We spend time coped up in our little space that we forget a whole world exists outside our space and window, this can affect our lives, the way we relate with people, and our mental well-being. We unknowingly slip into a state of depression because of this, spending time outdoors is good for our mental health, it improves our cognitive functions, physical health, and overall well-being. Here are some benefits of outdoor activities for our mental wellbeing.
- Emotional Health; exposure to natural environments has been associated with increased feelings of well-being and happiness, it can trigger the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which contribute to positive emotions. It can also trigger the release of endorphins which are known as the body’s natural mood lifters, this can lead to an improved mood and, an increased feeling of happiness.
- Ecotherapy; this is a nature-based therapy, it is used as a formal treatment to supplement other forms of treatment, it involves engaging in activities that involve nature. This can be an effective approach for conditions like depression, PSTD, and anxiety. The sights of nature can also boost mood and improve mood due to the release of endorphins.
- Improved Attention Span; outdoor activities offer a break from the constant demands of modern life, which can deplete our attention and mental resources. Engaging in these activities can allow our minds to relax, and rejuvenate, leading to improved attention and cognitive function. Spending time outside can also enhance creativity and attention.
- Stress Reduction; engaging in outdoor activities can reduce the body’s production of stress hormones like cortisol. The rhythmic sounds of waves, the chirping of birds, or the rustling of leaves can induce a state of relaxation, which over time can lower chronic stress levels. Being in a natural environment can have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress levels.
- Social Support; engaging in outdoor group activities like hiking, and team sports can foster a sense of community and social bonds. These social interactions can provide emotional support, and reduce the feeling of isolation, contributing to better mental health.
In conclusion, engaging in outdoor activities can improve your mental well-being, activities can be very simple such as taking walks, cycling, visiting the park, and hiking. You can schedule outdoor activities into your daily routine, and take five or ten minutes daily to engage in one of these activities.