Living in a big city may be seen as a very cosmopolitan experience. Traveling from one city to another, having a jam-packed agenda, taking video conference calls, attending gallery openings… all are associated with this lifestyle. But, there are also cars honking, elbow fights, crowded sidewalks and lots of cement structures (a.k.a. buildings). Without noticing, we begin obsessing with being mega-efficient, juicing every second of every hour and pushing to be “on top” of our responsibilities. Feeling stressed yet?
Now check this out: A recent study shows that a lack of green scenery and contact with mother nature could lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and may even develop memory loss and learning disabilities.
This study had researchers observing “city” individuals that were stressed out by their lifestyles. These individuals were caught in rumination – a state of mind in which you’re replaying a certain situation in your head over and over again, like that argument with your boss. This test had patients suffering from rumination walk among green spaces for 90 minutes a day. The results were incredibly positive with patients reporting improved work performance, all around satisfaction and loving the opportunities for physical activities those green areas had to offer. Through exercise, they improved memory, cognitive function and alleviated mental stress by restoring the mind’s ability to focus.
So the next time you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, like there’s nowhere to turn, make a pause in your hectic day, go out and spend some time in a natural environment. Going green every once in a while might help you win the battle against the stress of city life. We love festival-loving and shopping-mall-packed city of lights; but we could all use some verde in our lives!