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Nature and mental health

Our newly formed Events Team has been hard at work planning a variety of events for our staff and service users. Our next event will be a Spring walk for our staff and service users, so that everyone at Maples can enjoy the benefits of nature and exercise together. Since Covid, the idea of Green Social Prescribing has spiked in popularity, this an initiative which aims to encourage individuals to spend time in nature as a way of improving their mental and physical health. It involves the prescription of outdoor activities, such as gardening, hiking, or walking, as a form of therapy.

In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of a spring walk for mental health and provide tips for getting the most out of your time in nature.

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

One of the most well-known benefits of being in nature is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that just looking at a picture of nature can have a calming effect on the brain. We recommend finding an environment that calms you, whether that’s near a running river, or sat where you can hear birds chirping, or feel of the sun on your skin.

2. Improves mood and emotional wellbeing

Being in nature also has a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing. Research has shown that exposure to green spaces can increase happiness and reduce symptoms of depression. You don't have to go on a long walk, even visiting a local park or going for a stroll around your block can greatly boost your mood.

3. Boosts physical health

Nature isn't just good for our mental health—it's also great for our physical health. Spending time in nature can help improve our cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, being in nature can also help you get more exercise, whether it's going for a hike, playing in a park, or just taking a walk.

4. Provides opportunities for mindfulness

Finally, being in nature is a great way to practice mindfulness. When you are in nature, you are surrounded by beauty and peace, which can help you feel more present and aware in the moment. This mindfulness practice can help you develop greater focus and clarity and reduce stress and anxiety.

The benefits of being in nature on mental and physical health and wellbeing are numerous and profound. Whether you are looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, or simply having a moment of mindfulness.

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