Experts say being outside is great way to improve your mental health

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – With the ever-increasing pressures of modern life, some mental health professionals are recommending that you turn to the great outdoors for a natural remedy.

As mental health issues continue to rise, an expert in the Golden Triangle is highlighting the importance of incorporating nature into our daily lives.

Veronica Harrison, an administrator for Community Counseling in Columbus, said ditching your daily dose of caffeine for a recommended 15 minutes of fresh air and sun may be just what you need to get your day started bright and early.

“Being outside is a wonderful way to improve your mental health,” said Harrison. “It lightens your load and lightens your mood. Of course, Vitamin D is one of those wonderful nutrients that comes straight from the sun. It almost just sort of lifts your spirit. You walk a little lighter. It has this wonderful effect on your mind, your spirit, and body.”

Harrison suggested taking that walk to run errands versus using the car for every twist and turn you make.

“Taking a quick walk to take something to City Hall or to the Post Office is just as easy as jumping in the car. And the walk itself releases endorphins and allows the brain to feel better,” said Harrison.

A study by the CDC revealed that you’re more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, and mental illness without proper sleep. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep quickly at night, try using “Nature’s playlist”.

“There’s a rhythm to nature. And if you listen to it, it’s almost musical. And you just hear it and it just lulls you. It’s not quite a lullaby but it’s really comforting and soothing. It really puts you in a place of peace and serenity,” said Harrison.

Crack open a window. Turn off the lights. Put down the phone.

“God has already created His own Calm app. You just have to step into it,” said Harrison.

Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.

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