6 Healthy Benefits of Spending Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Dr. Archana Shukla

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Archana Shukla


4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Signs of stress include body aches, sleeping issues and mood swings
  • Depression treatment includes therapy, medication and counseling
  • Going outdoors can reduce depression and anxiety in women and men

One of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety is to spend time in nature. In fact, this is also considered an effective depression treatment. Not only does it boost your mood, it also increases your happiness by creating positive feelings. Whether you choose to try forest bathing, ecotherapy or mindfulness meditation in nature, there are umpteen benefits of being outdoors. Spending time in nature improves both your physical and mental well-being [1].

Contact with nature increases your mental alertness and concentration skills too. Even when you are unable to sleep properly, a half an hour walk outside will make you feel refreshed and energized. To learn more about the myriad benefits of spending time outdoors to reduce stress and anxiety as well as other issues, read on.

Minimizes Stress

The most common question you may ask is what is stress? The answer is simple. It is the way your body reacts when you experience certain changes. It is a normal reaction that produces mental and physical responses under challenging situations. With the help of these stress responses, your body is able to adapt itself to new challenges. Stress need not be always taken in a negative way. It can be positive and keep you motivated and alert.

Cortisol is one of the stress hormones that is produced as your body reacts to stress. It increases your blood pressure and heartbeat. Your body is controlled by the nervous system with an inbuilt stress response that helps you tackle stressful situations. Some of the most common physical stress symptoms and effects are:

Few mental signs of stress include:

  • Sadness
  • Feeling irritable
  • Mood swings

The best anti-stress strategy is to exercise outdoors. Going for a short walk can also do wonders. Exercising releases feel-good hormones that can ease your stress levels and make you happy.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Helps Manage Depression and Anxiety in Women and Men

Are you wondering what is depression? This is a medical condition that can cause mood swings. It can also hamper your ability to function. Feeling anxious or sad is one of the symptoms of depression. You tend to feel low and lose self-confidence, which may take a toll on your appetite too. There are different types of depression such as:

  • Postpartum depression
  • Bipolar depression
  • Major depression disorder
  • Persistent depression disorder

A few common symptoms of depression include:

  • Irregular sleep
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low appetite
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Getting frustrated

Depression treatment usually involves self-help strategies, consuming medicines and undergoing counseling sessions. It too can be helped when you do activities outdoors, which is what ecotherapy is all about. You can garden, walk, or cycle in nature with a group of people. As you appreciate nature while you do an activity, you feel calmer and more peaceful. This helps reduce the fog of depression.

Additional read: 8 Effective Strategies that Can Help You in Fighting Depression

Makes You Self-Involved

Spending time in nature can help put your worries aside. Take a 15-minute stroll outside and you’ll be amazed to see the positivity in you. You stop overthinking and eliminate negative thoughts from your mind. Consequently, you begin to realize your self-worth and get more focused towards your goals. Not only does spending time outdoors improve your physical health, but it also increases your self-esteem and builds confidence [2].

Reduces Fatigue

We constantly multitask whether at work or home. Right from managing your household chores to conducting meetings, your brain is working all the time. This can stress you a lot. It is necessary to recharge your brain. There’s nothing more helpful than going outdoors to do so. Spend time in nature and see how your brain's cells get a boost!

Helps Build Personal Relationships

When you connect with nature, you get a chance to introspect. You begin to value relationships more as you understand their significance. You realize that you belong to a part of a larger tribe. Spending time alone with nature improves your mental health as well. This further helps you bond with people close to you.

Additional read: Mental Health and Wellbeing: 8 Important Ways to Mentally Reset Now!

Sparks Creativity in You

Waking up in natural sunlight will make you feel refreshed and increase your self-awareness. This can stir both joy and creativity within you. The spark that nature creates cannot be achieved by sitting in front of a screen. Take a break and spend a few days connecting with nature and see how your problem-solving skills improve!

Spending time outdoors engages all your senses. Be it listening to birds chirp, seeing different shades of green, or smelling the earth, all this is impossible indoors. You also get time to reconnect with your inner self, which reduces stress and anxiety. Moreover, activities like yoga, cycling and jogging become a joyous affair when done in a natural environment. To boost your mental health, connect to reputed specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book a video or an in-person consultation and address your symptoms without delay. Remember, a happy mind is the key to a healthy body!

Published on 23 Nov 2021Last updated on 12 Apr 2023
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981243/
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/spend-time-in-nature-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Archana Shukla

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Archana Shukla

, MBBS 1 , MD - Psychiatry 3



Health Videos

Mobile Frame
Download our app

Download the Bajaj Health App

Stay Up-to-date with Health Trends. Read latest blogs on health and wellness. Know More!

Get the link to download the app

Google PlayApp store