The reality of life now is people are spending more time indoors than outdoors and are not getting nearly enough Vitamin D or other health benefits from being in nature. There is a symbiotic relationship between people and the environment, nature, and life itself. Getting in touch with the natural world can have myriad benefits for your mental health, so why not give it a try with these helpful tips.

Green is Good

More time spent in parks and green spaces can help people fight against mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress. Ensuring people have access to parks and outdoor settings can increase the quality of life for a community, not just the individual. Find out why nature is so good for mental health:

  • People living more than a mile away from green space have nearly a 50 percent higher odds of experiencing stress than those living less than half a mile away. When people visit green spaces, they experience less stress.
  • Separation from nature is detrimental for human development, health, and wellbeing. Regular contact with nature is required for good mental health.
  • Scientists in the Netherlands found that people who lived in residential areas with the least amount of green space had a 44 percent higher rate of physician-diagnosed anxiety disorders than people who lived in the greenest areas. People who most likely spend time near home including kids with low levels of education and income are at higher risk for anxiety disorders as well.
  • Depression diagnosed by a physician was 33 percent higher in residential areas with the fewest green spaces, compared to neighborhoods with the most.
  • People who lived in close proximity to natural space had significantly improved mental health up to three years from their move. Individuals who moved to greener areas had better mental health nearly three years later than those who did not.
  • Physical activity in green spaces has stronger mental health benefits than physical activity in non-green spaces.
  • People who use green spaces experience decreased health complaints, improved blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Overall, health perceptions totally depend on many things but mostly a greater ability to face problems exists when people are able to get outside, be in nature, and experience green spaces. Children need it as well as older adults and seniors. Anyone can benefit from being outdoors, breathing fresh air and finding space to experience peace and joy that comes from being outside.

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