It’s understandable if you’re having a hard time lately. The experience of living through a global pandemic and public health emergency has put all of us in a challenging situation. However, it’s important for you to look for ways you can practice better self-care, especially as it pertains to your mental health. The effect of nature on our mental and emotional state is something that scientists have been studying for hundreds of years, but many people swear that connecting with nature plays a fulfilling role in their overall wellness. If you want to learn more, read on to find out how nature impacts your mental health.
How does nature impact mental health?
A lot of research has been focused on the ways that nature can affect our mental health, and a comprehensive study done in 2012 concluded that there was evidence that exposure to nature was associated with improved mental health. Specifically, researchers say that exposure to natural environments is connected to decreased “anxiety and rumination,” which are symptoms that are linked to poor outcomes like the development of conditions like depression and anxiety.
Another study indicated that even just a 20-minute nature break can reduce your stress. Participants had their levels of the stress-producing hormone, cortisol, measured before and after their nature outings. Those who spent at least 20 to 30 minutes outside in nature had the most noticeable drop in their cortisol levels. The natural settings varied from yards to public parks. The most important thing is that you interact with nature; the way you do so is up to you.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to find coping strategies and a treatment plan that work for you and support your wellness goals. It’s not a bad idea to look for a licensed therapist in your area to get a better idea of how you can make progress. The time commitment can be a concern for some people, but you could also look at offices like this one that provides therapy in Charlotte. They offer teletherapy, which makes therapeutic care more accessible to people who have trouble keeping in-person appointments for one reason or another.
What can you do to incorporate more nature into your life?
Anyone who really wants to include nature in every aspect of their life should consider moving somewhere that they can be surrounded by it. For example, you can find and purchase land for sale in western North Carolina, where you can live in a great place surrounded by some of the most beautiful forests, greenery, and mountains in the country. If you work from home or find that your skills are in-demand in an area where you want to live, it may be worth considering a move. For nature lovers, living in the mountains can be a dream come true.
Moving may not be a possibility for everyone right this second, but you can still reap the benefits of the natural world for your mental health. Houseplants are another great way to bring more greenery into your life. Plants have been shown to provide a wide range of benefits, from boosting your mood to improving your productivity. Purchasing some houseplants for your home is an affordable and accessible way to incorporate more nature into your life.
Treating mental health issues can be tricky, particularly if it’s the first time you’re experiencing them. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing mental health issues, but there is evidence to suggest that nature can be beneficial to us in a variety of ways. Fortunately, there are many ways you can incorporate nature into your life, in both large and small ways. You can start taking more nature walks in your area, or you could relocate entirely to a natural setting that makes you feel at peace. No matter what approach you take, it’s a good idea to incorporate some type of therapy into your overall treatment plan.