“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks”- John Muir.
Nature is more magnificent than you can imagine. Many people like to spend time in nature, and we all know that walking is very healthy for the body, however – few of us know how good hiking and walking in nature are for our mental health.
It Makes You Happier
Marselle, Irvine, and Warber (2014) undertook a large-scale study examining group walks in nature and multiple aspects of wellbeing. They found that group nature walks contributed to significantly lower depression, perceived stress, and negative affect, as well as improved positive affect and mental well-being, both before and after controlling for covariates.
“Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that. Stress will never go away, so it’s important to know how to deal with it,” says Sara L. Warber, M.D from the University of Michigan Medical School. “Walking in nature is one of the defense mechanisms, and the benefits are not only psychological!”
Green surroundings improve mood and self-confidence, while the mere presence of water (rivers, lakes, seas) further enhances the feeling of happiness. Research has shown that just five minutes of exercise in nature significantly increases our self-confidence and optimism, and data shows that people who live near green areas have a lower tendency to have mental problems.
Researchers also found that compared to group walks in urban environments, nature walks are significantly more favorable.
The Beauty Of Nature
Experts believe that natural beauty – reservoirs, landscape, fragrant trees – has a positive effect on the psyche.
If you tend to constantly question your actions and constantly fill your mind with negative emotions, then nature walks will be the right filter for you. Unlike exercising in a closed space, while staying in nature, different landscapes will constantly change in front of you.
The look of nature will allow you to relax and at least for a moment forget the everyday problems that you are burdened with. Walking, especially in nature in the fresh air, significantly relieves stress, improves mood, preserves mental health, and ensures peaceful and restful sleep.
In addition to providing a range of environmental services, green spaces provide opportunities and incentives for ‘green exercise’, which includes walking, cycling, as well as other recreational activities.
These “exercises” greatly influenced the respondents who recorded their mood and self-esteem before and after being in nature and doing physical activity there.
The results were more than clear: feelings of anger, depression, tension, and confusion all decreased significantly, while energy increased significantly.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir.
Spotting wildlife is one of the most exciting challenges when you’re venturing out into the wilderness.
The forest is a jewel of nature. It is a paradise for plants, animals, and man, a place where nature is pure and unsullied and a walk through it is a real and unforgettable experience. Observation of natural beauty causes a feeling of admiration in us, which in turn stimulates our mental activity.
Reason enough to step away from the screen, take a deep breath and step into the green expanse of peace.