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Are people who live near green spaces less likely to suffer from mental health problems?

Are people who live near green spaces less likely to suffer from mental health problems?

Being close to nature has a positive effect on a person's physical and mental health, as neuroscience shows.
Paula Gonsalves

Paula Gonsalves 5 minutes

according to Andrea MicheliClinical psychologist, neuroscientist, and professor of early mental health intervention at King's College LondonHow it was analyzed Aspects of the urban environment impact mental health around the world And its results are surprising.

The results indicate so Nature, along with features like natural diversity and birdsong, can improve our mental health.

There are many studies that show this People who live near parks, canals, rivers or other green spaces are less susceptible Suffering from mental health problems.

“The risk of depression is about 20% lower in people who live near green spaces or who spend a lot of time near them.” According to Andrea Micheli.

But what specific aspects of the natural environment are beneficial?

Well, in an article published in Watchmana psychologist explains how Nature can play an important role in our mental health.

Benefits of nature
In addition to the physical benefits, connecting with nature also brings mental health benefits, such as reduced anxiety and depression.

The fact is that, according to Mceli, You don't need a big garden to ensure people can benefit from natural. Thus, even in a dense urban environment, it is possible to reach trees and hear birdsong.

The author mentions this When people can see trees, there is an increase in their mental healthThis effect lasts for at least 8 hours.

What can someone who lives in a small apartment or urban house do?

until Even have a small garden On the terrace, or not paving the garden, but allowing flowers and biodiversity to develop in that space It is important for our well-being and biodiversity development. then By supporting our environment and tackling climate change, we are also supporting our healthThen everything wins.

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“People living in cities are at greater risk of developing mental health problems – a well-established finding that we have known for years.” – Micheli

The same thing happens in different countries and cultures, where an encounter with nature leads to a mental health boost that lasts for several hours. These benefits are clearly visible even when people encounter nature by chance during their daily lives. For example, listening to bird sounds on the way to work.

How does nature have such a beneficial effect on our souls?

Nature helps improve concentration and reduce mental fatigue. This means that people's memory and attention span improve.

Physical and mental health
Nature can also be an excellent tool for social integration.

There is also evidence that, When people have access to high-quality nature, they tend to exercise and socialize more in natureWhich leads to the release of endorphins and other mood-enhancing hormones that are beneficial for mental health.

There are even studies that prove this Nature can help reduce stress levels. Furthermore, levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, decrease.

News reference:
Hammoud, R., Tougnin, S., Smith, M. et al. Smartphone-based real-time environmental assessment reveals a growing association between natural diversity and mental well-being. Scientific Reports (2024).