If living in the Concrete Jungle has you feeling blue, there’s good news! A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that a stroll in nature can greatly improve your mood.
In the study, a group of 18 Californian women and 20 men were split into two groups – one took a leisurely 90-minute stroll in nature daily and the other group walked in the city. The nature walkers reported having fewer negative thoughts about themselves after the walk than before the walk, while the urbanites reported no change in their mood.
Additionally, the participants’ brains were scanned afterwards. An MRI scan revealed less activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a brain region that plays a key role in some mood disorders linked to patterns of negative thought. The city walkers didn’t show any of these benefits.
With cities expanding at a rapid rate, it is estimated that 70% of people will live in cities by 2050.
Despite the hustle and bustle of city life, city dwellers tend to have higher rates of mental illness, especially anxiety and depression. Several other studies have also pointed to nature as a mood enhancer.
Scientists further investigated what goes on in our brains when we walk amongst trees, flowers and chirping birds.
Upon further investigation as to what exactly happens in our brains while we spend time in nature, it can be concluded that it boils down to a decrease in patterns of negative thoughts that swirl in our heads and can often take over. Increased negative thinking has been linked to higher risk for depression and anxiety. Being exposed to nature also helps us regulate our emotions. The study also concluded that natural green spaces are critical for our mental health and wellbeing.
At Bateleur Estate, we highly value nature and an active lifestyle. Our estate offers many walking trails that are guaranteed to leave you feeling happy and refreshed.
Would you like to live in Bateleur Estate? Contact us today.