Mental Health & Nature

Hey my Lovelies!

How are you all doing? I hope you found time to rest and rejuvenate over this past week.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the 10th-16th is the Awareness Week. So today I’m going to be speaking about the benefits that Nature has on our Mental Health.

The Mental Health Foundation has been the UK’s leading charity since Since 1949. Each year for 21 years now they have been helping the public to understand ways to improve our wellbeing with the main focus of protecting and sustaining good mental health. This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is, ‘Nature’, so let’s see the benefits of connecting with nature.

Whenever you are able to get out and be amongst nature, take the opportunity. Simply being outside isn’t the same as consciously being amongst nature. Living in a city means that were surrounded by an abundance of man-made things & items that do not nourish the inner-self. For ones who suffer from agoraphobia simply being outside is overwhelming, so in that case make an effort to submerge yourself into the beauty of creation & see what it does for you. If you suffer from physical chronic illnesses this makes it even more so hard to get out to experience nature. For those with severe chronic pain, like myself it may not be very often that you get the chance to be out or get to a park/nature garden but when you can try to make the most of it.



BENEFITS OF SURROUNDING YOURSELF IN NATURE

  • Enhances Creativity
  • Reduces Stress & Anxiety
  • Boosts Immune System & a Source of Vitamin D
  • Improve Sleep Quality
  • Heightens Gratitude & Deepens Self Awareness

Enhances Creativity

Having a connection to nature can enhance your creative ways of thinking. Nature helps with recharging your mind and improves focus/directed-attention which is beneficial for developing ideas. When we look at many man made creations and study the engineering and design we can actually find that a lot are made to mimic nature, animals and living things. For instance the airplane replicates birds and other flying creatures, cameras are an imitation and enhancement of eyes. These are just two ways in which nature has influenced creative minds. Not saying that being among nature will turn you into the next gadget designer but just those two examples are proof of how much being amongst nature can enhance your creativity, big or small. When people spend time in a natural environment, they experience a natural shift in how they view time. Experience less stress for the fast pace of society.

Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two very major mental health problems that are taking a toll on people’s well-being. Since the beginning of the C-19 Pandemic this has only become more and evident. A 2010 study found that participants who walked in a forest had lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone). For those who are able to move around, exercising and moving around outdoors is a great natural way to help manage the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Just by getting out and taking a fast paced walk or jog, your body actually lowers its stress hormones — like cortisol . Exercise also releases endorphins, which improve your mood and even act as natural painkillers. Lighter and monitored exercise can be done for those of us with health restrictions. If you can’t go out to exercise in nature, bring nature to you.

Boosts Immune System & Dose of Vitamin D

I’m sure most of us have heard by now, Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient. Getting plenty of sunlight is the best way to increase your blood vitamin D levels

Being in the UK it’s difficult to know whether we’ll get any sun, even during summer time unfortunately, but knowing the benefits of vitamin D from being out in the sun is good to know so whenever you do get a chance you take it an absorb some of those rays.

Dose of vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. That’s because calcium, the primary component of bone, can only be absorbed by your body when vitamin D is present. Your body makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin (calciferol).

In another blog I spoke about how to boost your mood during the winter time, so if you’re still not able to get out by summer do consider the use of a Lumie Light. I still use mine and have found great benefits.

CLICK HERE TO READ – S.A.D – 6 tips to get through the winter blues

Improve Sleep Quality

To get better sleep quality try immersing yourself in and around nature. Increasing bright light exposure during the day can improve sleep quality. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration. The calming sound of nature can help if you have insomnia and want to sleep better, also for better concentration as a study aid or if you feel like relaxing.

Heightens Gratitude & Deepens Self Awareness

What is gratitude? It’s the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Over the past year I think we have all greatly benefited from gratitude and deepening our appreciation for the simple things in life, because that’s what proved to be the most important like, time, love, special time with family and friends. So much physical connection was taken from us it forced many to find other ways to feel a sense of belonging and grounding. Connecting with nature heightens gratitude. When we look at the way nature looks after it’s kind and also looks after us we can really take a lesson from it. Whether you have a Faith or not, there’s no doubt that when amongst nature there’s a deepened experience of gratitude and this then helps people feel more fulfilled and better able to help others meet their needs also.

How have you been able to connect with nature and what impact has it had on you?! Let me know in the comment section

Thanks for reading!

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Check out my new YouTube video – Mental Health & Nature

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Thanks for stopping by.

Laura,

XOXO

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