Anyone who spends significant amounts of time biking through their neighborhoods, going on San Diego whale watching trips or bird-watching from their backyards can testify that spending time in nature has incredibly positive effects on mental health and well being in general. Even if it’s been a while since you’ve left the city to visit tide pools in San Diego, you know that even just stopping by the park or taking a weekend away to spend time at the beach with your friends can go a long way in de-stressing you and helping you to feel re-centered and less overwhelmed. These well-documented positive effects touch on aspects of physical health, emotional well being and connectedness with others, and taken together can give your mental health a big boost. Here are just a few of these positive effects.
It Gets You in Touch With the Outside World
If you feel overwhelmed by all the concerns of the human world, it can feel very grounding to get in touch with the animal and plant world for a change. Try looking up whale sightings today San Diego, for instance, to engage with natural phenomena that can remind you of the world beyond the 24-hour news cycle.
It Can Significantly Improve Your Total Emotional Well Being
Too much time indoors away from nature can make you feel claustrophobic and can start to chip away at your emotions, leaving you feeling stranded or isolated. By contrast, getting outside and feeling in touch with the larger world around you can give you a sense of connectedness that can often improve your total emotional well being. In fact, some studies have even suggested that time in nature can:
- Help take your mind off your worries
- Improve your self-image and your confidence levels
- Remind you of the bigger world outside your door
It Encourages You To Become Physically Active and Healthy
Because nature affords you so many opportunities to get moving, it may come as no surprise that time outdoors is correlated to physical fitness and wellness. From jogging along the beach to hiking up local hidden trails, the wide variety of the natural world offers different chances for exercise no matter what your fitness style is. You might even find that exercising outdoors and getting to enjoy the visual beauty of nature is far more enjoyable than forcing yourself to plod along on the treadmill inside a poorly lit gym. It’s no stretch to say that when you enjoy staying fit and regularly exercise, your mental health is likely to be in better shape, too.
From allowing you to escape the noise and pollution of populated areas to encouraging a renewed focus on environmental connectedness, physical health and emotional stability, nature offers a well-documented range of positive mental health benefits. That’s part of the reason why taking time off to spend outdoors is so important for you to be at your best overall. As you debate whether you should spend this next weekend on the couch in front of the TV or getting outside and going for a jog or walk with friends, remember these benefits that time in nature could offer you, both immediately and in the long term.