You shouldn’t think twice before enjoying your time in nature! Just being out there in the green forest with an extreme level of tranquillity and fresh air can be as soothing as anything else. It is arguably one of the best things you can do to provide mental peace to your brain.
Nature is important and spending time with it is equally vital for a whole lot of reasons. If you just consider, children tend to be much happier when they are out in nature. They tend to perform cognitively better and tend to be more socially connected. Having said that, the question that subsequently arises: how much time with nature should we allot?
Thankfully to our cause, a UK study has some valuable insight to provide!
The time you should spend with nature
The study hailing from the United Kingdom considered the results of around 19,000 residents of the country. The researchers asked about the time each individual spent with nature and noted down all the observations they made. In particular, they looked into self-reported mental as well as physical well being.
Once the study ended, the findings were documented, and the conclusion was drawn. Accordingly, the UK research showed that an average of 120 minutes with nature a week is considered sufficiently beneficial for remaining physically and mentally fit.
There were a number of positive outcomes that were noted. First and foremost, the individuals who allocated 2 hours or more to nature had improved cognition. They exhibited stronger self-esteem with better mood throughout the study. More importantly, when they exercised outdoors, they tend to remain much healthier with reduced risk of health conditions.
It did not really matter how the participants spent their time with nature. Although working out seemed to offer greater health benefits, other nature activities were equally beneficial. For example, the results held true for people who took a 2 hour a week walk outdoors. Similarly, meditation also appeared to be advantageous. The key thing at the end is finding the inner motivation to dedicate your time with nature.
Finding a head start!
The study has shown that certainly spending time with nature is more beneficial than what we ought to think. It is vital for both physical and mental aspects and as findings showed people who are friendly with nature remain healthy in nearly all possible way. But amidst our daily lives, it is sometimes difficult to find a head start. The inner motivation which may induce us to allocate time with nature is rarely there.
However, if you follow some essential guidelines below, you might find the task less arduous than it appears!
- Start with a schedule: Jot down a routine plan that will let you know what you should be looking forward to every day. Divide the 2 hours a week into 15-20 minutes of activities every day.
- Find someone to tag along with you: Could be anyone, from your wife to a close friend. Someone to accompany you during your time with nature.
- Plan the activities early: If the schedule still makes it difficult for you, plan out the activities early in the morning. This way, no time would interfere with other tasks you might have.
- Shift indoor activities outdoors: You can have your meal outside in nature. You can read a book. You can even decide to take a run outside rather than running on a treadmill. Doing so will maximize the yielded benefits.