Our Mission & Vision
There is a large, and growing, body of research showcasing the positive impact of green spaces on mental health and wellbeing (Buckley, Brough, & Westaway, 2018; Triguero-Mas et al., 2015). However, few mental health interventions seem to take this into account, which is why we at RESET have built engagement with nature into our innovative therapy model. .
The COVID-19 pandemic gave us additional insights into the benefits of nature, when frequent lockdowns resulted in restricted access to the outdoors (Aspinall, 2022). The pandemic reinforced the critical role of spending time outdoors, exercising outdoors, and having visual access to greenery and its links to positive mental health (Colley, Bushnik, & Langlois, 2020).
Here at RESET we use psychoeducation to help individuals to understand the benefits of spending time in nature, as well as motivating them to go and spend that important time outdoors.
THE BENEFITS OF GREEN SPACE…
Green Space and Mental Health
Natural outdoor environments can improve quality of life, mental health (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression) and physical health (Triguero-Mas et al., 2015). In fact, more greenery appears to be better – with research showing that denser green areas (e.g. trees along the streets, green public footpaths) are typically inhabited by people with better mental health.
Studies also show that longer time spent living with greenery is particularly powerful for improving mental health. Individuals who moved from less to more green residential areas improved their mental health, and this remained consistent for over three years. This suggests that these participants’ “baseline” level of wellbeing had improved (Alcock, White, Wheeler, Fleming, & Depledge, 2014).
Additional benefits can be reaped by exercising outdoors. A team of psychologists found that the physical health benefits of exercise outdoors were better for mental wellbeing, sleep, and physical health outcomes that exercise indoors or no exercise at all (Pasanen, Tyrväinen, & Korpela, 2014).
These trends also make sense from an evolutionary perspective. Modern day human beings are the product of millions of years of evolution, the great majority of it spent living within the wild, natural environment fighting for survival, water, food, and shelter (Cantor, 2009; Mantler & Logan, 2015; O’Connell, 2013).
Our brains have evolved to pay attention to natural cues, rather than man-made ones. For example, human beings show attentional preference towards images of animals and human beings (Wang, Tsuchiya, New, Hurlemann, & Adolphs, 2015). Our species also has a preference for images of nature as opposed to the built environment (Mantler & Logan, 2015).
Several functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated how scenes of natural environments activate parts of our brains concerned with positive outlook on life, empathy, emotional regulation, and love, whilst images of urban environments trigger areas of our brain concerned with threat and arousal (G.-W. Kim & Jeong, 2014; T.-H. Kim et al., 2010; Mantler & Logan, 2015).
How We Can Help
The RESET Health Group recognises the benefits of strength training for mental health and offers services designed to help people to come up with a routine that works for them.
By sticking to this routine and achieving their goals, people can become stronger physically and mentally. You can learn how to develop positive behaviours and manage your well-being in a healthy way.