April 22 is Earth Day, a day to reflect on and celebrate Mother Nature. It’s been well-documented that spending time outside in nature and surrounded by green spaces can be great for your mental and physical well-being, with people who spend more time outside noting:

● High overall satisfaction with their lives

● Better physical health

● Greater rates of cognitive development in children

● Mental health boosts

Many psychologists have even implemented wilderness therapy programs to encourage clients to physically engage with nature while mentally opening up and allowing themselves to be awed by the wonders of our natural world.

Disconnecting from technology in favor of a stroll through nature can lead to improved attention, lower stress, and better mood, and spending more time outdoors can even reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders and result in upticks in empathy and cooperation. Taking care of the Earth, whether it be through simple acts like recycling and limiting water usage or bigger commitments like decreasing your carbon footprint, can also lead to improved mood and positive feelings, as well as an enhanced connection to the world around you.

Nature positively impacts our minds, bodies and spirits. We can enjoy nature solo, or connect with others through a love of the outdoors. Being environmentally conscious and

responsible allows us to be proactive in taking care of the world around us. How will you connect with Mother Nature and celebrate Earth Day this year?

Earth Day: The role nature plays in mental health