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Connecting with nature & why it's good for mental health

22/04/2021 3 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
22/04/2021 3 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal

INTRODUCTION

Not only are there physical benefits but there are also many mental health benefits to be found in nature as well. Spending some time in the sunlight outdoors releases serotonin from the pineal gland in the brain, this turns into melatonin, and when it gets dark, is what helps regulate sleep. So at night when you go to bed you will sleep much better if you’ve have spent some time outside during the day.

HUMAN-NATURE RELATIONSHIPS

Spending time outside is good for you, you may have a vegetable garden, or grow some amazing flowers, or you may just be taking your dog for a walk through the park. It is great to feel the sunlight and often to smell the perfumes of the flowers and shrubs as we pass by. When we are outdoors we get some exposure to the sun, and our vitamin D levels start to rise, this is a protective vitamin to our immune system and helps to prevent certain diseases. It also aids healing, and any wounds will heal much more quickly. It is actually said to aid concentration, and children with ADHD appear to focus better after a short time spent outdoors. So being outdoors and having some limited sun exposure is very good for all ages and improves mental health.


BENEFITS OF NATURE AND MENTAL HEALTH

Many people who suffer from mental health conditions say that they benefit from walking in nature and that it has a calming effect on them, and works better than being in therapy. Another reason that it benefits people to take a nature walk, could be that you are constantly connecting with new experiences and often new people, so if you live alone and go walking every day, you are never lonely. Trees purify the air, so when you are walking in the park you will get the benefit of pure oxygenated air and your stress levels start to fall. People who study our connectedness to nature say that walking in nature in urban settings can boost our moods. It does something to calm our brains delivering cognitive benefits to us, and this has been proven by studying adults living in public housing in urban areas with more green space than most. The reduction of stress when outdoors appears to be related to the ability to attend and concentrate which is shown to improve when we are less stressed.

CONNECTING WITH NATURE AND WHY IT IS GOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH

There are many diverse benefits shown with time spent outdoors, and for our children, it is essential to both their imagination and learning abilities.

There are also emotional and existential benefits beyond what we see in class. In fact, on the child, it leaves a lasting impression and all children should experience a full range of outdoor diversity, like a day on a farm or a week in the mountains hiking with a group. As the outdoor activities appear to build resilience that ward of mental health disorders later in life. This raises the question of 'how much time outside is enough' as it appears to boost both health and well-being to be outside, giving a feeling of being connected to the natural world in a meaningful way. This in turn creates a greater feeling of both happiness and well-being, In these studies, a lot of attention has gone into green space, and now attention has turned to marine space, and the sea and the water may be even more beneficial to well-being than green space. Coastal regions always feel restorative, and appear to sharpen the senses from the smell of ozone and salt, and often swimming and walking along the shore. I guess it depends on how long you can have a break from work for, as to where you go.


CONCLUSION

As there are people who can never afford a holiday, green space in urban parks is often the next best thing to sustain their mental health, and have a change of scenery. It is important that people, especially children connect with the environment, as they will be the decision-makers of the future of the natural environment and it is essential that they feel connected as if they thrive the environment will thrive.

CBD can help you connect with nature even more closely. The natural extract from the cannabis plant is said to have relaxing properties that can make the experience of nature even more intense. Just give it a try. 🌿

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