Why Getting Into Nature Could Be The Best Medicine

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

Mind UK - Mental Health Charity

recent survey published on Gov.uk shows that spending just 2 hours each week in green spaces like country parks, woodlands, city or town parks, can be enough to have a real impact on our mental and physical well being…

Relieving , stress, anxiety and depression

Mind UK suggest ecotherapy as a tool to help manage your mental health.

Don’t worry, Ecotherapy isn’t complicated. It just means spending time in green spaces and/or bringing nature into your everyday life. The benefits include:

  • improving your mood
  • reducing feelings of stress
  • helping you take time out and feel more relaxed
  • improving your physical health by helping you be more active
 

The science behind states that time spent in green spaces reduces the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol while boosting endorphins and dopamine production promoting happiness 😀

Improved concentration and focus

If you work in an office or spend a lot of your time sitting at a desk working at a computer you may occasionally suffer from “mental fatigue”.  Taking time out of your day to be outside – taking a walk in green spaces like a country park or even a city park, (Parks and Open Spaces in Belfast), it can have have a restorative effect. You’ll feel brighter and less tired and that in turn will improve your concentration and focus as well as helping with your physical well being.

How you can get into nature

Getting into nature doesn’t have to be hard work. There are lots of simple ways you can start to spend some quality time in nature.

  1. Visit A Country Park
  2. Visit your local Park – Download List of Green Flag Award Winners 2019
  3. Try Forest bathing (it’s a real thing!)
  4. Join a walking club. WalkNI.com have lists of clubs across NI as well maps and other useful resources.

Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. 

People living in Northern Ireland can call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000.

How many of Northern Ireland’s 7 best Country Parks have you been to? Managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) the parks provide all of us with access to the countryside and help protect our environment and wildlife.