Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Health According To Psychologists

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.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

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.

Source: pexels.com

 

  • 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.

Source: needpix.com

 

  • 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.

Tip From A Therapist: Go Hiking Or Camping

There are many things that you can do to improve your mental health, one of which is giving yourself an opportunity or chance to explore the beauty of nature. You can go on camping or hiking with your friends and family members. According to a therapist, the moment you do this activity, you will not only become physically active. At the same time, your mood will improve, and it will have a positive impact on your life in general. As such, it is best for you to find time to do it as soon as possible.

Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology noted that “Experiencing awe in nature is a powerful way to impact people’s psychology, even as they’re doing something they really like to do.” Dr. Anderson added, “By taking a few minutes to enjoy flowers that are blooming or a sunset in your day-to-day life, you also improve your well-being.”

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

In today’s article, we are going to discuss some of the essential things to remember when it comes to camping or hiking. Before anything else, it is significant to highlight the fact that exploring the wonders of nature can be scary, especially if you are going to do it for the first time. As such, you have to be cautious so that you will not get hurt or your companion in the process. Below are some of the things to keep in mind:

 

Plan Your Trip Ahead Of Time

 

The first step that you must do is to plan the trekking activity at least a month before the scheduled date. Take note that preparation is the ultimate key to ensure that you will have a good time for the entire duration of the camping session. One of the things that you have to consider is the location of the area. Remember that there are also other families and group of friends who may be interested in visiting the said trekking area. If there is a necessity to make a reservation, be sure to call the office in charge so that you can already get a slot.

 

Research About The Place

 

After finalizing the scheduled date for the activity, the next step is to learn more about your selected location. What is the main reason why you want to camp at that site? What are the frequent reviews or feedback of the people who have visited it? Is it okay to bring children during the activity, or is it strictly prohibited? How much does it cost to gain access to the campsite? These are some of the questions that you have to ask first before booking the place. As much as possible, keep yourself updated about the current things happening in the area.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Look For Great Companion

 

To make the trip more fun and enjoyable, the next step is to start looking for the people whom you will invite to join you for the activity. Keep in mind that the persons who will accompany you on this exciting journey are the same people who can make the experience worthwhile or worthless. Because of this, you have to be careful in selecting your companion. You can bring your entire family with you or some friends from the office. What is essential is to make sure that they are 100% on-board to the idea of trekking or hiking.

 

Disconnect From Social Media

 

When you go on a trekking activity, it is best if you will make an effort to keep yourself away from social media. Social media can be a burden for your peace of mind because it is addicting. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D., a neuropsychologist, emphasized: “When someone is [addicted to] social media, they may feel anxious and become irate or snippy if unable to access social media due to weak Wi-Fi, technical issues with their smartphone or computer, or if the social platform is acting up.” She added, “Just as an alcoholic may experience tremors or headaches or even nausea if they don’t drink, someone with social media addiction may find themselves biting their nails, excessively tapping their foot, short tempered and pent up with anxiety.”

Always put in mind that the primary purpose of going out there and exploring the forest or the mountain is to recharge yourself. After spending draining days at the office or from your business, it is essential for you to take a break. Do not be afraid to disconnect even for one to two days, depending on your schedule. All you must do is to keep yourself away from your mobile phone. If possible, it is also suggested to leave your gadgets at home. An exception can be made with cameras.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Bring The Essentials

 

Safety for yourself and everyone must be your number one priority when it comes to hiking, trekking or camping. Remind yourself that you have to find time in gathering the essential things to bring so that nothing will be forgotten at home. Some of the items that you must bring include flashlight, a supply of water and food, protective gear, and a first-aid kit. Aside from this, you must also take note of the proper attire to wear when enjoying the activities mentioned above. Failure to do any of this can be dangerous or may cause inconvenience on your part. It is suggested to pack all these essentials at least one week before you leave for the activity.

 

Camping and hiking are also forms of exercise, and exercise is equally good for the body and mind. James Blumenthal, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist based in Boston said, “There’s good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program.” Be one with nature and feel its wonders. Keep on exploring its beauty every chance you get.

 

Protect The Endangered Species

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) says that there are over thousands of species that are about to go extinct. With the organizations battle with the phenomena, the problem is only getting worse. Yes, there is nothing wrong with enjoying and using the fruits of nature. You or some people you know such as friends and family might be one those individuals. However, consuming it to the extent that humans don’t think twice before eradicating particular species is something out of boundary.

Source: wikimedia.org

What’s The Issue Of The Extinction?

The extinction of some of the species in the world may not be a big deal for some. That’s because they assume that losing these animals won’t affect the environment. Well, they are wrong. As humans continue to screw up everything about the ecosystem, species are dying out in actual high rates. The problem with that is the creation of an imbalance in biodiversity. Perhaps one of the main reasons why some people ignore the importance of saving wildlife is the expensive cost. People don’t want to consider sacrificing big on their part. Usually, developing countries take a toll on this situation. No businesses want to look at these creatures as contributors to the environment and only see them as part of the luxurious industry of clothing, accessories, collectible items, etc.

Preserving the existence of different animals is a lengthy and challenging process. But if humans can destroy beautiful creatures in an instant, they can find ways to protect it then. In this article, we looked at some of the most helpful ways to protect endangered animals as well as to preserve their existence.

Source: pxhere.com
  • Increase Knowledge

By taking an interest in the problem, people can begin to see the different side of the world. From there, they can think about ways on how to solve it. No, they don’t have to tackle the whole world’s issues. As long as they check out and participate in local initiatives, individuals can make a huge difference in helping wildlife.

