Mental Health Awareness week runs from the 10th to the 16th of May and this year’s theme is ‘nature’ and the benefits it can have on our mental health and general wellbeing. Being out of doors surrounded by nature can have a profound impact on our brains and the way we think as natural light increases positive emotions. Here are a few more reasons why you should be spending more time outside. Walking/running or exercising burns calories and improves circulation which can help weight loss and toning of muscles. Fresh air helps the flow of oxygen through the blood allowing your lungs to work better and strengthen heart muscles. This will automatically boost energy levels and improve self-esteem, mood and even sleep quality. Studies have also shown that spending time outdoors can help strengthen our ability to concentrate, as well as strengthening our immune system.
Rumination, or focusing on negative thoughts can often lead to anxiety, depression and stress. By getting out into open spaces and being mindful of our surroundings can offer much-needed relief, encouraging you to focus on staying in the moment, being aware of bodily senses and feelings. Notice the nature around you. See the colours, hear the sounds. Smell the odours.
So whether it is a walk in the park, a stroll by the sea, or a bit of gardening, take some time out of your day to get in touch with nature. Notice how the sun on your face or breathing of fresh air brings feelings of happiness and peace.