Spending time outdoors can be very calming and therapeutic and has many physical and mental health benefits that you may not be aware of. Even the simple activity of walking barefoot on the grass can promote healing and wellness—fresh air and sunshine are always good. There are several outdoor activities to improve your mood, fight depression, relieve stress, and have other physical and psychological benefits.
At Connections Wellness Group, we welcome Texans from all backgrounds who are ready to accept help with major or clinical depressive disorders, postpartum depression, or bipolar disorders. We are a full-service outpatient treatment facility in a safe and discreet location where patients can work on improving their mood through holistic outdoor activities, behavioral therapies, and medical support. Our programs are tailored to the individual and will include a mix of private and group therapy sessions. To discover all of the benefits of our mental health treatment programs, call 940.360.4245 and speak with our compassionate professionals.
The Benefits of Outdoor Activities to Fight Depression
Spending time outdoors comes with many surprising physical and mental benefits. Several research projects have shown a connection between spending time in nature and a reduction in stress levels and depressive symptoms. Studies suggest spending twenty minutes a day outdoors can be very beneficial for people with depression or other mental health disorders.
Just some of the benefits of outdoor activities for mental health include:
- Boosts serotonin and dopamine levels
- It naturally helps people calm down and relax
- Increase heart rate and blood flow to the brain
- Boosts your immune system
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- Promotes social activity and togetherness
At Connections Wellness Group, we provide our patients with plenty of outdoor activities to fight depression and increase their chances of living a happy and mentally healthy lifestyle. We hold therapy sessions outdoors when the weather is nice and host fun outdoor activities such as nature walks, yoga and exercise, and group discussions.
5 Outdoor Activities to Improve Your Mood
Spending time outdoors is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day and reduces stress and tension, which can cause a buildup of inflammation. There are plenty of activities you can do, from enjoying a meditative walk or yoga session to biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, or playing a team sport.
Here are five outdoor activities to improve your mood:
This activity is a great way to connect with nature and create a beautiful garden with some delicious and nutritious vegetables. Digging your hands in soil is mentally relaxing and physically stimulating and comes with many additional benefits that include:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases vitamin D intake
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- Improves hand strength and dexterity
- Reduces obsessing over past thoughts or memories
2. Nature Walks/Hiking
Physical activity is essential for a healthy body and mind. Taking a 15-20 minute walk or hike alone or with friends increases blood flow to the brain and gives your heart a good workout. Walking or hiking on a regular basis will also ease muscle stiffness and joint pain in your legs and lower back.
If you regularly practice yoga and/or meditation, try moving this activity outdoors for an added boost of serotonin and dopamine. Yoga is a meditative activity that gives your muscles a good stretch and toning and allows for a deeper connection with your true self. You can practice yoga alone or in a group. For a different kind of experience, try a sunrise or sunset yoga session or yoga with goats or puppies.
4. Picnic with Friends
Social activity is very important to maintain a healthy mind and decrease depressive symptoms. Pack healthy foods, snacks, and drinks, and gather your friends in a serene park or next to a river or lake. This activity is a great opportunity to have meaningful conversations and build a closer connection with your friends and loved ones.
5. Spend Outdoor Time with Pets
If you have a dog who loves to play catch, take them to a dog-friendly park for a game of catch or to socialize with other dog lovers.
Outdoor activities are a fun way to improve your mood and reduce the chances of developing long-lasting depression. The best outdoor activities that decrease depressive symptoms are unique to each person. Spend some time trying out different activities until you find the ones that have the most benefits for your physical and mental health.
Connections Wellness Group Offers Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment Programs
At Connections Wellness Group, we understand the value of outdoor activities for mental health and include a wide range of holistic outdoor activities in our treatment programs. Therapists will bring the therapy session outdoors, where patients will participate in group discussions and other activities that promote good physical and mental health.