Imagine taking a stroll in a park or leafy neighborhood during a cool evening or even on a snowy day, away from all the noise. Instead, you listen to the sounds of nature and allow your mind to unwind from the stresses of urban life.
That serene outdoors experience can be therapeutic because it allows our mind to recharge when we feel drained and stressed. This is not just a statement but a scientific fact backed by research and multiple studies. Scientists discovered through those studies that people’s wellbeing, mood, and cognitive performance improve when they spend time in nature.
Is it worth risking the pandemic by spending time in nature?
Researchers sought to answer this question through a study in which they studied 1,200 students. They found that 81 percent of the students thought it would be too risky to go outside because they were worried that other people would fail to observe COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing or wearing masks.
The scientists also recorded a 10-point increase in wellbeing for those that went outside regardless of economic or social variables. A previous study also revealed that the benefits of spending time in nature are the same regardless of the weather. This means that the same benefits derived during summer can be derived in winter.
The research also shows that spending time outdoors may help ease mental health symptoms and loneliness that many people have been experiencing during the lockdown. The studies also revealed that humans naturally tend to gravitate towards life and life-like processes. It explains why humans benefit in terms of wellbeing when they interact with animals and plants.
German researchers recently published the findings of a study through which they discovered that the happiest Europeans are those that observe many bird species every day. The researchers found that observing roughly 14 bird species or more not only introduced more joy into their lives, they also equated it to receiving an extra $150 in their monthly salary.
Spending time in nature allows people to ease the rigidity in their daily routines. Spending just a few minutes unwinding in nature allows people to unwind and some positive side-effect is clearer thinking and more focus.