General Health

The Benefits of Nature on Mental Illness and Depression

Did you know there have been found to be approximately 3 million cases of clinical depression per year worldwide? In the world that we live in today many people have mental health issues and even suffer from depression. While in many cases, pharmaceutical pills such as antidepressants can temporarily relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder, pills don’t always get to the root of the problem. Clinical depression is an illness that results in persistent highs and lows or loss of interest in things they once enjoyable, therefore causing a impairment in daily life.

Mental Illness is a very serious epidemic in our world today. While medication may be an option for most patients, immersion in nature has been shown to benefit mental health in the following ways:

1. Nature walks
Have you ever noticed that you feel more refreshed and uplifted when you take a simple walk on a nature trail? That is because we as humans are able to cope better with pain in nature. Nature can restore us, change our mood for the better, and viewing nature scenes can sometimes increase our human ability to pay better attention. Nature can help our wellbeing, vitality, and meaningfulness in life.

2. Nourishing the body
Consuming a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will ensure we’re getting the proper nutrients and vitamins. A healthy diet is the foundation for the physical body and mind staying healthy and preventing the onset of chronic conditions and mental illness.

3. Connection with others
Communication and cooperation with friends and loved ones is vitally important to mental health. Making deep connections with other human beings can inspire us to seek creative pursuits, and can show us how to love and be loved. Communicating with people you trust is also a efficient way to talk through our emotions and issues so we don’t get trapped in a cycle of negative emotions.

4. Exercise
Not only does regular physical activity protect the body from conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic illness (i.e., metabolic disease), it also releases the human body’s feel-good chemicals known as endorphins (i.e., serotonin), which gives us a natural high that’s closely linked to mood regulation and strong mental health.

5. Let the sunshine in
The sunshine vitamin, or natural sunlight, has an important impact on mental health and wellbeing. For instance, many folks with vitamin D deficiency suffer from seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), which causes depression in colder months, with limited sunshine. However, being in nature for a mere 20-minutes per day can boost mood, energy levels, and banish negative thoughts and anxiety.