There are so many aspects of nature around us that can be experienced and that can have a positive impact on an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.
It is well known that being amongst nature can impact how we feel. Studies have found that green spaces such as rural locations, parks and gardens, and blue spaces, such as areas that have or are near bodies of water, can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health and increase levels of resilience. These spaces can help to reduce stress levels and lift a person’s mood.
When we consider “being in nature”, it doesn’t have to mean visiting places of vast landscapes; simply appreciating a tree in an urban environment, watching the birds in your garden, or having some plants around you, can all positively impact your mood and mindset.
Connections with nature
A connection can be described as the way that we relate to something. When people connect with nature, they may feel more at one with their environment, more absorbed in their experience and increasingly grounded in the present moment.
There are many ways we can connect with nature, including mindfulness and mindful walking, listening to the sounds around you, spending time with animals and caring for them, and exercising outside including yoga and meditation. Studies have shown that exercising and being outside can reduce stress, so why not combine the two?
“Unlocking Nature are a team of people interested in understanding better how people with mental illness, and particularly severe mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other disorders with psychosis, relate to and experience natural outdoor spaces – also known as ‘green and blue’ spaces. The group is composed of a number of neuro-diverse individuals with lived experience of, or who care for people with, SMI, living in Yorkshire and the North-East of the UK.” You can find out more about Unlocking Nature using the button below to visit their website.Go to Unlocking Nature website
The team have also produced a few short films about the importance of nature for positive wellbeing. The films “illustrate the main themes discussed by the group: the benefits of spending time in nature; the barriers that might stop people from venturing outdoors and elements that can support them in doing so; the fact that enjoying nature is a personal experience and each individual has different preferences; how spending time in nature can improve how we perceive other aspects of our lives.” Take a look using the button below.Go to Unlocking Nature films
Exploring nature and wellbeing further
If you’d like to explore this topic in more detail, head to our courses where you can take the “Nature and Wellbeing” course.Go to Nature and Wellbeing course
Real Life Experience
If you’d like to share your story or experience of how nature has supported your wellbeing, please contact [email protected]. You can also read some other real life stories about wellbeing and being outdoors in the Stories section on the website, by using the button below.Go to Stories