Taking a stroll in your neighbourhood, finding a quiet spot in your garden to watch the birds, or planting a tree in your front yard can all lead to less depression, anxiety, and stress.
According to a 2017 study by the University of Exeter, there are positive mental health benefits from being surrounded by birds, shrubs, and trees, even in an urban or suburban setting. This was true even after the researchers factored in household income, age and other socio-demographic considerations.
In fact, the study found that those who spent less time outdoors were more likely to feel anxious or depressed. Surrounding yourself with nature, even for a mere five minutes can help lift your mood.
The lead researcher, Dr Daniel Cox, described the findings this way: “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being. Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”
This original healthy living article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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