In this BIT: We break down why you should go outside; including the benefits of nature, benefits of trees, and more about beauty in nature and its small details.
Looking for the small things in everyday life is one of the easiest ways to find more happiness, but sometimes we overlook all the small and beautiful pieces of nature right outside of our door! Going on a walk, and simply just noticing these small things can not only boost your mood but also distract you from stress that you might have been experiencing.
But, how does looking for and focusing on the small beauty in nature distract us and give us happiness?
Life is full of challenges and stress, it’s a part of life, just like nature. Everyone gets stressed out. Distraction is one very powerful way to calm down and distract yourself from all of those overwhelming feelings. By focusing on the changing colors as well as falling leaves, you can feel calmer! Noticing heavy changes in colors is proven to stimulate the brain as well as trigger happy emotions. By noticing these colors and watching leaves fall, you isolate yourself from current problems, feel happier and by stepping away for a moment it is easier to find a solution to whatever problem was originally stressing you out.
Secondly, noticing these beautiful color changes triggers our happy feelings of nostalgia. Just seeing the leaves change colors and fall off of trees can lead you to remember all of the memories you have of being outside in the fall. Purposefully going outside during these months is a great way to give yourself a mood boost and trigger those happiness chemicals in our brains. Going on walks while playing your favorite playlist or even just sitting on your porch while reading a good book is one of our favorite ways to incorporate this into our lives during the fall season.
Leaves are just one thing in nature that are scientifically proven to make you feel happier. Hearing birds chirp is also proven to help us calm down and helps stimulate the brain without distracting it too much. Next time you are outside, intentionally listen to the birds chirping and ask yourself, what are they communicating; is it a mating song, babies crying for food or are they in danger? By going outside and noticing the small things makes the experience of being outside so much more fulfilling and that boosts our mood.
A study from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey found that just looking at flowers can make you happier. The presence of flowers creates an increase of contact between you, your friends, and family. In this study, students felt happier and more satisfied after receiving flowers. Flowers also invoke a multisensory experience, not only do they look beautiful but they also smell beautiful. Additionally, for most of us flowers stimulate memories that are associated with good and happy moments.
Trees are beautiful parts of the forest, and there are countless scientific benefits of trees, relating to happiness. An experiment in Japan had 585 young adults go on a walk for 15 minutes, either in the forest or in an urban area. The participants who decided to go to the forest were calmer, experienced less confusion, hostility, anxiety, and felt more awake. Participants who were anxious before the walk had even much more positive results than the individuals that were not stressed. A Polish study found that participants who just looked at a winter forest had more positive moods, felt more excitement, and a personal satisfaction.
Overall, the next time you’re feeling stressed, or overwhelmed, or just need a mood boost try going outside and look for the beauty in nature! It doesn’t have to be a long walk. And if possible, take a parent, sibling, or see if a friend wants to come and together enjoy a small bit of happiness.
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.
Read about the many benefits of trees.