It is effortless to understand how do the great outdoor have positive effects on our overall well-being. The experience of being able to travel to be one with nature makes a lot of difference indeed. According to psychologists, going to see the world’s natural beauty makes us way happier than any material wealth.
“Many men are at higher risk for mood disorders as they age, from dealing with sudden life changes like health issues, the loss of loved ones, and even the new world of retirement,” says Dr. Jason Strauss, MD. “They may not want to turn to medication or therapy for help, and for many, interacting with nature is one of the best self-improvement tools they can use,” he added.
Indeed, nature has its positive effects on us, particularly on our mental health. Here are a few examples:
- Relieves Our Mind Of “Directed Attention Fatigue”
It is a situation wherein we can get too fixated on the daily grind of life and its details. With too much pressure surrounding us every day, it is inevitable to experience burnout and mental fatigue. What nature does is that it relaxes our minds and allows us to rest the directed attention. It ushers our souls into a therapeutic process and brings it back to a state of liveliness, thereby saving the mind from the psychological wear and tear. Nature, in a way, takes care of our wellness with its peace.
- Helps Us Fight Anxiety And Depressive Mood
According to a 2012 research, people who experienced significant depressive disorders reported better attitudes when they did 50-minute walks in a natural setting. It is why green exercise is highly encouraged. It helps us deal with and process our thoughts in a better way. It increases our feelings of happiness, probably through our happy hormones.
Contrary to the stressful routines that we are meant to deal with every day, nature allows us to pause. It provides a welcoming sanctuary which alleviates our mood and a convenient outlet for stress. It gives us a break.
Mardie Townsend, PhD confirms that “there is mounting evidence that contact with nature has significant positive impacts on mental health.” She told that “it is associated with reduced levels of stress — which also has huge ramifications for physical health, reduced levels of depression and anxiety, increased resilience, increased engagement with learning for children and adolescents otherwise disengaged from the education system, improved self-esteem and increased capacity to engage socially.”
- Looks After Our Anger Management Capabilities
With the calming effect of nature, it is easy to discern how it can quickly help manage anger issues among people. Sometimes, just the sight of the waves to the shore, the clouds touching the edge of the sea, and the summer breeze from the leaves of the trees, are more than enough to calm our inner demons. With this, physical well-being follows through better heart rate, lower discomfort levels, and less muscle tension. Nature seems to have some magic – softening hearts, cooling heads, and painting smiles.
- Improves Both Creativity And Critical Thinking
In another research, it was discovered that nature is also good for the brain because it stimulates specific cognitive abilities. For one, it bolsters creativity because it effectively fuels our imagination and out-of-the-box thinking skills. It reinvigorates our creative juices and gives us unexpected inspirations. On the other hand, it also improves critical thinking and memory span by letting our minds process information better and more peacefully. It proves that nature does wonders, especially in strengthening our brain power.
- Boosts Our Confidence And Feelings Of Self-Love
Exposure to the natural environment, the more when we combined with exercise, results in improvements in our self-esteem. As concluded in a 2010 study, green exercise has emerged to be one of the most effective ways to deal with mental health disorders. Because nature is satisfyingly peaceful, it gives us a sense of acceptance and belongingness. It leads us to realize better things about ourselves and thus, facilitating thoughts and convictions on loving the self every day.
According to Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, LPC, “many studies have proved that people who have a close connection to the landscapes are happier from the inside – they indulge themselves in positive thinking and have better coping mechanisms than others. A strong human-nature relationship means emotional balance, more focus, solution-oriented thinking, and an overall resilient approach to life.
- Makes Us Appreciate “More Important” Things
Probably one of the biggest realizations we can ever have whenever we are in the bosom of nature is that we are but small and fleeting creatures of this world. One day we are here, but the next day, we will never be sure about what life may bring. It turns our attention to the fact that apparently, there is a lot more to life than just our little dreams and desires. This world and everything else in nature gives us a sense that we belong to something larger than ourselves. It is a great way to start off defining our purpose, which plays such a crucial role in keeping our mental states healthy.
It is for all of these and a lot more reasons that nature positively impacts our mental well-being. While we may have thought of its effects as only trivial or cliche, nature does heal mental and psychological wounds. It takes care of our mental health through its effortless beauty and ineradicable charm.
So the next time that you get to have a chance to be one with nature and explore its wonders, grab it and do not let it go. Take advantage of every opportunity to commune with the natural environment. It might just surprise you on how far it would go to improve your mental state and psychological wellness.