nature mental health

Have you ever noticed a difference in your mood if you stay inside all day without natural light compared to when you’ve stepped out into the fresh air? Being outside in nature affects more than just your mood – it can impact your behaviour, sleep, and nervous, hormone, and immune systems. If you need some motivation to head for the beach, your local park, or even for a brisk walk to the shops, we’ve got you covered. Did you know…

Natural Light Improves Sleep
We all have an internal biological clock (you may have heard of the term circadian rhythm?), which regulates our bodies based on external cues like temperature and sunlight. Natural light tells our brains when it’s time to sleep and wake up but it can get a bit muddled with all the screen time we tend to have. Getting outside can help to re-acclimatise our brains to the natural cycle, improving sleep quality, and helping to battle depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

Nature Reduces Stress
Being outdoors surrounded by natural beauty soothes the soul and refreshes the brain for improved creativity, focus, and problem-solving skills. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn positively affects your mental and physical health.

Being Outdoors Increases Social Interaction
Research suggests that people are more likely to socialise if they live near spaces with grass and trees. Being away from the isolation of our homes increases the opportunities for engagement with others. Social interaction and the emotional support of connectedness is important for good mental health.

Getting Out and About Encourages Exercise
It’s well documented that exercise has a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and improving sleep and concentration. If you’re outside, you’re more likely to be moving your body rather than sitting sedentary inside. From simply walking to upping the ante to more active endeavours like climbing or horse-riding, any form of movement is beneficial.

Leaving Your Desk Increases Productivity
So many of our jobs involve spending the day inside but if we’re outside, we can’t be at our desks. Taking short breaks throughout the day gives your eyes, brain, and body a chance to refresh. Research shows that people who take regular breaks perform better, and have more attention, motivation, and productivity than those who keep plugging away.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your keys and sun cream – you can read our other blog posts later!