Do you have anxiety, stress and a bad mood? Therapy is ... doing activities in nature, from gardening, to walking outdoors, or even hiking in the woods. Anything can help but as long as it is done in nature. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared a few weeks ago in the journal SSM Population Health thanks to the work of a group of scientists from New York (Coventry et al, SSM Population Health, 2021).
Twenty minutes in nature for mental well-being
The researchers analyzed the results of 50 previous studies to evaluate the effects of outdoor activity on mental health. Well, what emerged was that doing activities in the outdoors for at least 20 minutes and for at least 8 weeks showed the greatest benefits, improving mood and alleviating anxiety. The beneficial effects were observed with gardening activities, physical activity such as walking, cycling or light running, but also walks in the woods, without exhausting efforts but only for the purpose of admiring nature, breathing in the balsamic aromas enriched with antioxidant substances naturally released by the trees.
A few moves to feel good
In a pandemic period in which our mental well-being has been severely challenged, the results of this study are even more important. Therefore, to feel good, improve mood and counter anxiety, stress and fears, 20 minutes a day spent regularly in nature, in a park, in a wood if you have it nearby or even in the garden are enough. If we think about it, it is not much, a few minutes "subtracted" from the stress of everyday life allow us to gain a lot in terms of mental health. Because the study does not speak only of short-term effects, after an hour or two from activity, but of long-term effects capable of calming body and mind.