The Affects Nature has on Mental Health

The Affects Nature has on Mental Health

Kayla Elliott, staff writer

Open your eyes, It’s roughly 7:30 in the morning. The moon has departed and the sun is glistening from high in the sky. The cardinals and the robins are singing in glorious harmony. You awake to a warm room with a shimmering light peeking through the boxed glass upon your walls. It’s going to be a stunning day, after all it’s the beginning of spring. The weather has been getting nicer and our moods have been happier. With winter passing we are reminded summer is coming. The constant feeling of stress has begun to lift and a spark of hope runs through our bodies making us more lively. Because of the weather being warmer we are able to spend more time adventuring outdoors and exploring new places. Everything is opening back up and welcoming us with delightful smiles. 

There are many positive factors that come from being outdoors. Teenagers from our very own school were asked how nature affects them. Many of them responded that it helped them grow mentally.

 Being outdoors helps us disconnect from social media, and  allows us to feel a sense of freedom. Senior Justin Rhodes says, “Being outside is great because it lets you forget everything else that’s going on and you get to focus on what makes life so beautiful.”  

 In today’s society social media has a big effect on people and their mental health. It’s easy to compare yourself to the face of social media. Junior Shae O’Barto states, “Social media makes you want to perceive yourself as others. I tend to compare myself to influencers while scrolling through my feed. When I notice myself doing this I like to take breaks and simply just stand outside and look at nature itself. It makes me appreciate the world that I live in.” Shae describes how the warm breezes and fresh air helps her remember who she is. 

When you’re outside you can observe the tall green trees and the alluring flowers. Along with sinking in the natural light from the luminescent sun. Studies show that sunlight increases serotonin, and helps with anxiety along with depression. Depression and anxiety cause drowsiness and lack of motivation, many teenagers struggle with this in today’s world. Teens describe how natural light motivates them to become more productive and get out of their “fog of depression.”

 Sunlight has also been proven to help SAD which stands for seasonal affective disorder.  SAD is a seasonal depression that takes place at the same time every year, typically the winter time. It is a very common disease that most people are unaware of. Treatments for SAD include sunlight therapy, talk therapy and medications. 

  Most people struggle with how they view themselves. This is called body dysmorphic disorder. This causes you to overthink and worry about minor flaws. There is no actual cure for this disorder although there are remedies that you can do to help prevent it. Exercise has been known to help many cases of BDD. When struggling with this disorder it’s hard to find motivation. However, Spring time motivates everyone to be more active, which leads many to become more fit; when fit you feel more confident and happy with your body.  Exercise also strengthens your body and will boost your self esteem. Walking outdoors helps your mind to ease and forget about what is going on around you; this helps those who struggle with BDD. 

The day is now over. Watch as the glowing ball of white light rises into the sky. Feel the confidence running through your body as if it was a bolt of lightning. It’s time to shut your eyes once more. Lay peacefully in your bed full of clouds after all it’s been a good day.