We all need tools to help us deal with stress and put our minds in a good place. In this video I explore why spending time in nature is so beneficial for our mental health and mental fitness.
First, entering nature means exiting the human landscape. Experiencing nature gets us away from other people. Even if we are extremely extroverted, it allows us the much needed time by ourselves. We connect to ourselves more and, generally, become more mindful and notice things in nature that we might have not realized before. Nature is a powerful teacher.
Nature also gives us access to a sense of vastness and being connected to something greater than ourselves. Oftentimes people find this in religion and being in nature can also provide us with the feeling that there is something larger than just ourselves.
Spending time with nature can help with our mental health because it tends to get us away from triggers, and stressors…I think of it as some time to allow the nervous system to settle down.
Nature is also always changing. Being in a new environment is helpful for our mental health and mental fitness. Novelty is powerful for our brains, especially when so much of our time is spent inside and on screen. Being pulled into the environment around us triggers our curiosity and has been shown in research to influence the brain in ways that could help boost mood and fight depression and anxiety. In fact, in our clinical work we encourage time in nature as part of the path to improving mental health and mental fitness.
Nature should be a part of everyone’s mental fitness routine.