It is often attested that the location of your home has an impact on your well-being. Your surroundings impinge on your blood pressure, on the levels of your stress, on how likely you will be afflicted with specific diseases and on your general health. Because of these factors, many individuals prefer the quiet and calm communities outside the city, over the hustle and bustle of living in a highly urbanized area.
A newly published report has concluded that individuals residing near “Mother Nature” tend to be less anxious, less depressed, and are physically healthier, compared to individuals dwelling in urbanized areas. Individuals who live less than a kilometer from Mother Nature tend to be mentally healthier and less likely to be afflicted with diseases that are either respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, or musculoskeletal.
The report investigated the medical records maintained by approximately two hundred doctors who serve more than three hundred thousand Dutch individuals. It also noted that people living within three kilometers of Mother Nature are less likely to be suffering from depression and anxiety compared to those living further away from Mother Nature.
“The constant stimulation of city life can propel the body into a stressful state, known as the fight-or-flight response. That can make us more vulnerable to mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use. This might help explain why 19.1 percent of Americans live with an anxiety disorder, while 6.7 percent have depression,” says Julie Fraga, psychologist.
Those investigators are uncertain exactly how Mother Nature relates to or affects the individuals’ well-being. However, they propose it may be associated with the improved standard of the air they breathe as well as higher chances for the individuals to exercise, socialize, and relax.
They also stated that the impact on the individual’s well-being by the presence of Mother Nature in the individual’s surroundings where they dwell could not be underrated.
“Our environment including where we live and work can to some extent affect the way we think, feel and behave, but this is a two-way street because the ways we think and feel can also draw us to certain types of environments,” says Dr. Denise Dillon.
Going Outside And Using Mother Nature More
You might find it impossible to move and get a new job, find a new home, and displace your children so that you can live nearer to Mother Nature. However, you can still reap the health rewards of Mother Nature by using the eight tips below.
Tip 1: Take a stroll. Walking around your neighborhood, even if it is only for a short time will improve your emotional state. You should do this every day. If you find this difficult to do, arrange to have a friend stroll with you.
Tip 2: Join a sports activity. With a sports activity, you will be exercising a lot and breathing in lots of clean air. This will help you fight depression. Get a friend to go bowling with you or gather a group of friends for a game of basketball.
“Exercise is key; speak to your primary care physician to see what kind of physical activity is right for you.”
—Amanda Zayde, PsyD
Tip 3: Go on a picnic. Eating outside gives you a new view and a refreshing outlook. You could go to the beach and have lunch there. Or you could have brunch at a park.
Tip 4: Do volunteer work. There are several volunteer work that can be done outside. You could collect trash from the roadside. You could walk dogs from the local dog shelter. The emotional satisfaction you get from volunteer work is also a great way of fighting depression.
Tip 5: Go on a joy ride. If Mother Nature is not within walking distance from where you live, take your car and ride to Mother Nature. But be sure that it’s not the long-distance as this could be stressful.
Tip 6: Read a magazine or a book. Go and sit at a park bench and read a magazine or a book. This is especially restful if there’s a soft wind caressing you.
Tip 7: Go shopping outdoors. Do your grocery shopping at an outdoor market.
Tip 8: Maintain a garden. You can bring Mother Nature to your home by maintaining a garden.
If you are so intensely anxious or so profoundly depressed that you do not want to go outside, you should get professional help. You can cope with any emotional or mental health issue with the proper treatment involving therapeutic drugs, counseling, and communing with Mother Nature.