How Nature Walks Can Help With Climate Anxiety

Naman Bajaj
March 28, 2024

Spending time in nature is an effective coping strategy to deal with climate anxiety. Nature has a calming and rejuvenating effect on our body and mind and the sights, sounds, and smells in nature make us feel happy and content.

The health benefits of nature walks

These days, it’s impossible to avoid content about the impact of the climate crisis. The constant devastating stories and dire predictions for the future make us anxious. Psychologists and other mental health experts are finally recognizing the impacts of eco-anxiety on our mental health.

Research indicates that walking in nature is an effective antidote to that as it significantly enhances our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Spending time in green spaces, such as urban parks and forests, can lower cortisol levels, thus reducing stress and eco-anxiety.

While different studies have slightly different takes on it, on average, spending around 15-30 minutes in nature daily can help you feel better.

Walking in nature also increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to relax the body and inhibits or slows many high-energy functions.

How to spend more time in nature

You don't need to strap on hiking boots and hit a national park after every workday to get your nature fix. But if you're up for an adventure now and then, you can find a national park nearby.

There are urban parks in our cities where you can go for a quick stroll a few times a week. That should provide a sense of optimism and help you better manage your climate anxiety.

You can check out your city’s ParkScore and it will give you an idea of how far you would have to go to find a green space.

If urban parks are inaccessible, you could also use Tree Equity Score to find out neighborhoods that have higher tree coverage.

Once you are in the habit of spending time in nature, you can immerse yourself more in the experience. One way to do that is to learn more about the ecosystem. To do that, you could use apps like NatureID or Seek. When you are hiking or walking in a park, there are chances that you come across plants, animals, or fungi that you want to know more about. Instead of wondering about the specifics of these organisms, you can utilize these apps to gain instant knowledge. You can point your smartphone camera at them and these apps can identify them in seconds.


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Commons team hiking
Naman Bajaj
March 28, 2024


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