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What Boosts Mental Well-being? The Great Outdoors Does!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Stress and anxiety have become quite common amongst Indians, mainly due to the lack of fun-filled activities that stimulate the brain. Studies have shown that almost 74% of Indians are stressed due to pressure from work or academics and outdoor activities can be a healthy outlet for such stress. Moreover, statistics also show that almost 88% of Indians live with anxiety. These, along with other mental pressures can often be relieved by spending time with nature.

How are we coping now?

The working population in India usually faces an overly sedentary lifestyle along with a high-pressure corporate environment. As a result, they are often faced with time constraints when it comes to engaging in leisurely outdoor activities. As a result, many working-class Indians have resorted to integrating healthy activities into their work schedule in their pursuit of fitness.

For example, some professionals have chosen to ride their bicycles to work, while others have begun to avail the gym facilities inside their office building. Some have even joined after-office-hours yoga classes to help them stimulate the brain and body. However, spending time in nature surrounded by lush green trees and the melodious sound of birds is unparalleled when it comes to relieving pent up stress.

How does nature nurture our wellbeing?

Simply spending time in nature, secluded from the monotony and humdrum of the fast-paced urban life, can be exceptionally beneficial in reducing stress. In fact, studies have proven that just 10 minutes of solace amidst nature can significantly boost mental wellness. It has also been reported that simply relaxing amidst nature can be superior to outdoor activities in the city when it comes to boosting mental health and wellness.

The proof is in the pudding

There are several activities that have proven to stimulate the brain more than anything else and visiting recreational parks is one of them. One such study has shown that 64% of visitors at a park reported an uplifted mood and increased life satisfaction after just 20 minutes. Moreover, it has also been confirmed by another scientific study that exposing a child to green outdoor spaces during their formative years of growth helps to reduce the development and onset of psychological disorders.

Also Read: How to Stop Dissociating: A Comprehensive Guide to Grounding Techniques

What can you do to introduce nature into your lifestyle?

Apart from indulging in outdoor activities like leisure sports, there are several simpler things that you can do in order to stimulate the brain as well as keep your body fit. Morning walks, evening strolls or even late-night strolls in your neighbourhood park are highly recommended. By spending at least 10 minutes either sitting or walking amidst nature can help you relieve a lot of stress and can even help to reduce the effects of anxiety.

You can also find gardening to be an interesting hobby as many Indians have taken to it quite well in recent years. Watering and caring for the plants at home, provides an innate sense of satisfaction and this can notably stimulate the brain giving you a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. People suffering from depression have often found gardening to be quite a rewarding experience.

Moreover, in the era of remote working, you are free to sit and work from wherever you wish. This newfound mobility can be utilised by simply sitting at your nearest park with your laptop and mobile internet during work. You could even install some fragrant flowers at home near your work desk and leave your windows open so that the fresh air outside can rejuvenate your senses. This is a great alternative if you experience a lack of spending time with nature.

However, if you are not able to do any of these, then the next best thing is to play some relaxing nature sounds in the background while you are working from home. This can simulate a feeling of spending time with nature and can positively impact your mental health as well. It can also help to reduce the stress and anxiety that comes from long hours of intense office work.

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Spending time with nature has always been a relaxing outlet for many and this is because man and nature share a delicate yet symbolic relationship from a holistic perspective. Since ancient times, outdoor activities that involve being amidst nature have been a means of connecting with nature and appreciating it as not just a provider but also as a nurturer. However, in the modern industrialised and digital era, we have often forgotten our roots in nature. You can rekindle this relationship by simply taking 10 minutes out each day to go for a walk in a nearby park. This can help you appreciate nature as well as stimulate the brain to maintain your mental health and wellbeing.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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