A recent study revealed that a single hour spent in nature can significantly reduce activity within the amygdala, which subsequently leads to improved resilience against stress.
To give you a little context...
City life is often linked to higher levels of stress and depression.
Research reveals that when city-dwellers are in a stressful situation, the amygdala - an area of the brain associated with stress - is more stimulated than it would be for those living in rural regions.
For the first time ever, this study takes a closer look at how brain activity is affected when taking an hour-long walk in bustling city streets versus peaceful forest trails.
Here’s how the study uncovered…
To evaluate the effects of stress, brain activation was gauged in 63 healthy adults while exposed to a tense task.
Subsequently, participants opted to embark on a one-hour stroll either in bustling city streets or the tranquility of nature.
Following the walk, the same brain activation test was conducted again.
The study found that when individuals who walked in nature were exposed to stress, there was a decrease in activation of the amygdala. There was no change observed for those participants who walked in the city.
This is what it means for you...
Traversing the outdoors offers an abundance of advantages compared to ambling through a city. You may not be able to make it out into the woods every day, but taking a stroll in your local park or along one of its trails will still provide you with abundant benefits.
We should never forget the influence our environment can have on us - and nature is one of the most powerful stress relievers available!
Sudimac, S., Sale, V., & Kühn, S. (2022). How nature nurtures: Amygdala activity decreases as the result of a one-hour walk in nature. Mol Psychiatry. [link]