Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people have stayed indoors for the past few years. Now, our life is going back to normal, and it is time to step outside. Remember, going out of your home can boost your mental health. The reason is not only due to the vitamin D that we can get from the sun. Going out can also boost your health in other ways, both physically and mentally. So, here are some ways stepping outside can increase your mental health?
It Reduces Stress
As you know, going out can help reduce stress, especially if you’re heading to a park or garden. Remember, you can gain a lot of mental health benefits by connecting with nature. As presented in one study, participants who spent about 20 to 30 minutes in nature had lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Aside from that, it was also revealed that exposure to green areas could increase your parasympathetic nervous activity. This system is responsible for relaxing your body or undoing the effects of stress. The result is not only stress relief. You can also lower your blood pressure and heart rate by enjoying nature.
It Regulates Sleep
One of the best ways stepping outside can increase your mental health is by regulating your sleep. Keep in mind that natural light plays an important role in your melanin production. To be specific, going out of your home in daylight can align your body clock. Plus, sunlight can make you feel alert and awake during the day, so you can go to sleep easily when the night comes.
It Boost Your Mood
As mentioned, sunlight can trigger your body’s vitamin D and serotonin production. Remember, serotonin is a brain chemical that can boost your mood. Studies revealed that stepping outside just for a few minutes can improve your overall well-being due to the increase in serotonin levels in your body.
It Fights Depression and Anxiety
Aside from those ways stepping outside can increase your mental health, going out can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, ecotherapy is a popular treatment prescribed by doctors. This treatment involves exercising or doing various activities in nature, which can improve your mood and help with mild depression.
Overall, these are some of the benefits of going out of your home. As presented, exposure to natural light and nature will not only boost your physical health. It is also good for your mental health because it helps relieve stress, improve your mood, and fight depression.