emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

Why Is Getting Outdoors Good for Your Mental Health?

share facebook twitter pinterest

Being outdoors is good for you. No matter how busy life gets, you need to find time in your overcrowded schedule to spend some time outside. Being outdoors regularly can have considerable benefits for your mental health. Here are some reasons why opportunities to be outdoors are good for your psychological well-being.

The Natural World Inspires Mindfulness

Making an effort to practice mindfulness can help you make strides towards better mental health. Taking your thought process away from a negative internal dialog and concentrating on being present in the moment is an excellent way to instantly relax yourself. Mindfulness practices help you enjoy the act of everything that you do throughout a day with heightened perceptive clarity.

External stimulation that captures your attention compels you to think mindfully. Going outside is a fantastic platform for a mindful experience, even if it is only a few minutes long. Letting go of your internal dialog and simply experiencing sunlight hitting your face or wind on your skin is a positive exercise. Observing a bird or listening to birdsong is another example of enjoyable sources of stimulation that foster mindfulness. The more time that you spend on mindfulness, the more it will become a patterned mode of thought for you. Making time to go outside can structure mindfulness meditation into your day and produce enduring benefits.

Time Outside Can Help You Reset Your Perspective

Spending time outdoors and putting some distance between yourself and your workstation helps you stay cognitively acute and adaptable. When you’re engrossed in your work interface, you give perceptive skills permission to take a break while you direct all of your cognitive acuity to the work in front of you. The skills that engage while you’re on your computer don’t have too many practical applications when you’re doing basic tasks in day-to-day life, particularly if your work involves very advanced application. When you need to apply your logical reasoning skills to programming code or interpreting neural network batch size, rudimentary perceptive skills become less central to the way that you draw inferences about the world around you and navigate your way through various obstacles.

Time outdoors keeps your perceptive and inferential aptitude on an even keel. The simplicity of observing cause and effect in the natural world reinforces fundamental critical reasoning abilities. Affirmation of your more elemental and primal self-perception in an outdoor environment conditions you with a resilience and resourcefulness that you may find lacking in your life when you spend too much time behind a screen.

Natural Light Is a Necessity

Light can have a surprisingly great impact on mental wellness. Seasonal Affective Disorder, for example, refers to a depressed mental state that comes on seasonally and is largely attributable to the deprivation of exposure to natural sunlight. Devices that emit artificial sunlight can be appreciably helpful for individuals who experience a downturn in their mental wellness when they can’t be outdoors. Getting outside for a while can mitigate the effects of seasonal depression, but it may be necessary to bundle up.

During the rest of the year when the weather is temperate, you should take full advantage of the opportunity to get outdoors and soak up some rays. Fresh air can feel invigorating when you’re feeling kind of low, and it prompts you to take big deep breaths that will help you relax. Also, some natural blue sky light will be a welcome edge from the continual barrage of blue light that you have to take in while you’re inside looking at a screen for much of the day. Overexposure to blue light can cause eye strain and fatigue that impedes productivity and dampens your mood.

Lastly, it is important to note that the physical benefits that you get from being outdoors are excellent for mental health. Being outside where you have the chance to do something fun and active advances your physical wellness goals which in turn supports your mental health.

Photo by J. Balla Photography on Unsplash


Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.