Rising temperatures, episodes of mass violence, and a seemingly endless stream of news used to fuel anxiety might be affecting you these days.
You’re certainly not alone.
Finding ways to cope with anxiety can be difficult, especially if it’s keeping you indoors. Access to screens and isolation, however, may only make it worse.
One of the things that may help is to get outside and find some green space. Use it if you’ve got one close by, like a garden or forest, even if it’s your own backyard. If you have to drive to one, it’s worth the gas or bus ride.
Several studies have shown that spending time in green space, or even a space you consider “nature” can positively affect mood and stress reduction. It can create a calming atmosphere that allows your mind and body to relax, breathe some fresh air, and feel unburdened by the world around you.
Some work suggests that spending 30 minutes in a natural green setting can lead to less stress and anxiety and an improved mood.
You don’t necessarily have to be active, either. Although going for a walk or hike through green space may offer physical and mental health benefits, simply sitting in green space can offer mental benefits. So post up on a bench or get right down on the grass!
There is even research suggesting that anywhere a person considers “nature” is beneficial. So although there is data suggesting greenery and gardens are beneficial, it’s possible that a beach or body of water, or any natural outdoor space (outside of urban concrete) can ease anxiety.
To optimize the experience, try to find a quiet space away from loud music, screaming children, and vehicle noise. It’s also imperative you’re not engaging with technology when enjoying the green space. Scrolling on your smartphone can be anxiety-inducing regardless of where it is.
If you’re feeling anxious, try taking advantage of some of the outdoor beauty your neighborhood or surrounding area has to offer. It could be a lot of help.