It’s a big wide world out there. And you should be out in it more! Not just because it’s beautiful and exciting, but because it has legitimate mental and physical health benefits as well. Not quite sure what those could be? Allow us to cover the bases for you.
Being in nature can increase cognitive capabilities
In a 2019 review of previous studies, researchers found that children who attended schools near green spaces were more likely to show increased cognitive capabilities. Another reviewed study showed that tenants assigned to public housing with large green spaces showed better attentional functioning than those who were assigned to spaces with no green space. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0963721419854100)
Being in nature can increase happiness
Another review (also 2019) found that contact with nature is associated with increases in happiness, subjective well-being, positive affect, social interactions and even an increase in having a sense of meaning and purpose in life. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aax0903
These effects were even more prominent in children. A study in Denmark found that children exposed to green spaces on a regular basis were less likely to form a host of psychiatric conditions later in life. Conditions that were avoided or lessened included depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia. (https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1807504116)
Being in nature can make you feel connected to your community
So, being outside can make you feel better, but it can make you feel like a better person? According to a study published in Environment and Behavior, researchers found a connection between feeling connected to nature, and feeling more connected to your environment. Respondents reported feeling happier and more in tune with their overall self after spending significant time in nature. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0013916512451901)
Nature can make you feel less lonely
In a survey of 359 U.K. residents, researchers queried them about their social connectedness and proximity to nature. In the study, researchers found that even when respondents reported low social connectedness, those that were close to nature still reported feeling a generally high sense of wellbeing. Those with low connectedness and no nearby nature, reported feeling less wellbeing. (https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/6/1238)
Nature has these benefits in many different environments
In a 2019 U.K. study, researchers found that not only did being in nature lessen anxiety but being around any size of green space had similar effects (though to a lesser degree). Urban parks with green trees and grass, as well as areas of water, all showed positive results in lessening anxiety. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0013916517738312)
In fact, a separate 2017 study had shown that even watching nature videos produced higher relaxation levels, and videos with higher biodiversity on display increased those positive gains. (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0170225)
So, what’s the takeaway? Get outside! Grab one of our premium solar lanterns and make your way toward a healthier, happier way of living. We’ll light the way for you.