The facts are undeniable. Spending time in nature makes you a happier, healthier, person. Whether you’re on an excursion across the globe or across your backyard, being outside in the elements for even a short amount of time improves your wellbeing, mind, body, and spirit. According to Mindful, “spending 60 minutes in nature helps you disengage from brooding, ruminating thoughts, and cultivate a deeper social connection.” Spend an hour in nature once or twice a week and the benefits increase dramatically. “Being in nature for five hours a month can make you happier overall,” the article cites. Not everyone has the ability to get out into nature. Urban living makes it difficult to reach the outskirts of town or a state. Instead, just getting outside is nature enough. Nature is everywhere there’s a sky. If you’re limited by a ceiling for most hours of your week, you aren’t getting out enough. Physiological changes as well as mental changes in mood can result from even just taking a forty minute walk a few times a week, according to the article.
The amount of time is really arbitrary. The more time the better, but even a short amount of time has a benefit. “Within just five minutes of being outside,” the article explains, “be it a walk in a park, or just getting some fresh air on a work break, we experience immediate benefits.” Benefits include:
- Slower heart rate
- Relaxation in the muscles
- Reduced activity in areas of the brain which are key players in making decisions and regulating emotions
Studies on how nature affects mental health have revealed spending time outside can alleviate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety. Most people who spend a regular amount of time in nature feel that their sense of body image increases and they grow a better relationship with themselves.
LEAD Recovery Center is located in the beautiful coast of Southern California, some of the world’s first class nature. Our program emphasizes experiential learning through nature immersion. From rock climbing and hiking to kayaking and deep sea fishing, our clients spend many hours a week in their natural environment, learning how to be one with themselves and the world around them. Creating meaning and confidence in recovery is key to successful autonomy and lifelong recovery. For more information on our extended care programs, call 1-800-380-0012.