Nature and its role in your mental health

Posted by Lisa Lucier @lisalucier, Oct 30, 2017

My family and I just returned from a trip to Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, as well as a visit to see family who live on a country property in the South.

It occurred to me after walks among Arkansas’ beautiful trees, boating on the peaceful and glass-like Lake Ouachita, and then sitting outside reading my book surrounded by ponds and foliage on our relatives’ property that a good infusion of nature really helps me relax, put aside any anxieties and uplift my spirits.

I’ve also noted that over time, members on Mayo Clinic Connect, like @paracat , @predictable , @rosemarya , @artscaping , @johnbishop, @windwalker, @amberpep, @virtuous69, @megan123, @parus, @hopeful33250, @IndianaScott, @disneyfan and @peach414144 have all mentioned nature or posted photos of elements of the outside world.

I suspect that others also find that nature has positive effects in their lives. Wondering if you would share what you feel the role of nature has been in your mental health?

@lisalucier Every weekend we would go to our cabin 8miles in from road and walk in woods it was wonderful and relaxing just looking at Brook and all .I forgot about all the stress and problems

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@lioness

@lisalucier Every weekend we would go to our cabin 8miles in from road and walk in woods it was wonderful and relaxing just looking at Brook and all .I forgot about all the stress and problems

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@lioness Sounds like that location would make for a good painting!

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@hopeful33250 I,ll seeing I can create a painting good suggestion

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@lioness

@hopeful33250 I,ll seeing I can create a painting good suggestion

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Yeah!! Looking forward to seeing it, @lioness

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@lioness

It will be worth the wait, @lioness!

Liked by lioness

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I know what you're talking about — I moved to a city in the South from Colorado. After three years here I decided I HAD to go back to Colorado with it's mountains and nature. I can't hike up the mountains like I used to – I'm 72 — but I can surely see the wonder of it all. Here it's like a big city with cars with aggressive drivers and so many large highways – one going practically on top of another. Thank GOD for Colorado.
Lauren mountain girl

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@1mountaingirl86

I know what you're talking about — I moved to a city in the South from Colorado. After three years here I decided I HAD to go back to Colorado with it's mountains and nature. I can't hike up the mountains like I used to – I'm 72 — but I can surely see the wonder of it all. Here it's like a big city with cars with aggressive drivers and so many large highways – one going practically on top of another. Thank GOD for Colorado.
Lauren mountain girl

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@1mountaingirl86 I still feel this way about WY. All I hear now are sirens, traffic and my view is the 3 storage sheds belonging to neighbors. I no longer open my verticals as there is little cover for the birds and feral cats that hang out for an easy meal. It would be unkind. Well, looks like I need to work on my gratitude list. I still love the memories I have of the Rockies. Thanks for the breath of fresh air.

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@1mountaingirl86

I know what you're talking about — I moved to a city in the South from Colorado. After three years here I decided I HAD to go back to Colorado with it's mountains and nature. I can't hike up the mountains like I used to – I'm 72 — but I can surely see the wonder of it all. Here it's like a big city with cars with aggressive drivers and so many large highways – one going practically on top of another. Thank GOD for Colorado.
Lauren mountain girl

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@1mountaingirl86 Yes thank you I lived in Pa beautiful Mts ,fresh air loved it Like Parus I see smokey air from factories and the hear train,sirens so fresh memories😊

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Hi – Maybe it's time to reactivate this discussion. Nature is a great healer and a great soother.
Here in Deep South Texas, Covid-19 has arrived and we are seeing the same restrictions and suffering the same fears as the rest of the country. Schools are closed, businesses closing, mad rush for supplies underway… It feels a bit different for many of us because our homes and families are 1000-2000 miles away, and the journey back looks perilous with all the closings and uncertainties.
Parks, beaches, arboretums are all closing here too. However, we can still stroll in the parks and sit quietly on the benches to meditate or pray, or simply to be. Where I live, we walk every morning, and now with most activities cancelled, nearly every evening as well.
We are watching the birds mating (quite fascinating and sometimes amusing), the plants and trees blooming or preparing to do so, the bugs and butterflies flitting. It makes me realize we humans are a small bit of a much larger universe, and that the current crisis may bend and change us, but it too shall pass.
I wish all of you the ability to observe nature, close up or through your window, to find some peace in this trying time.
Please be kind to yourselves and each other, and be patient with all of our public officials as they attempt to navigate this unprecedented emergency.
Sue

