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Spending time in nature has been linked to increased emotional well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction. Often referred to as ecotherapy, nature therapy is a wide approach to mental health that emphasises spending time in nature to enhance wellbeing. Let’s examine some significant pathways to better mental health and their mechanisms.

Sunlight promotes better sleep length and quality by regulating circadian rhythms. In actuality, spending a lot of time indoors, away from the energising and regulating benefits of sunlight, is largely blamed for seasonal depression disorder.

Dr Gorav Gupta, Psychiatrist and Co-Founder of Emoneeds highlights, “The combination of physical movement and fresh air has long been known to enhance both physical and mental well-being, so spending time outside in nature offers many advantages. It has been demonstrated by science that spending time in nature lowers stress, anxiety, and depression while also improving psychological health.”

Adding to this, Sunith Reddy, CEO of Beforest says, “Studies have consistently shown the numerous benefits of spending time in nature, including reduced stress levels, improved mood, and enhanced cognitive function. By designing living spaces that prioritize access to nature, whether through expansive windows offering panoramic views or outdoor living areas surrounded by greenery, aiming to facilitate regular interaction with the natural world, thereby promoting mental wellness.”

Speaking from an interior design and wellness perspective, Smita Joshi, Vice President, Home Textiles and Design Expert, Nesterra comments, “A key aspect of embracing biophilic design, integrating natural elements, foster a sense of tranquillity and connection with the environment; creatively lies in the incorporation of nature-inspired patterns and textures into home decor. This adds an extra layer of depth to the design, promoting a pervasive sense of peace and relaxation throughout the living spaces.”

Mental Health Benefits of Being In Nature

“People can escape the daily grind and re-establish a connection with nature by spending time outdoors, be it hiking, gardening, or just taking a stroll in the park. It is possible to enhance this connection and promote a sense of inner calm and serenity by practising mindfulness meditation in natural environments”, adds Dr Gorav.

Here are some mental health benefits of living with nature and living mindfully:

– Access to green spaces lowers depression risk and enhances concentration.

– Outdoor time fosters social interactions with family and friends.

– Regular outdoor exposure can improve sleep quality.

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