Did you know these five activities in nature that improve mental health?

Let's not put you in same category as those who do not know the magic nature can do on your brain...

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
How nature improve mental health

Having great mental health provides the ability to handle situations that come our way irrespective of them being good or bad.

Although there are many ways to enhance and build our mental state, spending time with nature has proven to be more effective and instantaneous. Nature is outside ourselves creating a moment of awe, where time is abundant freeing us from thoughts, worry and anxiety.

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, spending more time outdoors provides a direct line to happiness. Taking a few hours every day to notice nature results in significant improvement in our mental health.

Some of the activities in nature that we can take part in include;


Hiking wellness is increasingly becoming an integral part for those looking to improve on their overall health.

Regularly taking nature helps in improving your mood, reducing anxiety and improving your memory.

According to Deborah Netburn, a reporter from the LA times, taking nature walks for about 50 minutes is equivalent to the same time you put into working out a gym. Therefore, hiking is more than just walking, but can be a great substitute for the gym that will only help your physical state but also the mental state.


Running/jogging is an aerobic form of exercise, and as such, many of us are accustomed to the physical health benefits of running.

However, beyond improving cardiovascular health, burning calories, and building strength, there is a long list of psychological benefits runners can get from this hobby.

For a start, according to a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine, running is sufficient for lifting the moods of someone plagued by a major depressive order.

Also, studies indicate that runners are fond of sleeping better, which is an indication of better psychological functioning, less stress, and better focus.


If you`ve ever headed out for a water paddling session, you know how kayaking quickly makes your body fall into a rhythm. Maybe it`s the cadenced movements or the beauty of the nature that settle you.

Either way, kayaking has benefits that affect you physically and physiologically.

Research indicates that kayaking is crucial in increasing the mood for those struggling with mental illness, as well as reducing PTSD symptoms.

A mere three days with the best fishing kayak is enough to reduce your guilt and decrease your anger and frustration.


Ever wondered why a simple dunk in the pool makes you feel rejuvenated and happy?

Well, there is the various hypothesis that supports the reason behind swimming and feel-good factor.

A leading hypothesis is the neurotransmitter hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, swimming results to an increase in Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that impacts on mood, sleep, and appetite.

An increased level of Serotonin improves the depressive symptoms, lowers stress, and for seniors, it can improve memory, dementia and the ability to focus.


The physical benefits of cycling can be replicated to our brain. According to scientists, cycling increases the blood flow to the muscles, and the same process happens in the brain.

This is to mean that cycling allows our cardiovascular system to grow further into our brain, bring more nutrients and oxygen, thus improving its performance.

Regular riding will result in the production of new cells, allowing regions of our brains to communicate more effectively, thus, improving our cognitive abilities.

When cycling is done in groups, it confers extra protection, thanks to the social element.


Physical exercises go beyond improving our cardiovascular health; they also play a crucial element in our mental and cognitive abilities.

So, keep on doing your sports, and you will surely reap the benefits.

You might also like...


4 self-care habits that boost your happiness and mental wellbeing

by Chi Nguyen
Courtesy of Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

5 Unusual Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

by Kim Thomas
Self-talk can throw you off course. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Escalation of Mental Health Issues In The Workplace

by Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.