How Nature Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety

stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can result from a lot of things including burnout from doing the same things day in and day out. It can also stem from the many deadlines that you have to meet in school and at work. Aside from doing yoga and meditation, spending some time with nature can naturally help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Nature and Your Mental Health

Ecotherapy is gaining immense popularity. Most research shows that individuals who spend more time with nature have fewer episodes of stress and anxiety. 

While researchers are yet to pinpoint why taking nature walks is beneficial to mental health, several studies have established that brain activities of people who did about 90 minutes of nature walks have lower prefrontal cortex activities. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is most active during repetitive negative thoughts. 

Delving deeper, studies show that people who engage in activities that include visual aspects of nature, such as lawn care, experience calming and therapeutic effects. Having a visual representation of something calm can help veer your mind away from negative thoughts. This way, your brain becomes less worried. Sometimes, stress comes from the constant stimulation brought on by urbanization. Passing cars, people chatting away, and flashing billboard signs can contribute to the busyness of your mind. Getting away from it all, even for a short time, can be enough to calm your senses and get you back on track. 

Find Your Inner Space

Most experts believe that spending about 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to four days a week with nature, can significantly improve mental health. You must find your inner space and make it part of your routine. 

It does not matter where you go. Even a daily walk in the park where there are trees and greenery can help you overcome stress and anxiety. More so, if you mix your nature walk with regular exercise. Choosing a place that you love will have the most beneficial effects. If you cannot go out in the open, you can make it a habit to maintain your lawn and bring in tons of plants that you can take care of. 

You may want to mix in other activities that are enjoyable to you. For example, when you go to your local park, you can bring an easel and paint to your heart’s content. Painting can help you deal with your stress, as well. Several studies also showed that painting green can improve your mental health. 

Restoring Mental Clarity

While being in physical contact with nature has more beneficial effects, it is not necessary for you to go out to take advantage of nature for your mental health. If you find it difficult to go outside because of a physical disability or severe anxiety, you may still benefit from nature’s restorative effects. In one study, individuals who have a view of nature are happier with their jobs. They have better health and share better satisfaction with their lives. 

If going out is not an issue, you might want to take regular strolls in the woods. If you want to boost your mood, you can try heading for the hills, especially if you believe that the constant buzzing of cars and people on the street is adding to your anxiety. 

Stress and anxiety plague more and more individuals every year. Sometimes, they resort to taking medications to help them deal with it. If you feel stressed out and anxious, try spending a day or two with nature, and you’ll see the benefits it affords your life. 

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›