It is not an unknown fact that nature and the outdoors have a good effect on our mood. After a stressful and tiring day, going out in fresh air is sheer bliss!
Nature could mean anything ranging from small shrubs to trees, which have a positive effect on our brain. According to previous studies, nature is believed to induce a multitude of happy emotions in our brain, thus relaxing the nerves. The colour green has more happy effects on our mood than we could have ever imagined.
Most people these days are drawn towards taking a brief walk after a stressful day to make themselves feel better. The mundanity and stress of everyday life are gone and we feel a sense of utmost relaxation when we set foot into nature.
Scientists all over the world encourage everyone to keep this habit as a regular one. This habit allows you to take a break from the chaotic life and enjoy the simpler things. Other than that, it is also proved to lower stress levels, lower mortality rate, and lessen the symptoms of depression. Despite this mounting evidence in favour of spending time outdoors, the ideal amount of time to be spent in nature has been ambiguous.
How much time should you spend in nature?
No one knew until recently.
However, a recent study published by the Frontiers in Psychology has given an answer to this question. The researchers asked some of the participants to spend time in a place closer to nature for a minimum of 10 minutes. They carried out this experiment for eight weeks, asking them to do this at least three times a week. Following this experiment, the results were astounding.
The participants immersed in nature for a period of 20-30 minutes had a decrease in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, they were happier and stress-free.
The authors of the study stated that this ‘nature pill’ can be reflected as a low-cost mental health treatment for many patients. This mental health nature walk can be used as a practice alongside the other things in life to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A 20-minute time period spent in nature can be one of the most rewarding things you can do for your body. Apart from giving oxygen, the plants and trees also have so many mental health benefits that cannot be clearly ignored.
MaryCarol R. Hunter, the lead author of this study and an associate professor at the University of Michigan feels that this is step one towards the ultimate goal of happiness. She further added that “They could pick any place they wanted, but when they went to the place they actually had to feel some resonance to nature, feel connected to it. You could go sit next to one tree and just be with the tree, that could do it for you. The same person might go to a city park free of the noise of traffic.”
So, are you planning to the nature-pill to keeping your stress at bay?
Let us know what you think about this in the comments below!