With flowers bursting into life with colour and the weather starting to improve, it feels more enticing to step outside and get lost in nature again. However, if the spring showers and, dare we say, snowstorms are still putting you off, it’s understandable.
But there are some science-backed benefits to getting outside to give you a little bit more motivation and a much-needed boost to improve your well-being. So, pack your waterproof jacket and see the difference nature can make to your mood.
Benefits of Getting Outside and watching Nature Bloom are as follow :
Heading into the woods for some forest bathing is a great way to connect with nature and is proven to lower your cortisol (stress) levels too. The impact that a tree-lined walk can make is significant, which is why doctors are starting to prescribe ‘forest therapy’ to stressed-out city dwellers.
In one study, participants were found to have a lower level of cortisol and lower heart rate whilst relaxing in a forest compared to time spent in a city. It’s not just your heart rate that could benefit, but your blood pressure too.
Restore and revive :
If tiredness, lethargy, and fatigue have got you blocked, spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to release this mental block and restore your energy levels. Studies have shown that feelings of awe are a science-backed way to boost your mental alertness and energy levels.
To eliminate the brain fog, find an awe-inspiring natural vista to provide a much-needed boost. This could be a restorative waterfall, invigorating sea view, or heading up the peaks to look across the countryside.
Relieve anxiety :
Studies have shown that green spaces can work wonders in improving self-esteem, positive emotions, and mood. So much so that it’s recommended to combine clinical therapy, exercise, and time in nature to ease mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
In additional studies, scientists have found that the presence of water increases these positive effects, so river, lake, and reservoir walking or jogging can be a fantastic way to improve your mental health and tick off both exercise and nature all in one go.
Improve your memory :
Another surprising benefit of enjoying nature is the boost it can provide to your short-term and working memory. One study found participants who walked among trees improved their results in a memory test by 20%. Participants who walked through city streets did not see an improvement.
Another study also showed that walking in nature offered better memory results compared to walking in an urban environment.
Solve creative problems :
If something is playing on your mind, a walk-in nature could be just what the doctor ordered. In one experiment, people who spent four days immersed in nature boosted their creative problem-solving capabilities by more than 50%. However, you don’t have to spend that long in nature to improve your cognitive ability. A 20-minute walk in nature can significantly help to improve concentration and focus levels, which is ideal if your attention span is struggling.
If you’re looking to increase your productivity, boost your mood and improve your health, throw on your dog walking jacket (preferably a waterproof jacket with hood to make sure you don’t need to run home early) grab your furry friend, and head to your nearest green space – it could be the most effective and enjoyable prescription!