By Debbi Taylor
Have you ever noticed that when you go outside for a walk and enjoy your natural surroundings you feel pretty good? Well, that’s because studies have shown that there is a link between nature and your mental health.
A study at the National Institute of Health says there is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits.. The epidemiological study showed that when people moved to areas that were greener urban locations they benefited from sustained improvements to their mental health. Also, exposure to physical settings in a natural environment is linked with recovery from physiological stress and mental fatigue. Natural environments produce greater calming responses than urban environments and in relation to their vision there is a reduction of physiological symptoms of stress.
Since your physical settings can play a role in coping with stress, here are some simple tips and ideas of what you can do outdoors.
Explore Nature…It’s Good for You!
- Go for a nature walk. The fall is a terrific time to venture outside. The cool air is so refreshing. Look around and the simplest things (a squirrel looking for a nut or a chipmunk looking for a home) can be very calming to watch.
- Listen to your surroundings. Mother nature provides us with gifts every day. The simple chirping of birds or the sound of a brook can help you to relax.
- Be sure to dress comfortably. Sporting comfortable shoes and wearing layers are a good idea. Since the forecast can fluctuate during this time of year you should be prepared for both warmer and cooler temperatures.
- Wear Sunscreen. It’s also a good idea, no matter where you live, to put sunscreen on when you venture outdoors. You may not realize how strong the sun is when the temperatures are cooler. You can even find clothing with sun protection in it.
- Drink lots of water. – Stay hydrated. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors in the elements or watching nature scenes on your computer you should always drink lots of fresh water.
So, whether you’re alone or with a friend, go explore the great outdoors, it could just help you live a longer, calmer and healthier life!