Monday, October 17, 2011

Manic Monday: Nature and Mental Health

According to a study published on, only 5 minutes in nature shows an impact on human mental health.  The study also found that people are affected more by green areas with water.  In other words, if you live in the city, try to get to a park, natural trail or the beach.  Walking outside in the city is great, but we need a daily connection with nature.

Many other studies have been conducted in the US and other countries.  Most of them find that people who live in more natural settings or spend a lot of time in them live longer, healthier lives.  Some studies also have shown that office workers have less stress when they have a view of nature.  If you don't have this at work, take your 15-minute and your lunch breaks outside in the sun.  You'll notice a huge difference in your attitude.

Urban sprawl has certainly increased the amount of mental health issues in our society.  Television, computers, driving, texting, noisy restaurants, loud music, busy streets, all contribute to stress and anxiety.  Because of this, we all need to spend more time in nature.  Mother Nature soothes our minds and relaxes our bodies.  The sun gives us depression-fighting vitamin D and the fresh oxygen alkalizes our blood.  Additionally, nature is almost always slow, which helps to rejuvenate the brain after hours of mental stimulation.

Make a commitment to spend time in nature every day.  If you don't think you have time, commit to 5 minutes a day.  Once you see the benefits of spending more time outside, you will only want to increase it to 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour.  If you exercise regularly, try doing it outside a few times a week instead of the gym.  Even in cold climates, 10 to 15 minutes outside can make a huge difference.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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