When we think of mental well-being, we might get images in our mind of someone sat amongst nature, in a cross-legged position, meditating. Well, there’s logic behind this stereotype – nature can be a HUGE benefit for your mental and physical well-being!
What do we mean by being ‘amongst nature’?
Being amongst nature can include a simple walk around a nearby woodland area or field or interacting with outdoor creatures. If you’re lucky enough to own your own garden, you can really reap the benefits of nature by planting flowers, growing fruit & veg, feeding the birds and transforming it into your very own outdoor sanctuary.
According to http://www.mind.org.uk the many benefits of being amongst nature includes the following:
- Improving mood
- Reducing feelings of stress and anger
- Improving physical health
- Improving confidence and low self esteem
- Helping to make new connections
Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. For example, research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature.
Being outside in natural light can also be helpful if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons or times of year. People have told Mind that getting into nature has helped them with many other mental disorders such as Bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Planting flowers is an easy way to ease yourself into transforming your garden. There are so many varieties of plants you can buy from Garden Centres that have their own benefits for your garden, including: attracting bees and butterflies, adding a beautiful fragrant smell and even being edible with numerous health benefits! Click here to read more about different garden flowers.
So now you’ve read all the incredible benefits the great outdoors can have on your mental and physical health, why not make small changes to make the most of the outdoor space around you? Whether you have your own garden or have a nearby park or woodland area you can visit, there are so many different activities you could do for all ages. Some ideas could be: reading a book outside, exercising; yoga, meditation or cardio, taking a picnic to the park with the little ones or even just eating al fresco with your friends. Why not set small challenges for younger ones to see which wildlife they can spot and identify? All this time spent outdoors amongst the wonderful nature we have around us all adds up!
Been inspired? Check out our ‘Get The Look’ articles here for different garden ideas or read here for some unique ideas on how to create a sensory garden. Sensory gardens can be great for people of all ages suffering from learning disorders or mental health problems. For more information on mental health and the benefits of nature, click here.
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