How can getting outside help your mental health?
Giving your mood and wellbeing a boost doesn’t always have to involve a new fancy app or a costly gym membership. It can be as simple as going out of your front door and enjoying some time in the fresh air. There is, of course, a difference between doing things to keep your mental health in good check and living with a mental illness. We understand that for some of us there is a lot more that goes into staying mentally well. In this article we look at how fresh air can help people looking to improve their overall well being, but that being said, spending time outside is still really beneficial for people living with a mental health condition.
Research is finding that spending time outside, especially in nature, helps to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress. Outdoor activities have been found to help with depression and anxiety. There is also research to support that being outside in natural sunlight can also go some way to improve how we’re feeling. Here’s three reasons why we should all try to spend some time outside:
- 1.Sunshine really does make us happyThe sun being out doesn’t just mean it’s time to break out the BBQ! Spending time in sunlight helps us to get important vitamins, such as Vitamin D which helps keep our bones strong and healthy. Exposure to sunlight also increases the amount of serotonin, which is a hormone directly responsible to improve mood.
- 2.It helps us to relaxGetting away from the sounds of traffic, people, commuting and the general hustle and bustle of life going on at a million miles an hour around us can have surprising effects. People report that spending time in natural environments, such as a beach, forest or even a local park reduces feelings of stress, tension and anxiety. Combined with a physical activity such as cycling, walking or running, it can boost natural endorphins leaving you feeling more positive and better at managing stress.
- 3.It keeps us activeBeing able to enjoy activities outside is a double whammy, because normally you’re too busy having fun to notice you’re exercising! From kayaking in the summer months to frosty forest walks in the autumn, being outside makes staying active much easier. Staying active not only keeps you physically fit and healthy but it also goes a long way to keeping your mental health in check.