Why being in the great outdoors has never been so important…
Mental Health Benefits of Exploring Nature
Mental health is something that is often overlooked but it could not be more important. Never has this been as true as the world faces a global pandemic and people face lockdowns and restrictions on their basic rights.
During times like this, it is easy to become isolated. Also, it is easy to fall into depression and be overcome by mental health issues that may not have otherwise been present.
It is therefore important to consider your mental health, and understand how you can remain strong and tackle any issues you may have. A simple and effective way is to regularly go outdoors and explore nature.
There is a host of studies that show the positive effects nature can have on our mind and mental well-being and we have listed them below!
Firstly, and at its most basic level, exploring nature can simply lift your mood. Being outdoors and immersed in nature acts as a natural tonic – it is refreshing and uplifting. You can breathe the fresh air, look at the beautiful sights, and explore somewhere new. This in itself can take you out of a bad mood and lift your spirits if you are feeling down and unhappy.
2. Nature can also help reduce stress and anger
Also, being outdoors can go further than lifting your mood – it can also help reduce feelings of stress and anger. If you regularly feel angry or live a stressful life, this can be damaging to your mental health. It can cause side effects like high blood pressure and generally make you feel negative.
Regularly exploring nature can help wash away that pent up stress and anger. As mentioned above, being outdoors is literally a breath of fresh air. Also, it can take you away from stressful environments like your home or place of work.
3. It can boost your physical health
Being outdoors can help boost your physical health. Regularly walking, hiking, cycling, or running, for example, can boost your endurance and conditioning. It is a well-known fact that having a decent level of physical health can boost your mental health.
You will feel better and more energetic. As a result, you will also be more likely to remain active and positive and continue to push yourself to grow as a person. In contrast, if you a generally unfit and inactive, this can have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
4. Nature also provides a change of scenery
Being outdoors simply gives you somewhere else to explore. Looking at the same office or sitting in the same room in your house day after day can be mentally draining. In our current situation, this effect is exaggerated, and the term cabin fever has never been as relevant.
By exploring nature, you can change your scenery and add much-needed variation to your life. This in turn can help boost your mental health and keep your mind active.
5. It provides a quiet place to gather your thoughts
Oftentimes when you are outdoors immersed in nature, you may be on your own or in relative silence. You can take a break from loud city life, or a hectic office, for example. As a result, you can often give greater time to your thoughts, and process things that may have been playing on your mind.
6. Also, it can help boost your confidence
Doing outdoor activities or exploring nature on your own is also a fantastic confidence booster. The feeling you get when you accomplish a tough hike, or successfully navigate a difficult piece of terrain is amazing and it can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence.
7. It can give much-needed human contact
Finally, if you decide to explore with someone else like your partner, a friend, or family members, it gives you important social contact. Even if you are a relatively solitary person, human contact is important. You can share your emotions and feelings, and maybe discuss things that have been troubling you, and affecting your mental health.
Take the First Step to Improved Mental Health and Start Exploring!
If you are feeling particularly low or vulnerable, why not try exploring nature? You could do something simple like taking a walk to your local park a few times per week. Or, you could visit local nature reserves and country parks – the UK is packed full of some stunning natural locations where you can easily lose yourself in the great outdoors.
You could also consider outdoor activities like wild camping, coasteering, and wild swimming. These can boost your mental health and are also incredibly fun. Cornish Wave has a host of outdoor activity packages and we are ready to go with improved measures to allow people to participate safely during the pandemic.
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