Spending time in Nature can help our Brain

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New research has emerged stating that spending some time in Nature can help our Brain.

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health. In a recent study conducted at Stanford University, it showed people who walked in a park and through nature had a much quieter mind and their responses to negative thoughts were reduced.

Most people live in cities and spend far less time outside in our green, natural spaces. City residents have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living in regional areas, studies show.

In the study at Stanford, scientists conducted a test and randomly assigned volunteers to a park walk or a walk along a busy road to determine any difference in brain function. Half of the volunteers walked for 90 minutes through a leafy, quiet, natural park, the other half walked next to a loud, hectic, multi-lane highway.

The volunteers were not allowed to have companions or listen to music. They were allowed to walk at their own pace. Immediately after completing their walks, the volunteers returned to the lab and completed a questionnaire and had a brain scan. As might have been expected, walking along the highway had not soothed people’s minds.

The volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed meaningful improvements in their mental health, according to their scores on the questionnaire. They were not dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives as much as they had been before the walk.

These results “strongly suggest that spending some time in nature and getting out into natural environments” could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers.

If you want to improve your mental health and wish to negate those negative thoughts, put on your shoes and go for a bush walk, walk in a park or along the beach. Anything in nature in regarded as valuable for our mental health and therefore physical health as well.

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