After all, animals have made a considerable contribution just like John Capitanio, PhD, says, “The study of nonhuman animals has played a
considerable role in psychology, and it continues to do so today. If you’ve taken an introductory psychology class, then you have probably read about seminal psychological research that was done with animals: Skinner’s rats, Pavlov’s dogs, Harlow’s monkeys.”

  • Reduce The Threat Of Invasive Species

A non-native plant or animal entering an environment with the harm of unbalancing its cycle are invasive species. It makes other living things behave in a way they are not supposed to and damages the ecosystem by handing out unsure effects. Usually, the problem is from international trade and the transport of foreign species. This new life disrupts the balance of an already functioning ecosystem either by becoming unwanted predators or by outnumbering other species over time.

  • Raise Awareness

A little word of mouth can achieve so much. Therefore, the best way to save endangered animals is always to keep talking about it. If people are aware of the worrying status of a specific species, then it’s essential to impart the wisdom unto others. People don’t necessarily need to do much. As long they are sharing information, everyone can recognize their responsibility and contribution.

  • Recycle

People need to learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Since we know that plastics are one the most harmful contributor of marine debris, there’s a need in decreasing it or might as well get rid of it to save the environment. If more people recycle, fewer animals would be displaced. But at the very least, people should learn not to litter. Once there’s a habit of not throwing anything in the ocean and streets, it will eventually create a chain reaction.

  • Purchasing

One of the consistent battles for saving wildlife is the consumers purchasing of products made from endangered species. People should have common sense. If the products look as if an animal or a plant gets killed only to make it, then people shouldn’t buy it.

Are The Animals Worth Saving?

There are ethical and moral arguments when it comes to saving species. These include the belief that all life belongs to the world and they have the right to live. After all, just as Jessica Pierce, PhD, says, “New research in psychology suggests (and common sense confirms) that
valuing humans and valuing animals tend to go hand in hand. There appear to be close links between how much moral value we accord to animals and how much we accord to other humans, especially those who are different from us.”

However, it is more reasonable to look at some factors why humans should care in preserving endangered animals. People’s survival depends on it because living things in an ecosystem depend on each other. The many kinds there are, the healthier the ecosystem can get. The forest, deserts, grasslands, and marine life, everything runs in a complete sequence.

Source: wikimedia.org

Each one of these ecosystems helps humans by providing them with unique benefits. These include water, food, and natural resources which are collectively known as ecosystem services. Therefore, the disappearance of a particular species inevitably creates a significant impact on the whole ecological cycle. But the serious problem is not the fact of knowing what disappears in the ecosystem; it is the prediction of how the loss of a particular species will alter the environmental cycle after it’s gone. Well, no one can tell until it’s all too late.

People won’t contribute something to the environment as long as they are not prepared to face the consequences. According to Susan Clayton, Ph.D., “research has shown that human behaviour has contributed to global climate change and that human behaviour will have to help us mitigate and adapt to its effects. Some have suggested that people aren’t sufficiently invested in nature and therefore don’t engage in behaviours that would help alleviate climate change, pollution and other environmental damage.”

If given a chance to ask you, how much are you willing to sacrifice only to preserve these endangered animals?

5 Primary Causes Of Extinction

Source: pixabay.com

 

We may always hear the word “extinction,” and we know what it exactly means. It means species of animals will never be seen alive on our planet. The future generation will only get to them through pictures and hear them through stories. Some may not find It a big deal as we all don’t get to see them anyway, but to think their kind will never exist is tragic and heart-breaking.

Continue reading “5 Primary Causes Of Extinction”

6 Extinct Plants And Where To Find Them 

Have you ever wondered what other plants are still out there and where we can find them? Have you ever encountered a plant you wished you knew? If yes, then keep reading, because this writeup is perfect for you. We’ve come up with a list of extinct and never-heard plants you can learn more about so that you can widen your knowledge about it.  

Source: pixabay.com

Continue reading “6 Extinct Plants And Where To Find Them “

Plant Psychology: Why Gardening Benefits Our Mental Health

The environment people live nowadays has contributed to different kinds of stress to individuals. As a result, the world has been packed with various types of therapies to overcome these stresses. These therapies are not only used to relax and release the tensions from the daily lives. They are used as a kind of alternative medicine for mental health problems.

Source: flickr.com

Continue reading “Plant Psychology: Why Gardening Benefits Our Mental Health”

How Saving Bees Can Save the Earth

The humble bee has often been regarded as a symbol of hard work and dedication. From a young age, we are taught about their importance in pollination and helping with the proliferation of plants. Of course, they also provide us with honey. Evidence shows that humans have actively kept bees since approximately 8000 B.C. But what has changed? 

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Continue reading “How Saving Bees Can Save the Earth”

What Happened To Them? The Most Popular Wildlife Extinctions Explained

Extinction is supposedly a natural phenomenon. A species die out when they fail to evolve and adapt to natural circumstances in their environment. For example, nearly all dinosaur species died out when a meteorite crashed into the earth. This mass extinction of dinosaur species happened because the dinosaurs failed to adapt to the rapid shift of their environment.   

Source: maxpixel.net

Continue reading “What Happened To Them? The Most Popular Wildlife Extinctions Explained”

Free Every Willy: Here’s Why The World Has To Pay Closer Attention To Whale Preservation

Given their large size, whales have long been thought of as scary ocean mammals. While they do feed on smaller fish for survival, they are not entirely made to cause fear. In fact, whales play a significant role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and sustainable. 

Source: pixabay.com

Continue reading “Free Every Willy: Here’s Why The World Has To Pay Closer Attention To Whale Preservation”