After a stressful workload, there’s nothing better than going for a walk in the local parkway, taking in all the green and the fresh air. Unfortunately, such spaces are sacrificed in the name of progress, as 50% of all population live in urban areas, which is projected to rise to 70% come 2050. As this number increases, the number of people without access to natural areas is increasingly alarming.
As a result, mental health on urban people had been affected negatively by these urban developments, as the range of stimuli grows smaller. In a monotony of stone, metal, and glass, a little bit of the trees and sky does help improve one’s mood.
Natural spaces help with creativity and problem-solving skills. Studies showed a definitive rise in creativity and problem solving, according to a 2012 research published in PLoS One. You may have been stuck with what to do on a project or how to resolve a big crisis in the workplace. A trip to the local gardens later and you suddenly have a surge of ideas coming in through your mind. This is the power of nature.
Depression can be alleviated by being with nature. As per the research in 2012 published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, a 50-minute walk in a nature setting proved to be of significant help for people with depression, as opposed to the same time spent in an urban environment. Seeing anything other than a dull gray or white does help refresh the soul.
“Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful. It also makes you get more of a jump on your day — you feel you’ve already ‘done’ something by being out of your house — and if you pair it with exercise, even better,” says Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist.
Green exercise can reduce anxiety levels. Exercise is advised on all people for general well-being, but a green activity has been proved to combat anxiety levels. Researchers have seen the effects of “green exercise,” reporting moderate short-term reductions in anxiety, and found that subjects in more natural environments have more significant decreases in anxiety levels.
“Exercise is key; speak to your primary care physician to see what kind of physical activity is right for you.”—Amanda Zayde, PsyD
Natural spaces, urban or rural, can help mitigate stress for children and the elderly. Stress relief is among the primary goals for the millions of Americans in urban areas, as well as of the rest of the world’s city dwellers. Parks, playgrounds, and the like can be of help to children and the elderly, to mitigate the challenges posed by the urban setting.
When stressed, do gardening. It can help with grocery costs too, as you have your free spices/vegetables, within your backyard also. Instead of hiring a landscaper, you shall do it yourself, as per 2011 research from Van Den Burg and Custers.
A walk among nature is good for the heart. Being with nature has many benefits to a human being, and among the long list of them is an improvement in the cardiovascular function. It happens due to the association between the head reduction from natural environments and improved effect, which results in a protective mechanism on the cardiovascular services. Aside from it, drops in blood pressure, adrenaline and noradrenaline have been reported.
Green exercise helps with mood and self-esteem. Researchers suggested a healthy mix of exercise, social elements, and nature in future programs may help significantly with promoting mental healthcare.
Green space in any living settlement increases general health perception. Not everyone has the benefit of a natural environment. However, thoughtful planning of open spaces in urban areas has been seen to improve public health perception, according to a 2006 research found in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Nature can improve quality of life for the elderly. Over time, adults report a weakening in their quality of life, due to various medical issues and mental difficulties. A study done in 2015 found that nature does affect the lives of older adults positively. They added that with a better understanding of how a senior experiences health and landscape will better serve the need for a natural space.
Natural environments can help with a woman’s daily emotional health. Just think: “My favorite piece of advice for coping with life’s ups and downs is remembering that the adversity and resulting emotional pain and turmoil that life brings us is both inevitable and temporary,” says Gabriela Parra, LCSW.
What with the almost stationary lifestyle that the corporate life often brings, it’s often associated with poor mental health among women. However, it takes more than merely getting off the workstation, as associating with a nature background daily helps with everyday mood.