Topics: Environment, Health, Rereātea - Midday News

Exploring nature decreases anxiety and depression

By Jessica Tyson

The Mental Health Foundation has released research showing that spending time in nature has a positive impact on mental health.

The research found that spending time in nature lifts people's moods, decreased feelings of depression and anxiety, improved concentration and acted as a buffer against stress.

MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson says spending time in nature, helps people find balance, build resilience and boost mental well-being.

"We are lucky to live in a country surrounded by natural beauty.  Every day we have opportunities to stop, take it in and appreciate the goodness that already surrounds us.”

The research has been released ahead of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week from October 8 to 14.

"Mental Health Awareness Week is about encouraging people to check-in with their mental health.  We want you to think about what makes you feel good and do more of that," says Robinson.

"We never know what life challenges lie around the corner, but if we invest in our mental health we are much better equipped to handle tough times and can prevent mental health issues."

The week will involve a number of events, challenges, resources and educational activities to help New Zealanders place their well-being front and centre.