In recent years, people have been spending less and less time interacting with nature. But according to researchers, natural environments and nature might be associated with improvements in symptoms of depression.1,2

Although energy levels might be low and I might be disinterested in my surroundings, I have found that even a short walk in a park helped.
~ Helen*

Scientists have suggested that natural environments can lead to feelings of happiness and pleasure.2 What’s more, there can be a positive relationship between time spent in nature and a reduced risk of depression.1,2

Nature can be different for different people and might include different places and spaces. Nature is often considered as something that exists far away from cities. But in reality, there is nature all around us, and flowers and plants can bring nature closer to you within your home.

Even in the city you can find places that allow you to connect with nature, for instance, all the gardens and parks in/or around the center of the city.~ Maria*

Taking the time to be mindful of, experience, and appreciate natural environments is important.1,2

I take in all the sights, sounds and smells of nature at the beach whilst surfing. I breathe and I think about my breathing and although it’s not always easy, it’s always worth it.~ Thomas*

There can be a positive relationship between time spent in nature and reduced risk of depression1,2
Natural environments and nature can lead to happiness and pleasure2
Nature can be defined differently by each person, and can include different places.

 

*Names changed.
 

References

  1. van den Bosch M, Meyer-Lindenberg A. Environmental exposures and depression: Biological mechanisms and epidemiological evidence. Annu Rev Public Health. 2019;40:239-259.
  2. Pearson DG, Craig T. The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments. Front Psychol. 2014;5:1178.