How the great outdoors can improve your mental health

How the great outdoors can improve your mental health

In today’s technology-driven world, there is a major disconnect from the outdoors and real world for most of the people living in cities. Modern life seems to be producing a generation of ‘weaklings’ as children no longer go out to play and spend more and more time with gizmos. The scenario is no better with grown-ups.

Many studies have shown that exposure to natural environments can have discernible physical and mental health benefits. Here are five reasons why going outside can help save your mind and your body:

It helps stop depression

Many people today are stuck behind a computer screen in an office with overhead fluorescent lighting humming away during the day. Humans were not designed to stay indoors for long hours, which is why depression is on the rise among adults as vitamin D levels drop. By going outside for a few minutes at a time during a work day, the body can absorb the natural vitamin D from the sun and help stop the development of depression.

Improved concentration

One of the biggest complaints by most of the working adults is that they can’t focus throughout the day. Heading outside, whether it is for hiking or walking, can help the mind to unwind. A study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that these walks can stimulate the creative center of the brain, which can help with concentration.

Short-term memory is improved

A study at the University of Michigan showed that “performance on memory and attention tests improved by 20 percent after study subjects paused for a walk through an arboretum.” This means that being outside can help with our mental faculties improve, helping us in the long run.

Stress relief

Heading out into the wilderness for a few days has been shown to lower the levels of cortisol – the hormone that is associated with stress – in the body. Even just looking outside the window in the office can help lower cortisol levels.

Overall mental health improvement

Being outdoors can offer relief from depression to stress levels. It can improve creativity bringing about a positive attitude. What would take massive amounts of pills or supplements can be done by simply walking out the front door.

By unplugging ourselves from our desks and separating our lives from buildings, even for a moment, we can help improve our outlook on life. Nature is around us at all times, whether we like it or not and while it can be dirty and hot at times, it serves as a constant reminder that we are a part of it. In our modern times, it’s easy to forget that small fact.

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a mental health problem, the great outdoors can help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life. The Colorado Mental Health Help is here to make sure that those seeking treatment for mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders, get the help they need. Call our 24/7 helpline at 866-899-5063.