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How nature can enhance your sense of wellbeing

Posted on 27 June 2016

Over the last few years there has been a major focus on raising the awareness of mental illness and depression. 

As part of NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View’, huge emphasis has been put on the importance of getting people to talk about their mental wellbeing in a frank and honest way.

In the digital era that we find ourselves in we have access to mindfulness apps, forums and social media that encourage us to openly talk about our mental wellbeing. While it’s true that technology is helping to tackle issues, it’s vital that we remember the important role that nature itself can play in improving our mental wellbeing.

It may be all around us, but many of us miss how much Mother Nature can help us as we rely on technology for relaxation and recuperation and enhance our sense of wellbeing to make the world a whole lot nicer place to be.

It’s a pretty inherent idea that spending time in a natural setting is better for you than spending your time in a solely urban environment. People look to 'escape the rat race of the city' at weekends or as a personal goal in future life. But being able to tangibly show the benefits to someone is tricky - partly because wellbeing and happiness are so abstract in the first instance.

A recent study conducted by The Wildlife Trusts and the University of Derby invited participants to take part in one nature based activity for 30 days. This included anything from watering and caring for plants, to tidying up the local woodland.

The results show a significant increase in happiness and this continued for a time after the study - and for as long as people carried on engaging with the natural world around them afterwards.

The research has since encouraged 27,754 people to sign up to ‘30 Days Wild’ this month (June). 

Spending time with nature also helps to boost physical health. Many nature based activities involve some form of physical toil, be it pottering in the garden or a taxing walk across the hills. Increased cardiovascular exercise boosts serotonin levels which in turn increase levels of happiness and help to reduce stress.

Feeling like you’re part of the movement to boost our planet’s biodiversity and natural world does wonders for an individual’s sense of wellbeing.

The more often that we interact with, use and engage with the natural environment, the more likely we are of creating self-fuelling cycle of goodness and the prominence of the natural world around us is boosted.

It will encourage the present generation to take ownership of preservation and maintenance and in turn, help future generations to value learn its importance.

Guest blog by Gusharts - experts in climbing equipment, lowering and rigging, pruning, forest and landscaping tools.