There are countless articles and tips on how to relieve stress. The reason why is no surprise. In our hectic society that’s running at breakneck speed, there’s lots to be stressed about. With all the information out there about stress-relief, a common trend emerges: being outside is the best thing you can do.
In a recent study, scientists decided to look at Scotland and how people responded to urban environments versus natural ones. They measured cortisol, which is a hormone produced by stress, in 25 adults and found that those who lived in areas with more green space had lower amounts of stress than those who lived with more concrete space. There are countless other studies that show the same thing: nature reduces stress.
Outdoor activities that reduce stress
So, what are some activities that you can do outside to reduce stress, check out BetterHelp. If you exercise, take it outside. Walking outside improves your attention span and energy levels by as much as 20% when compared to walking inside on a track. Other great exercises to move outside include yoga and even using an elliptical, which has outdoor models.
Another activity that people have said reduces stress is outdoor photography. It lets you focus on something outside of your frazzled mind, and really take a good look at your surroundings. Go to a nearby park or other green space and spend some time taking pictures.
A third outdoor activity is gardening, which may be one of the best leisure activities you can do to reduce stress. If you’ve never gardened before, take a look at the space you have to work with and go to a good nursery for help. They can tell you what plants are easiest to grow, how to care for them, and how to use your space. Taking care of plants and just having them around has a ton of health benefits, like better air quality, improved focus, and so on.
What about golf? This sport frequently pops up on lists of activities that reduce stress, but the reality is, it might actually make stress worse. Studies have shown that the focus on individual skill can put pressure on many players, and a bad game can make someone’s mood worse than when they started. Essentially, golf is good for some people, and it’s bad for others. Know yourself and if you feel golf has the potential to stress you out, do something else.