Multiple studies have found that spending time in nature has a positive effect on our brains. For children with ADHD, any time spent in nature reduces symptoms. For urban children living near green spaces, improved cognitive development and brain function occur. For people in hospitals, they recover more quickly when they have a view of trees. 2
The study was repeated increasing the time to 15 minutes. The results did not show any increase in the positive emotions from the additional ten minutes.
“There are two important take homes; the first I emphasize to all my students these days — when you need an emotional boost, the fastest and easiest way is to spend a few minutes with nature,” one of the study’s authors, Katherine D. Arbuthnott…
“The second is that, since contact with nature is so beneficial to our emotional health, preserving our local natural spaces is an important public health goal.”Need a mood boost? Just 5 minutes in nature will increase happiness, study finds
The studies were conducted in winter, so the researchers project the effects are year round and not weather dependent. How long the increased positive emotions last after nature exposure ends was not studied.
Humans are meant to interact with nature. Research continues to support how encounters positively affect us.
It does not take long for the power of nature to have a positive effect on human psyche. Researchers found just five minutes can alter ones emotions and mood.
According to research conducted at the University of Regina and published in the Journal of Postive Psychology:
There is robust evidence that contact with the natural world improves human health, including emotional well-being. However, the specific conditions of emotional benefits of nature contact are sparsely understood. Two studies were conducted with university students to examine whether the duration of nature contact influences the magnitude of benefits for both hedonic (positive and negative affect) and self-transcendent emotions. Study 1 investigated whether 5 minutes of sedentary nature contact influenced both emotion types, and Study 2 examined whether mood improvements are sensitive to the duration of nature contact (5 vs. 15 minutes). Results indicate that brief nature contact reliably improved both hedonic and self-transcendent emotions, and that the duration of contact in the range tested had no impact on this improvement.Calum Neill, Janelle Gerard & Katherine D. Arbuthnott (2018) Nature contact and mood benefits: contact duration and mood type, The Journal of Positive Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2018.1557242
Specifically, researchers looked at two types of emotions: hedonic and self-transcedent emotions. Hedonic moods are those that come from pleasure and comfort. Self-transcendent feelings include those such as awe, wonder, gratitude, and interconnectedness.
123 college students were divided into two groups. One group sat outside in a park, and one group sat inside in a room without windows. Both types of emotions increased for the group that sat outside. There were no changes for the inside group.
After only five minutes, the outdoor group reported feeling a “sense of awe”. 1https://www.foxnews.com/great-outdoors/you-only-need-5-minutes-in-nature-to-improve-your-mood-study-finds
Rye Bennet says
I do believe that this is true. In Japan, there’s this thing called Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing where they just walk or stay in a forest for at least 20 minutes. This kind of immersion is good for the mind and body. A perfect way to destress from the suffocating city-life.