Walking in nature ( Photo: Adobe Stock)

Have you been feeling down lately? No need to fret, because psychologists have now proven that going outdoors once a day could help boost your mood. 

 

Being out in nature can bring out the best in people, but why? According to psychologists, this is because nature has become a way to promote better mental health. Now, people are encouraged more than ever to immerse themselves in outdoor experiences after working indoors all day. 

In a study led by researcher Craig Anderson and the Greater Good Science Center, they found that Americans with PTSD, as well as other mental health problems, benefited from spending a few days outdoors. 

Their research consisted mostly of military veterans who immersed themselves in trips out to national parks and rafting excursions. Each veteran kept a journal on how they felt each day that they were outdoors, and each showed an improvement in the mood by the time they left the trip.

The top of Red River Gorge National Park in Louisville, Ky. (Photo credit: Hannah Walker)

After finishing the study on veterans’ experience outdoors, Anderson and his crew moved on to immersing college students in the outdoors. Instead of journals, he had the students perform surveys after spending two weeks of time outdoors. In the survey, the majority of students wrote that they felt more satisfied with life after the experiment was performed. 

“Our findings suggest that you don’t have to do extravagant, extraordinary experiences in nature to feel awe or to get benefits,” said Anderson. “By taking a few minutes to enjoy flowers that are blooming or a sunset in your day-to-day life, you also improve your well-being.” 

The public has agreed with Anderson’s statement that they should get outdoors more. Now, more organizations are promoting outdoor volunteer work to help local communities.

A bee on the floral species Spring Beauty in Cherokee National Park. (Photo credit: Hannah Walker)

Here are a few organizations that have outdoor volunteer work

— Louisville Parks And Recreation: a mission to promote clean and safe parks in the Louisville, Ky area.

— National Park Service: a way to clean your local national park while working alongside park employees. 

— Appalachian Mountain Club: an opportunity to work outdoors while fostering educational growth. 

— Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers: a landscaping adventure that people of all ages can take part in. 

— Waterfront Botanical Gardens: a satellite garden space that volunteers can help plant flowers in. 

By going outside every day, you can help to boost your mood. Whether it’s a walk in the park, volunteering in a garden, or going on a hike, you can always find a way to be one with nature. So, are you ready for an outdoor adventure?

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker is a health reporter at The Pavlovic Today.