It’s Green Health Week, and a growing body of evidence shows that being outdoors in nature is beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing. There are 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature:
1. Connect with other people
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
• Help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
• Give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
• Provide emotional support and allow you to support others
2. Be physically active
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
• Raising your self-esteem
• Helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
• Causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
3. Learn new skills
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
• Boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
• Helping you to build a sense of purpose
• Helping you to connect with others
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
4. Give to others
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
• Creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
• Giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
• Helping you connect with other people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
You could try:
• Saying thank you to someone for something they have done for you
• Asking friends, family or colleagues how they are and really listening to their answer
• Spending time with friends or relatives who need support or company
• Offering to help someone you know with DIY or a work project
• Volunteering in your community, such as helping at a school, in hospital or in a care home
5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.
Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Inspired to explore the outdoors but not sure where to start? Visit our website where you’ll find the Fife Coastal Path and Fife Pilgrim Way divided into easy to understand sections. Explore short and long trails in the Lomond Hills Regional Park and our local nature reserves. And uncover our award-winning beaches in Fife’s ‘Fringe of Gold’.