How to Make Yourself Happier in One Simple Step

The No.1 reason I photograph our natural world all around us is simply: it brings happiness to those who get to experience my work.

We all intrinsically know that being outdoors makes us all happier in general. Even so, seeing these stats on the impact nature has on our well-being still brought a smile to my face:

  • “In one study, people with good access to green recreational areas enjoyed a 40% narrowing of the mental health gap caused by socioeconomic inequality.
  • 69% of people who took part in “green” activities such as gardening or environmental conservation work felt an increased sense of well-being, one study showed.
  • Being outside in nature for as little as 20 minutes a day makes people feel more alive (even when researchers discounted the effect of the activity they were doing outside).
  • Children ages 5-18 with ADHD who spent time outdoors saw a significant decrease in the symptoms.”

How to make yourself happier in one simple step? Get out in nature.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate getting nature into your schedule, and the compelling reasons why:

  1. WALK - Exercising in nature can improve your mental health in as little as 5 minutes. In one study, taking a walk in nature reduced depression in 71% of participants.

  2. SMELL - Sniff a fragrant bush or flower. Ponder on any good memories the smell evokes, which will produce serotonin, a key hormone that produces a feeling of happiness, optimism, and well-being.

  3. TOUCH - Lie on your back or walk barefoot in the grass or sand and feel the coolness or warmth on your toes to get a direct, sensory connection to nature. 

  4. STUDY or READ - students in a nature-infused environment remembered more of a lecture than did the students who had no contact with nature. Memory and attention improved 20% after people spent an hour in nature.

It is my hope that my work is also a conduit to nature’s healing for those who may not have the ability or mobility to get physically into nature itself. Even accessing the parts of your brain that contain fond memories and associations with the beauty in nature can activate happiness within us!



Top image: "Calm" by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish 
Buy here