Stressed? Take one 20-minute nature pill a day



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Spending 20 or 30 minutes daily in a natural environment can effectively reduce your level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Would you take a small "nature pill"?

Do you feel stressed? Life seems to go too fast, problems pile up, you do not have time for yourself … In short, Do you need a break?. But be aware that it is not necessary to take a few days off and escape to the countryside to feel a little better. Take a few minutes of your day to stroll or sit in touch with nature may actually reduce your stress hormone levels significantly. This is at least the conclusion of a study published in Borders in Psychology.

20-30 minutes per day

As part of this research, the researchers asked 36 participants accustomed to urban environments 10 minutes or more – at least three times a week – immersed in a natural environment. And this for eight weeks. The cortisol levels of each were measured from saliva samples taken before and after "nature breaks" once every two weeks. "Participants were free to choose the time of day, duration and location of their experience", note the researchers. On the other hand, they were banned from using their smartphone, exercising, reading or even talking.

The data then revealed that a 20 minutes is enough to significantly reduce cortisol levels. The most important effects were felt at the end of the "nature breaks" of 20 to 30 minutes. In addition, the anti-stress effects continue to increase, but at a slower rate.

"We knew that spending time in nature reduced stress, but so far some data remained uncertain: for how long? How often? What kind of experience in nature can we really enjoy?says MaryCarol Hunter of the University of Michigan (USA). Our study shows that in order to effectively lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone), you need to spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that gives you a glimpse of nature ".

nature
Ready for a nature break? Credits: Pixabay

A free natural remedy

We would indeed have a solution for reduce stress at a lower cost. Ultimately, researchers will try to evaluate the influence of age, sex, seasonality, physical ability and culture on the effectiveness of these experiences of nature on well-being. The idea would one day be to prescribe "nature pills" to measure, and why not rethinking our cities in order to maximize its anti-stress effect.

It should be remembered that for some months some Scottish doctors encourage their patients to go for treatment. It is prescribed the observation of birds, the planting of seeds or the contemplation of this or that plant. The idea: to explore nature as part of an overall treatment strategy.

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