mindful and relaxed, when compared to walking for the same amount of time along city streets. Numerous scientific studies have discovered that residents of the urban areas who have limited possibility to spend time in green spaces are more vulnerable to psychological problems: mood disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression.
In the past thousands of years, humans have spent 99% of time directly in nature. At present, the rate of urbanization increases, and over 70% of the people in the United States for example live in cities with limited access to nature. In the past 40 years, the recreation activities outdoors decreased by approximately 35%[sc:1].
We all feel sometimes down, and each of us has its own method to vent these emotions. While some ways of easing dissatisfaction are better than others, here are some scientifically proven ways nature can improve your mood:
- Try Shrinrin-yoku
Numerous studies were carried out to investigate the processes in the human body while being in a forest. They have discovered improvements in the mental state of a person, such as decrease of anxiety, depression, and increase of the level of patience and ability to concentrate[sc:2][sc:comma][sc:3]. The reason behind it is that when looking at the trees our blood pressure and pulse rate get lower, and the levels of cortisol in the blood decrease[sc:3].
More exciting is the fact, that while we breathe the forest air, we inhale phytoncides, chemicals produced by trees to protect them from diseases and insects. Phytoncides boost our immune system as well as increase the pain threshold, and speed up the healing process[sc:2]. A recent study from Stanford University has also shown the impact of environment on our emotions by comparing two groups of participants, whose task was to walk for 90 minutes either on the side of a busy road or in the nature. The group of participants walking in the nature showed decrease of brain activity responsible for negative emotions[sc:4].
- Move to a green neighborhood
- Use smell to improve your health
- Lavender is well-known for its calming properties, improving the quality of sleep and releasing tension. Rose oil has similar relaxing properties, and jasmine has the power to cheer you up.
- Rosemary belongs to very versatile plants, it is widely used as a seasoning especially to Mediterranean dishes, and its oil is popular in aromatherapy. The scent released by the herb stimulates mental activity, boosting concentration and memory.
- Peppermint, a little miracle, is a great plant to elevate your performance and accuracy, when it comes to both mental and physical activity. Researchers discovered that in combination with cinnamon, peppermint eases aggression and restlessness while fostering accuracy when driving a long-distance[sc:2].
Seems like a bad mood isn’t as bad as you think when simple walk outside in the nature can instantly relieve you. It is for free and it will make you feel better, healthier and more creative. Go out today to discover the effects of natural therapy yourself.