Spending a Few Minutes in Nature Lifts Mood, Says Science

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Trending News: New report offers a natural way to boost mood

Feeling blue? Looking for something to lift your spirits? If the answer is yes, you might want to find your nearest park or nature preserve and spend time hanging out.

By doing so, you could end up feeling better.

We’re not just saying that because we’re nature freaks. Instead, a new report published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests spending just a few minutes in natural environments quickly improves mood.

Here at Guy Counseling, we’ve known for some time about the therapeutic benefits of nature therapy; a $10.00 term used to describe how contact with the outdoors offers psychological benefits. The new study mentioned above certainly supports our position.

In this line of research, 123 university students were asked to sit in a public park for a minimum of five minutes, compared to others who sat in a lab room with no windows.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, the folks who spent time outdoors experienced a significant increase in positive emotions.

outdoors mood nature depression

The other finding from this study revealed that one doesn’t have to spend a lot of time outdoors to experience mood-lifting benefits. A second investigation of 70 students showed that increasing time outdoors to 15 minutes did not magnify the effect.

Guy Counseling spoke to Dr. John Moore, a licensed mental health counselor (and editor of GC) about the study to gain his impressions.

“We live in an increasingly digital world that locks many people indoors and away from the natural elements. It makes perfect sense to me that being with nature has a positive impact on emotional states,” says Moore.

Study author, Katherine D. Arbuthnott of Campion College, shared her thoughts about the findings with PsyPost. “Throughout my life I have enjoyed time spent in natural settings, so I have been delighted to discover the burgeoning research examining the health benefits of nature contact,” said Arbuthnott.

She adds, “The findings of emotional health benefits are particularly interesting as they seem to be observed very easily and quickly. My students and I decided to push the boundaries of this rapid effect to see how quickly we could observe changes, and whether these effects are appreciably changed with longer exposures.”

When you are feeling blue, do you spend time outdoors? If so, does it boost your mood?    

About MJ Duff 43 Articles
Marie-Jones Duff is a Los Angeles based freelance multimedia journalist and frequent traveler with a fondness for all things bizarre and nerdy. Look for posts that focus on everything from men's fashion to science.