The Power Of Natural Environment

22.5.2014

“There is plenty of evidence that access and exposure to natural, especially green spaces may enhance the wellbeing of people living in urban environments.”

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“This survey study found an association between the self-reported participation in nature-based recreation and perceived emotional wellbeing.” 

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“Activity in the natural environment produced a significant decrease on negative feelings (anger, sadness, anxiety and fatigue) and increase of positive mood (tranquility and energy).”

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“Walking in green, natural environments produces greater physiological changes toward relaxation, greater changes to positive emotions and vitality, and faster recovery of attention-demanding cognitive performances.”

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“Green space may also contribute to social cohesion, sense of community and feelings of safety by creating vital neighborhood  spaces for social interaction.”

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“The present result refers to the importance of experiencing calmness, getting new spirit and vitality for the everyday routines, forgetting everyday worries, clarifying one´s thoughts, and gaining faith in tomorrow during nature-based recreation.”

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“We re-recommend our previous idea of “favorite place prescriptions” for public health purposes.

In the prescriptions, people are advised to visit natural favorite places in the vicinity and report their experiences in them. The aim is to sensitize people to their physical environment and divert the focus of health counseling away from physical exercise per se in population groups who are inactive or insensitive to exercise prescriptions.”

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References above are from the Finnish research “Analyzing the mediators between nature-based outdoor recreation and emotional wellbeing“. A sample of 3060 Finnish people aged 15-74 years participated in the survey.

Find your favorite place in your local nature & let it nurse your mental wellbeing

Last week it was +4°, this week +24° (or even +29°!). Spring weather surprised us, again. This time positively.

It was obvious what our family would do after a hot working day. We would go to one of our favorite places in Savonlinna. That is Uuraansaari island near the town and Olavinlinna castle.

Evening surrounded by the beautiful blue lake nature and green forests did me all what was said in those references above. For a while I was able to forget all the work that waited me at home. I was just able to relax and admire all the greenness around me. And to feel the warm spring wind on my skin. Peace of mind and positive energy. That what the evening on the island gave to me. Positive mood to have enough strength for the rest of the week (which is F-U-L-L).

There are a lot of research on how nature impacts on our wellbeing. It´s a topic that I´m very interested in. Especially about the connection between nature and mental wellbeing. In the future, when I find some interesting research results about this topic, I´ll let you know.

What´s your favorite place in your local nature? Think about it. A park, a beach, a forest, a rock, a hill. What ever it is, go there. This evening or next time when you have a day off. Be there and let the green environment help you to take away the stress from your body & mind!

Note: The research above was published in Journal of Environmental Psychology 37 (2014) 1-7. K. It is made by K. Korpela (School of Social Sciences and Humanities/Psychology, University of Tampere), K. Borodulin (National Public Health Institute), O. Paronen (the UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research) and L. Tyrväinen & M. Neuvonen (Finnish Forest Research Institute).

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