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@sueinmn

Hi – Maybe it's time to reactivate this discussion. Nature is a great healer and a great soother.
Here in Deep South Texas, Covid-19 has arrived and we are seeing the same restrictions and suffering the same fears as the rest of the country. Schools are closed, businesses closing, mad rush for supplies underway… It feels a bit different for many of us because our homes and families are 1000-2000 miles away, and the journey back looks perilous with all the closings and uncertainties.
Parks, beaches, arboretums are all closing here too. However, we can still stroll in the parks and sit quietly on the benches to meditate or pray, or simply to be. Where I live, we walk every morning, and now with most activities cancelled, nearly every evening as well.
We are watching the birds mating (quite fascinating and sometimes amusing), the plants and trees blooming or preparing to do so, the bugs and butterflies flitting. It makes me realize we humans are a small bit of a much larger universe, and that the current crisis may bend and change us, but it too shall pass.
I wish all of you the ability to observe nature, close up or through your window, to find some peace in this trying time.
Please be kind to yourselves and each other, and be patient with all of our public officials as they attempt to navigate this unprecedented emergency.
Sue

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Great thoughts, @sueinmn. I do think time in nature is healing and mentally refreshing. Since gyms are closing, my mom has asked me to walk with her weekdays around my neighborhood. It's been good to just be outside, despite the fact that it's still chilly here and the zipper on my longer (backside covering) parka went kaput and I have to wear a shorter one.

@megan123 @parus @peach414144 @lioness @amberpep – have you gotten to be outdoors in nature during this unique time where we're a bit more holed up than normal?

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@sueinmn

Hi – Maybe it's time to reactivate this discussion. Nature is a great healer and a great soother.
Here in Deep South Texas, Covid-19 has arrived and we are seeing the same restrictions and suffering the same fears as the rest of the country. Schools are closed, businesses closing, mad rush for supplies underway… It feels a bit different for many of us because our homes and families are 1000-2000 miles away, and the journey back looks perilous with all the closings and uncertainties.
Parks, beaches, arboretums are all closing here too. However, we can still stroll in the parks and sit quietly on the benches to meditate or pray, or simply to be. Where I live, we walk every morning, and now with most activities cancelled, nearly every evening as well.
We are watching the birds mating (quite fascinating and sometimes amusing), the plants and trees blooming or preparing to do so, the bugs and butterflies flitting. It makes me realize we humans are a small bit of a much larger universe, and that the current crisis may bend and change us, but it too shall pass.
I wish all of you the ability to observe nature, close up or through your window, to find some peace in this trying time.
Please be kind to yourselves and each other, and be patient with all of our public officials as they attempt to navigate this unprecedented emergency.
Sue

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Hi, fellow Texan, In west Tx, we've been having days of unusal rain so today was my first day out for a walk in the neighborhood and it was glorious to observe Spring really waking up. Like what you wrote and agree that during this unsettled time, kindness, compassion and courtesy will go far to help us through the tricky times ahead.

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@fiesty76

Hi, fellow Texan, In west Tx, we've been having days of unusal rain so today was my first day out for a walk in the neighborhood and it was glorious to observe Spring really waking up. Like what you wrote and agree that during this unsettled time, kindness, compassion and courtesy will go far to help us through the tricky times ahead.

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@fiesty76 I have 2 good friends in Tx. San Antonio and Houston they say the bluebonnets are out any in your area ?

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@lioness

@fiesty76 I have 2 good friends in Tx. San Antonio and Houston they say the bluebonnets are out any in your area ?

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@lioness We are so far south that the only bluebonnets are in gardens, but they are blooming beautifully. The cactus buds are swelling and our citrus trees are flowering, so the aroma is heavenly. Just finished playing a game of cards on the open patio. Needed to weight them down, but it was heavenly to be out and be able to socialize safely. Has anyone in Minnesota seen the tulips poking up yet? In a normal year that's when our daughters ask us to please come home.
Sue

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@fiesty76

Hi, fellow Texan, In west Tx, we've been having days of unusal rain so today was my first day out for a walk in the neighborhood and it was glorious to observe Spring really waking up. Like what you wrote and agree that during this unsettled time, kindness, compassion and courtesy will go far to help us through the tricky times ahead.

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Of course, exactly, right on and hurrah! We the people do truly care for each other and now as again this is the time for the caring and the compassion to show. And to honor the people whose lives are also on the line caring and protecting us. God bless America. (Sing it again Kate Smith) Peach

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