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Being Outdoors Helps With Stress and Depression

Being in the outdoors has a powerful impact on our overall well being.

We’re all faced with stress, some have more than others, but one truth is that being outside will help us deal with it better. Whenever I go on a hunting or fishing trip, being amongst the wildness of nature allows me to take a step back from my busy life and recharge, and I’m not the only one. According to a recent study by Stanford University, spending time in nature can help people deal with depression and a person’s tendency to ruminate about negative thoughts. Rumination is when you focus on something that’s bothering you that is difficult for you to stop thinking about, such as a breakup or fight with a loved one. Being in nature seems to helps people change this pattern of thinking into a more productive one that is not so self-defeatist, allowing us to be distracted from what is stressful and relax.

Regardless of where you’re from or how old you are, nature is appealing to every human being. Being immersed in a forest, walking through a park, or even looking at a landscape helps us cope with the stress of our days. Those of us who live in an urban setting may find it a little difficult to get away to the forest, but just walking around your neighborhood or at a local can give you as much energy as a cup of coffee. Whenever possible, walk somewhere green like a park or open field because nature has a calming effect to our psyche.

We’ve become a population of people who rely on a screen for information, connection to our family and friends, and entertainment. While most of us need to rely on our phones and computers for work and staying in contact with people, getting some time away from the screens and getting back to nature is crucial for the health of our mental wellbeing. It’s been suggested that too much time staring at a screen can even lead to depression. Limiting the amount of time spent in front of a screen compared to time outdoors can have a positive impact on our stress levels.

Whenever possible, try to get out of the house or office and into a natural setting; your mind will thank you for it.

Originally published at garyvanzinderen.net

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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