How Nature can Help Your Mental Health

mental health

You may not know this, but there is actually a science that explains how nature affects us, in a positive way. It is called ecopsychology, and its studies the mental health benefits that are gained, when we spend a certain amount of time immersed in nature. In fact, studies have proven that spending time in the natural world reduces stress, and helps to better our mindset, globally. Here is what you should know about it.

A Way to cope with Anxiety created by the Modern World

Living in 2022, inside a big city, can rapidly take all of the energy out of you. There are many factors, and many we often think about, such as: work, family, money and too little personal time on our hands. But the one we almost always forget, is how we are alienated from nature, when we live in modern cities. Those who have the chance to live in the countryside, understand the importance of nature on their well-being. And those that don’t, are unaware of what they are missing.

The truth is, there is almost nowhere to go to free yourself from the proximity of buildings and the pollution that afflicts us, in large towns. And our daily grind doesn’t let us take time off, to head to the mountains or to the sea side that often. There is no contact between men and nature anymore. The simple gesture of planting a seed and watching it grow, is unexplainable to someone who has never done it before. It really doesn’t matter what you grow in your garden, but if you have one, it can be useful to grow medicinal herbs, to help your body. And for those who can and who needs it to relax, cannabis seeds are also available, to help to keep anxiety at bay.

You need Two Hours of Nature Immersion per Week

A study was done by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, at the University of Exeter, on the subject. 20,000 people took part in it, and it was led by Matthew White. The objective was to determine how much time spent in nature, during a week, could really help an individual’s state of mind. Included in the study, were local parks, as well as all other natural environments. People either remained immersed a few hours at a time, or visited more often, for shorter periods.

In any case, the conclusion that Matthew White came to, in the end, is that there is a minimum of hours that makes a difference, for nature to have a positive effect on our mental health, and that is two hours. Under that, people won’t turn their time in nature into something beneficial. It won’t hurt, but they will still feel the stress and anxiety of their lives, the same way as if they hadn’t gone there at all.

Since the results showed that it was the same for people of any age, sex or race, and now that you know about this, maybe you should try to find at least two hours to lose yourself in a natural environment, during the week. We can all benefit from feeling a little less stressed and anxious.