How Connecting With Nature Can Help With Our Mental Health

For centuries, research has shown us the huge benefits of being around nature. From relieving stress to healing from trauma, immersing oneself in nature can go a long way in promoting good health. 

It is for this reason that many around the world are now seriously taking into account the serious benefits of being around nature when reshaping their lifestyle. 

A 2019 study found that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being. Whilst we all know well that spending time in nature is beneficial for us, little do we know about exposure-response relationships. The study found that those who typically spent two hours outdoors in green spaces reported feeling better mentally and physically in comparison to those who did not. 

What’s astonishing about this study is that it deduced its findings from a diverse group of people. Those who took part and reported better overall health after spending time in nature had different jobs, were both rich and poor and were from different backgrounds and ethnicities. What’s more, some had chronic illnesses, whilst others did not. 

Whether we know it or not, nature has a powerful way of healing us. Simply gazing at scenes of nature such as trees, grass, hills and mountains can immediately lower stress levels and reduce frustration and anger. Not only does this leave you feeling better overall, it also reduces one’s heart rate, and can even go a long way in physically calming you down. This is why many health experts recommend keeping an indoor plant, as the simple presence of it can help calm one down. 

Something that is often neglected when talking about the benefits of being in nature is the associated cognitive improvements. It starts with walking away from any stress that we have, resulting in more room for deep thought and the ability to develop better thinking skills. After all, stress can seriously narrow our vision of life and the world to only the problems that we see in front of us.

Studies have found that taking time out to walk ten minutes a day can help improve mood in young adults when compared to no activity at all. With blood flowing to your brain better than ever, the time we spend walking allows us to ponder over our lives with a bird’s eye view of everything. This allows us to compartmentalise our thoughts and clear up our vision. What’s more, it allows us to problem solve to a certain degree and brings us back home fresher than we exited.

With the cold days arriving and many of us intending to stay home more, this is a good time to remind ourselves that connecting with nature is extremely important at such a time. Develop a better relationship by being amidst the trees, lush greenery and rolling hills, and see how it benefits you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

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Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...

"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]

Tags: health, nature, stress, travel, wellbeing

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