Do you find yourself stressed out? Struggling to relax, especially when you seem to be constantly working? Weekends just go by so quickly. Holidays? What’s a holiday? Well, a scientific study might be useful to those of us stuck in the city life. If you find yourself stressed at work, this tip could help you feel happier quickly.
A study by the University of Michigan found that spending time in nature can drastically reduce stress levels. They conducted the study by taking saliva samples from participants before and after being in nature. Researchers then tested the samples for the stress hormone cortisol. Their findings were remarkable.
“We know that spending time in nature reduces stress, but until now it was unclear how much is enough, how often to do it, or even what kind of nature experience will benefit us,” said Mary Carol Hunter. The associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability was one of the lead authors on the study. “Our study shows that for the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.”
The study found that 20-30 minutes spent in nature was the best amount of time to reduce stress and make you happier. And it doesn’t have to be the rugged wilderness, just a park will do. However, less than twenty minutes and you might not be fully unlocking nature’s potential.
The other thing is that you don’t have to be exercising or anything like that. Even just sitting in a park, field, or tree can make you markedly happier. This is great news for anyone with a lunch break!
What do you make of the study, and what are your methods for making yourself happier? Let us know in the comments, and share with your friends and family. You can check out similar stories on Happiest, like this one that gives you five reasons to socialize.