Hey there it is Day 17 of the 31 Days To A Happier You Challenge! In the last post we talked about the power of creativity on happiness. Today we are looking at how spending time in nature can make you happier.
Personally, I haven’t always been a fan of the outdoors. When I was younger, going outside was the last thing I wanted to do. I was more into reading magazines and going to the mall. I’m not just talking about my middle school years. It wasn’t until I was much older that I started to appreciate the outdoors.
Maybe you already love spending time outdoors or maybe you are a bit like I used to be, either way spending some time outdoors is good for you.
It Decreases Stress
We know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that walking or hiking outdoors is even better. A study in Japan was done where some people walked in an urban environment and others walked in a more natural wooded area. Both groups were monitored for heart rate and blood pressure. Both groups also answered questions about their mood and stress levels.
Not surprisingly, those that walked in the wooded area had lower heart rates and less anxiety than those that walked in urban settings.
It May Make You Nicer
It might sound like a bit of a reach, but it is true. Researchers from University of Rochester found that nature “brings out more social feelings, more value for community and close relationships. People are more caring when they’re around nature,” says Richard Ryan.
Nature and Happiness
In 2009, Dutch researchers found that people who lived within a half mile of a green space had lower incidence of depression and anxiety. Additionally, access to these green spaces improved self-esteem, decreases negative feelings, and improves overall satisfaction.
To do: Make sure to spend some time outside in nature. Ideally around 30 minutes between the hours of 6-9am (this is when sun exposure is the safest).