Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
New research is finding a link between open air and happiness. Here’s how to enjoy the nature near you:
Spending a day in nature is a sure bet for a quick, short-term lift in mood, and now new research suggests a lasting link between the open air and happiness. In one study, people who moved to an area with abundant urban green space for three years experienced a boost in mental health throughout their tenure, while those who relocated where nature was sparser saw a mood decline. “We were surprised to see that the benefits in disposition appeared within the first year,” says study co-author Mat White, MD, of the University of Exeter, whose findings were published in Environmental Science & Technology.
“Our current work suggests that spending time around water environments—especially the coast—may be even more beneficial.” Of course, you don’t need to relocate to a forest cabin or beachside bungalow, says White. Take advantage of the nature near you. Here are a few ideas:
- Make a date with your pooch for regular romps in the dog park
- Join a community garden
- Take your lunch break outdoors in the sun
- Join an al fresco yoga class.
Want more motivation to get outside? 4 Ways Practicing Yoga Outdoors Enhances It