5 Psychological Benefits of Spending Time Outside
A Break from Routine
The schedule of everything, the endless bill, they can all get boring. In fact, many of our most depressed clients complain to us that their actual problem is boredom. In the great outdoors, something is always different, whether it’s the birds fighting in their nest or the new flower that’s bloomed just outside your window. Time outside gives you a break from your routine, a reminder that life does not have to be continuously monotonous, and a few brief moments to enjoy your connection to nature, free of guilt or obligations.
Natural Sunlight and Health
You have probably heard a lot about how too much sun can reason skin cancer, rapid ageing, and a host of other health problems. But too little sunlight is every bit as unsafe. Indeed, sun deprivation may be as bad as smoking. Regular sunlight can recover mood, and stimulate vitamin D production. Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and tissue, and may even contribute to improving your mood.
Sure, you could run on the treadmill or go to an indoor pool, but this turns exercise into a chore. The best exercise is the exercise you enjoy, whether gardening, walking your dog, or playing an outdoor sport. Time outside almost inevitably means more activity. Exercise remains one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Not only is exercise linked with a longer life, healthier heart, and compact pain; it can also combat anxiety, improve self-esteem, boost body image, and may even be as efficient at fighting depression as some popular antidepressants.
Life indoors is filled with seemingly never-ending distractions—buzzing phones, the draw of the television or computer screen, and an endless array of obligations. When you’re outside, you get a break from all of this. You also get to see how animals and plants live in the natural world. This can help slow down your thoughts and help you cultivate a meditative state of mindfulness. Mindfulness is linked to superior intelligence, better mental health, lower stress, and even a healthier heart. By taking the time to enjoy the present moment, without worrying about the future or harping on the past, you provide your brain and body a valuable gift that can serve you well long after you return to life indoors.
Opportunities to Socialize
When you take a stroll around your neighborhood or go to a local park, you have the chance to meet new people—a chance you’ll never experience locked away in your home. New social interactions, even short ones that last only a moment, can increase self-esteem, recover social skills, and sharpen overall mental health. You might even find yourself making new friends or cultivating a new romantic interest.
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