L & B Counseling

Mental Health Benefits of being Outdoors

outdoor mental health benefits

We can realize that in this day and age of social isolation and self-isolation, leaving the house without fear of contracting COVID-19 can be difficult. Thousands of people have isolated themselves indoors to protect themselves from the coronavirus, avoiding leaving their homes unless for essential work or errands such as visiting the doctor or going to the grocery store. Staying indoors keeps you safe from those infected with the coronavirus, but it also harms your mental health. Humans are social creatures by nature. We evolved in this manner to ensure our survival by forming relationships that benefit all parties. As a result, we disrupt our social lives by isolating ourselves. However, many people are unaware of the other consequences of staying indoors. Are you aware of the numerous mental health benefits of being outside? The outdoors and nature provide innumerable benefits to your mind and body that you cannot obtain while cooped up inside. Spending time in nature is essential for the health of your mind and body.

Impact of the Outdoors

While we all enjoy the convenience of our own homes, staying indoors all day is not particularly healthy. Your mind and body require exposure to certain nutrients found in nature. In addition, there are numerous advantages to being outside that can improve your mental state. Spending time outside can help relieve the symptoms of their mental illness.

Reduces Stress

No matter where you go in the world, there is stress. While there are many good stressors globally, such as those that keep you safe, there are also many bad ones. America is one of the world’s most stressed-out countries, with 55% of Americans reporting daily stress. A variety of factors can cause anxiety, and it can impact both your physical and mental health.

Boosts Mood

There are elements of the outdoors that cannot be found or replicated indoors. Direct sunlight and fresh air are two things you can’t get inside, and both have numerous health benefits for your mind and body. Natural sunlight can boost your mood and overall self-esteem. People’s brains have higher serotonin levels on bright and sunny days, regardless of whether it is warm or cold outside. Serotonin is your body’s natural mood stabilizer, and it aids in the reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety while also elevating your mood. More research indicates that UV light stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemical, by melanocytes, the cells that produce dark skin pigment.

Helps You Exercise

We’ve talked about the benefits of exercise on your mental health numerous times. Much of the time spent outside involves some form of exercise, whether it’s gardening, going for a walk, or hiking. Exercise helps lower blood pressure, which is a common stress symptom. It also causes the release of endorphins, which improve your mood. If you have a home routine, try taking it outside and seeing how much of a difference it makes. Outdoor exercises frequently leave people feeling refreshed, both mentally and physically.

What You Can Do

There is no wrong or right way to spend time outside. After all, each activity provides you with all of the advantages of being outdoors. So, if you don’t know where to begin, we’ve provided some simple exercises to get you outside.

  • Take a bike ride along a trail.
  • Go for a walk or run.
  • Go camping.
  • Garden.
  • Take a hike.
  • Move your workout outside.
  • Birdwatch.
  • Have a picnic in the park.
  • Meditate or do yoga outside.
  • Go for a swim.

While we all enjoy the convenience of our homes, being indoors does not provide the same health benefits as being outside. However, spending just 20-30 minutes a day in nature can improve your mental health.

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