Written by KURA Writer- Rylee Nelson
Being outside in nature with natural light, fresh air, and green spaces can provide many benefits, such as relieving stress, reducing depression and anxiety, increasing energy and memory, and improving overall health (AHA, 2018). One study done in 2019 by Frontiers in Psychology proved that spending time in nature drops cortisol levels, a stress hormone. They discovered that spending 20–30 minutes outside around nature showed the most impactful drop in cortisol. (Harvard, 2019)
The great thing about spending time in nature is that you don’t need to participate in strenuous exercise to reap the benefits. You can go for a short walk at a park, sit outside surrounded by trees and connect with nature, garden in your yard, or go to an outdoor community event. It’s also an option to combine your exercises with nature by hiking, biking, swimming, or participating in outdoor fitness classes.
It’s essential to focus on enjoying your time outside and not pressure yourself to spend a specific amount of time outdoors. It’s a very flexible activity because just a few minutes outside can positively affect you. Let nature relieve your stress, don’t let it add additional stress. Start small, go out and spend a few minutes in natural light and fresh air. Free your mind from responsibilities or obligations, and let nature work magic.
A 20-minute nature break relieves stress. Harvard Health. (2019, July 1). Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/a-20-minute-nature-break-relieves-stress
American Heart Association. (2018, August 1). Spend time in nature to reduce stress and anxiety. www.heart.org. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/spend-time-in-nature-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety