How the Outdoors Benefits Mental Health
Spending time outside is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental health and well-being.
I've been getting out into nature and walking, either on my own or with dogs, to reduce my pressure on work and life. It helps to keep me calm and physically healthy, and I love taking the time to be mindful of all the beautiful green spaces around me, even when living in a city.
We are being stimulated all the time; looking at screens, the phone’s ringing, the alerts are coming through…everything we do is about being switched on and human beings need to switch off.
When we walk out to nature, oxytocin is produced in the brain. Oxytocin is what we call the’love drug, it helps us connect with each other and massively decrease stress. So, the longer you stay outside, the more oxytocin you get.
Keywords: go outdoors, mental health, TBMPOY
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How Can we Use the Outdoors to Benefit Our Mental Health?
It sounds simple but getting outside for a little while each day is sure to boost our mood. Nature is accessible to everyone, and the great outdoors is available to everyone for free! Parks, forests, public footpaths and even the street where you live can be used to freely walk around and enjoy some fresh air. Take advantage of this and spend time outdoors as much as possible.
- Soak up the Sun
- Get outside
- Meet with others
Note: if you’re spending time in the sun make sure you wear cosy outdoor clothing and protective clothing or a hat to keep you comfortable and safe.
Take a look at the YouTube video below to go outside from TBMPOY:
8 Health Benefits of Getting Back to Nature and Spending Time Outside
Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical well being. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects. It can:
- Reduce feelings of stress or anger
- Help you take time out and feel more relaxed
- Improve your physical health
- Improve your confidence and self-esteem
- Help you be more active
- Help you meet and get to know new people
- Connect you to your local community
- Reduce loneliness
- Help you feel more connected to nature
- Provide peer support.
“There are many outdoor activities families can enjoy together to stay active. You can take advantage of the colder weather to ice skate, ski, or enjoy sledding,” says Dr. Ashour. “Our bodies actually burn more calories in colder temperatures, making it easier to lose weight.”
If you’re feeling restless after long days spent cooped up indoors, get outside. Don’t forget to wear outdoor clothing. Be safe and have fun!