No need to look for a hidden place to escape from problems or improve your mood. It would be the ideal, but not everyone can do it and less with the desired frequency in times of the coronavirus, which is putting us to the test. So keep in mind some science-backed alternatives to try to ease the burden.
A study by experts from the University of Michigan (USA) ensures that nor it is necessary to leave the urban environment to try to reduce stress levels. Just a few minutes of walking or sitting in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature is enough to reduce the levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress.
The results of the investigation, published in Frontiers in Psychology magazine, collect a reduction in stress thanks to the so-called ‘nature pills’, who managed to reduce cortisol levels by more than 20 percent during the 8 weeks that the participants were in contact with a natural environment, who could freely choose both the time of day and the place and who were only asked to go in daylight and avoid exercising, using social networks, the internet, phone calls, conversations, and reading.
Garden and views
Other research, in this case from the University of Plymouth (UK) research concludes that you can reduce the temptation regarding certain undesirable habits like drinking alcohol, smoking or eating foods with little nutritional value without physical activity being involved in the equation.
The study, published in the magazine ‘Health & Place’, is the first to investigate the relationship between exposure to natural environments, the desire for a variety of substances, and the experimentation of negative emotions or feelings. The results showed that Having access to a garden was associated with lower desire and frequency, while residential views that incorporated more than 25% green space elicited similar responses.
See nature documentaries
Finally, recent research from the University of Exeter in England concludes that watching high-quality nature shows can improve people’s mood, reduce negative emotions and help alleviate the type of boredom associated with being isolated indoors. Although always in a context of a certain autocotrole since watching television for many hours a day is not good for health, to the point that many studies compare its effects with those of tobacco or lack of exercise
However, the researchers, who have just published their work in the ‘Journal of Environmental Psychology’, point out that it has also shown that experiencing nature in virtual reality could have even greater benefits, promoting positive feelings and increasing the connection of people with the natural world.
Thus, while being fully aware that nothing can replace the benefits of direct contact with nature and much less fill your eyes with beauty in the same wayThe truth is that science supports the adoption of somewhat more artificial practices. At least until the world returns to its own devices.