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Whether you love to hike, bike or do a fun yoga flow outdoors, you likely already know that going outdoors can bring a variety of benefits into your life both mental and physical. Being in nature can bring both emotionally fulfilling and physically invigorating, and the two are more connected than you might think. Being in nature has the power to uplift your mood, improve your life and make you healthier overall. No matter where you are, you can step into nature for a variety of purposes and experience all the benefits it has to offer. Here are just some of the psychological benefits of being in nature.
1. Better Concentration
If you’re working on something, in a mode of concentration or if you’re studying, taking a break in nature and changing up your environment can be a great way to center back to your concentration. Even if it’s something you do before or after you start working or have to buckle down and concentrate on a task, going in nature can be a great way to concentrate a bit better.
2. Uplifting Your Mood
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but going outside and soaking up the sunshine can completely uplift your mood. There is even science to back up the fact that spending more time in nature, especially during the warmer months, can help you bring more positivity and more overall happiness into your life. Even if you only get a few minutes a day of direct sunlight, it can still be extremely beneficial to your mood.
3. Getting to Unplug
Even though going outside and unplugging might be two very different things, one will definitely feed into the other. Screen time can be detrimental to your health in many ways, including damaging the eyes and causing mental health struggles. By spending time outdoors, you can naturally cut back on screen time and spend your time doing more productive activities like exercising or even simply spending quiet time in nature.
4. Improved Memory
Spending time in nature, and specifically taking nature walks, can help to improve your memory. Especially if you take walks on a daily basis or simply do it regularly, you can experience the benefits that nature can bring to your psyche. Specifically, taking walks in more rural areas can be even more beneficial than walking in a town or city. However, you can work with whatever you have and do what makes you feel the most comfortable.
5. Better Immune Responses
Although this benefit is not exactly specific to your mental health, this is one of the instances in which the benefits of nature can impact multiple areas of your health with the same benefit. Studies tend to show that people who spend more time outdoors can increase their white blood cell count, which works to fight viruses and infections. This does require spending a little bit more time outside regularly, but it definitely is worth the effort, especially if you can avoid getting sick and having that drag your morale down.
6. Reducing Stress
Being outdoors is naturally a very relaxing experience, which can naturally help to relieve stress and stress responses within the body. Even though going outside can’t take away all of your stress, it can naturally help you feel comfortable and even lower your heart rate — depending on the activity, of course. This can be seen as both a physical and psychological response, as it is yet another way for nature to impact the entire system of the body as a whole.
7. Soothing and Relaxation
Speaking of feeling a little bit of extra relaxation, the relaxation in itself is a great psychological benefit to spending time outdoors. While this is a feeling that can emerge on a more moment-to-moment basis, it can also impact you in the long term by consistently creating a more calm mood throughout your life as a result of spending time in nature. Even if you are doing a more active activity like working out or running, it can be inherently more relaxing to practice outdoors and indoors.
The Psychology of Nature
Nature can do so many amazing things for both of the mind and the body, including improving your mood, strengthening your immune system and allowing you to unplug here and there. Whether you like to go for a run, a soft nature walk or even a picnic in the park with your family, there are so many amazing mental health benefits that everybody can enjoy when they spend a little bit more time in the great outdoors.
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