Beneficial effects of nature on mental health

Beneficial effects of nature on mental health

Unlike those who live close to nature, those who live in cities have a higher risk of developing mental disorders.
Unlike those who live close to nature, those who live in cities have a higher risk of developing mental disorders.

increase in urbanization It has been one of the most important changes in our environment. Currently, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. 68% until 2050. Although urbanization has many advantages, living in the city risk well-known sanity because the human brain is shaped and influenced by its environment.

A study by scientists provides evidence of the relationship between them. nature and brain health, something previously assumed but unproven. He notes that, unlike those who live close to nature, those who live in cities have a higher risk of developing mental disorders.

Depression and schizophrenia are up to 56% more common in urban settings.  (Getty)
Depression and schizophrenia are up to 56% more common in urban settings. (Getty)

mental health problems such as anxietymood disorders, major depression and schizophrenia a 56% It is more common in urban settings than in rural areas. It has been suggested that urban education is the most important environmental factor in the development of schizophrenia; 30% incidence of this disease.

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According to scientists, the amygdala plays an important role in the processing of the amygdala. stress in our body. Thanks to the study, it was found that rural areas became less active than cities. Sixty-three healthy volunteers were examined for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after an hour’s walk in the Grunewald forest or a busy shopping street in Berlin. With the results, they looked for evidence of stress processing in their brains.

from the results Simone KuhnLise Meitner, Director of the Environmental Neuroscience Group, explained: “Interestingly, brain activity in these regions remained stable and did not increase after urban walking, which contradicts the widespread belief that urban exposure causes additional stress. “Exposing the brain to nature, albeit briefly, decreases amygdala activity, suggesting that walking in nature may help prevent the development of mental health problems.”

Walking in nature for an hour a day has a positive effect on both our body and mind.
Walking in nature for an hour a day has a positive effect on both our body and mind.

According to a study published Molecular Psychiatry By Lise Meitner Group Environmental Neuroscience of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development reports that an hour of walking in nature reduces brain regions involved in stress processing. However, according Sonja Sudim“The chicken-and-egg problem has yet to be resolved whether nature causes brain effects or whether people choose to live in rural or urban areas,” said a predoctoral fellow in the Lise Meitner Environmental Neuroscience Group and lead author of the study.

These findings are consistent with a previous study showing that city dwellers living near forests have a physiologically healthier amygdala structure, enabling them to better cope with stress. “Urban design policies to improve the mental health and well-being of citizens, green spaces more accessible in cities”, suggested Simone Kühn.

Cities must adapt to nature and coexist.  Spaces must be adapted to improve the health and quality of life of residents.  (Getty)
Cities must adapt to nature and coexist. Spaces must be adapted to improve the health and quality of life of residents. (Getty)

Researchers are currently investigating how urban environments affect stress in mothers and their babies versus an hour’s walk in nature to explore the positive effects of nature. “Many people don’t realize the importance of mental health and don’t know how many people around the world have it. mental problems without even realizing it. For this reason, we should not forget that we should take care of our minds as well as our physique,” ​​Kühn concludes.

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