Well in Mind Weekly Minute

How Time in Nature can Nourish Well-Being

From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including:

  • Improved attention
  • Lower stress
  • Better mood
  • Reduced risk of a mental health disorder
  • Increases in empathy and cooperation
  • Improved working memory
  • Increased cognitive flexibility
  • Improved self-control behaviors
  • Increased happiness
  • Improved subjective well-being
  • Increase in positive affect
  • A sense of meaning and purpose in life
  • Decrease in mental distress

One research study showed that people who viewed nature for 40 seconds in the middle of a tedious, boring task, made fewer mistakes than people who viewed concrete.

Another research study showed that even just the sounds of nature have a benefit; participants who listened to nature sounds performed better on a demanding cognitive test than those who listened to urban sounds.

In a study in Denmark, children who grew up with the lowest levels of green space had a risk of developing a mental illness 55% higher than those who grew up with abundant green space.

The sense of connection you have with the natural world contributes to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature!

5 Ways to get Nourished by Nature:

  • Use a break or lunch break to walk outside for 5 minutes, even just step outside for 1 minute to breathe in the fresh air and take in the greenery around you
  • Play relaxing nature sounds (rain, ocean waves, birds chirping) on your car ride, while you get ready, or during your work day
  • Hang up your favorite scenes in nature at your work area, and take a 1 minute break to view the pictures to break up a difficult work task
  • Eat a meal outside each day
  • Take a scenic drive on a day off

Well In Mind is here for you.  Call 815-933-2240 to schedule an appointment or to ask about your EAP benefits.