For more happiness and better mental health…get outside and in to nature

For more happiness and better mental health…get outside and in to nature

When it comes to happiness and mental health, the focus is often on “internal” strategies – meditation, attitude etcetera

And although these “internal” strategies are undoubtedly important, there are some “external” strategies that can also be very powerful.

We know, for example, that happiness and mental health can be boosted by getting outside; literally outside. Not just out of your head but out into nature…

via Psychology Today by Douglas LaBier

From observations in psychotherapy we know that mental health and well-being become elevated when people experience some kind of engagement or connection with the larger world, outside of themselves. That is, when you extend yourself, your perceptions, beyond focusing primarily on your own self — your needs, worries, regrets or desires for the future.

Now, a new empirical study(link is external) finds evidence in support of what we see clinically. It found that virtually any form of immersion in the natural world, outside of your internal world, heightens your overall well-being and well as more positive engagement with the larger human community.

The research, described here(link is external), is from the University of British Columbia. It highlights, in my view, an essential dimension of true “mental health” – the realm beyond healing and managing conflicts and dysfunctions (as important as they are). Mental health includes the capacity to move “outside” of yourself, and thereby Increase and broaden your mental and emotional perspectives about people and life in general. That’s the realm that grows, for example, from meditation – the mindfulness state of being grounded in awareness of the present moment. It’s a kind of buffer zone between being pulled by emotions and thoughts about the past, or into anticipations about the future…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE