May 4, 2020

ALL IN YOUR HEAD:

Coronavirus lockdown: Can nature help improve our mood? (Emily Kasriel, 5/03/20, BBC News)

While the impact of experiencing nature on our physical health is less well documented, a wealth of studies have demonstrated the positive effects of the natural world on our mental health.

Even a brief nature fix - 10 minutes of wind brushing across our cheek, or the sun on our skin - can lower stress, explains Dr Mathew White, from the University of Exeter.

If we immerse ourselves in beautiful landscapes, like a rich coastline or a wild forest teeming with an array of species, we feel more intense emotions, he adds.

Connecting with nature can help us feel happier and more energised, with an increased sense of meaning and purpose, as well as making tasks seem more manageable.

Dr Gretchen C Daily from Stanford University, in the US, uses this evidence to help the World Bank and city governments around the world develop policies to integrate the natural environment into our urban landscapes.

Nature-based activities, such as gardening and farming, have been used as part of mental health treatments around the world for centuries.

GPs in London, Liverpool and Dorset have been prescribing nature experiences for patients with depression and anxiety. These include a healthy walk or planting mint to nurture and grow.

Evidence indicates you can also benefit from "bathing" yourself in nature remotely. One experiment installed large plasma displays of real-time natural scenes outside an office, resulting in people's connection to their wider social community and the natural world increasing.

Posted by at May 4, 2020 12:00 AM

  

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