Wednesday June 26, 2019

Nature Gives You A Major Boost In Improving Your Mental Health

From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration.

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Mental Health
Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health. Pixabay

People who commute — walking or cycling — through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study.

Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies.

“Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.

Mental health
Cycling can reduce your loneliness, boost mental health. Flickr

For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health.

The findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently.

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

Mental Health
Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life Pixabay

“From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.

Also Read: ADHD May Be Improved With Support And Self- Regulation: Study

“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.” (IANS)

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Yoga Can Help You Cope with Mental Illness, Say Experts

Parental disharmony, peer pressure and examination stress can trigger off depression in children

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Mental illness in city dwellers which has emerged as a major problem can be treated to an extent through yoga, say experts.

Though mental illness, as such, cannot be directly treated through yoga, stress, which one of the major causes, said mental health expert Prakriti Poddar in a telephonic interview.

“Stress is one of the major factors that leads to depression and you can deal with stress through yoga. You can learn to calm your responses by extending your reaction time, thereby giving you better control on your emotional reactivity,” she said.

She said that Yoga asanas like Surya Namaskar, Warrior Pose, Tad Asana, Trikonasana and Pranayam could help a person cope with depression and stress.

“Depression is one of the major diseases of the developed world and it is triggered off by one’s inability to cope with stress – emotional and physical. Yoga helps you to calm your nerves, increase your mental strength and help you deal with situations,” she explained.

Poddar said that migration of work force from rural to urban areas also triggered depression. She said that there are studies on stress due to different kind of struggles one has to face due to the migration. This includes financial, emotional and physical stress.

“Often situational stress assists it, as people move from a robust support system to a limited one. Loneliness steps in as the sense of belonging depletes,” she stated.

girl practicing yoga
Girl practicing yoga. Pixabay

She further said that most companies are now incorporating a well-being programme to provide a holistic approach towards the well being of employees.

“Yoga has become a part of corporate wellness programs and has huge benefits for the employees as it lowers stress levels, relaxes the mind, makes the body flexible and invites an overall feeling of well-being. This improves the performance of the employee and promotes a sense of friendship,” she said.

Children can also be taught yoga form a young age to help them cope with pressures, personal and professional, when they attain adulthood.

Also Read- Experts Suggest How You can Keep Your Children Safe from Sun in Summer

According to various studies, around 14 per cent of the global burden of disease is attributed to neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mental health literacy among adolescents is very low and only 29 per cent could identify depression while others remained unaware of the problem.

Parental disharmony, peer pressure and examination stress can trigger off depression in children. (IANS)