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The Benefits of Nature for Mental Health

Image by Peace,love,happiness from Pixabay

Back in 2020, when the COVID-19 global pandemic started, more people, across the globe, were stuck being homebound more than any other time many of us had ever experienced in our lifetime. Many people were only leaving their homes to get essential items such as groceries, household supplies, and even just to fuel up our vehicles.

The lockdown, where mainly only essential workers got to leave their homes, felt brutal to so many different people that were used to being out and about in society. During the lockdown, more people started to open up and seek treatment for their own mental health, leaving it nearly impossible to find any real professional mental health care without being placed on a six month, or longer, waiting list to be seen.

Fast forward to Spring of this year; most of the rules and regulations, such as standing six apart and wearing masks, has been lifted almost everywhere in the United States. People claim the pandemic is over when there are still thousands upon thousands of people dying from the COVID-19 virus.

On the upside, public places have opened back up and are allowing citizens to get back to the things they once loved doing prior to the pandemic lockdown. This means that we can start getting back out into mother nature once again.

Being outside in nature with natural sunlight has some pretty amazing health and wellness benefits that you may not be aware of. It can help improve your short-term memory, it can help reduce inflammation, it can help give your immune system a boost, it can lower stress levels, help you sleep better, help improve your vision, and it can even help give your self-esteem a boost. When you are feeling physically better, it can also help you feel mentally better as well.

There are plenty of outdoor activities you can try that allows yourself to feel at ease being out in nature. You can go to a park, take a pet for a walk, go for a walk, go hiking, visit different trails and walking paths, have a picnic either by yourself or with a loved one, go swimming, or you can even allow yourself to sit down on the grass and meditate while out in nature where everything just seems so much more peaceful.

We’ve already talked about some of the physical health benefits of being out in natural sunlight, so now lets get into some of the ways nature can help benefit your mental health, too.

When you’re out in natural sunlight some place where the grass is green, flowers are blooming, and tree leaves are growing back beautifully, it can really help improve your stress and anxiety levels. It can help you feel a sense of calm wash over your body and mind. It can also help you relax if you are feeling angry, uneasy, anxious or any other type of “negative” emotion.

Some people even state that being out in nature helps them feel more confident which helps improve their self-esteem levels. You are even more likely to be more active when out in nature. There is just something about natural sunlight that makes you feel like you have more energy to be able to get more work or tasks completed.

If you find that you feel lonely frequently, just sitting alone with your thoughts or if you’re out with someone you trust while out in nature can help reduce feelings of loneliness and make you feel like you are one and more connected with mother nature. If it is safe to do so, you can also just kick your shoes off and walk in nature barefoot which can help make you feel more grounded and present.

On another plus side, being out and about in nature can also help you to meet new people. Especially if you are anything like me and don’t get out much and feel like certain places just get crowded with too many people. You can try to spark up conversations with other people you meet along your journey of being outside in nature. And meeting new people can surely open up some doors that you never even knew existed before.

Samantha View All

Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog

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