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As a result of our industrial, technological society, it can be easy to feel distanced from ourselves and others, creating a sense of isolation from natural elements, as well. This can subsequently affect our mental health, increasing our feelings of depression and likeliness of other mental illnesses taking hold of our brains.

In recent years, it has been discovered that there is actually a relationship between our mental health and natural elements surrounding us. This was demonstrated in a study conducted and analyzed by the University of British Columbia which concluded that one’s mental health and overall stability can be significantly improved by exposing yourself to nature.

This realization is the result of an ability to be present. Being able to observe the natural ebb and flow of nature can inspire one’s mind to relax, subsequently curbing many of the negative mental effects that modern-day stress might have on one’s well-being.

The experiment in question, as described in the Journal of Positive Psychology, divided the participants into three groups: people who surrounded themselves with nature to connect with it, people who were interacting only with human objects, and people who did nothing. By separating the participants into these three groups, the scientists could see who was being affected by their surroundings and what types of thought certain contexts promoted overall.

What they found ended up showing that those who immerse themselves in nature on a regular basis often have clearer thoughts that promote a more honest type of communication and self-reflection. Those who were focused on reflecting in response to man-made objects were not able to concentrate as easily and had more trouble being able to focus.

This seems like a bizarre study given how much of the world is surrounded by concrete buildings, but this discovery could seriously alter the way we relate to the world around us. So take a walk in the woods and give yourself some time to think. It could help support your mental wellbeing.