant environment it affects your body and brain negatively. Whereas when you are surrounded by a pleasant environment you get positive emotions and happiness. Green space has a pleasant effect on humans. 

Why Does Being Outside Make You Happy? 

The science behind Nature Makes You Happy is that the environment around you controls your body’s hormones. When you are surrounded by green space it balances your body’s hormones. Different hormones in our body have different functions so when you spend time in nature it helps to generate the hormones related to happiness and comfort such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin also known as happy hormones.

How to Bring Nature to Yourself?

It is an irony of today’s human lifestyle that most people are not surrounded by nature and have less exposure to green spaces. Nature helps us to build our cognition better even if we have a little green space around us. So if you have no natural environment around you, you have to bring it to yourself. Start planting indoor plants on your balcony, put some natural-related paintings on your walls and you can also start watching natural-inspired videos online. 

What This Really Means to Us?

Considering the importance of green space we need to involve nature in our everyday life. If you or someone around you is suffering from mental problems and worried about your mental health then start interacting with nature. If you don’t have access to green space then try to build your indoor green area. Plant indoor plants, hang any favorite nature-related scenery on your wall, watch a nature-influence video, hear the voice of birds chirping at dawn, and even look at the tree from a window would help. 

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