You only need 20 minutes a day to reduce stress and cortisol – here’s what you need to do.
Urban life means everyday stressful situations. Fast pace living, long work hours and responsibilities make most people feel exhausted, stressed, and under constant pressure.
Research by Dr. Mary Carol Hunter of the University of Michigan proves that spending time outdoors significantly lowers the negative consequences of urban living.
“It has long been known that staying in nature reduces stress, but we did not know to what extent. “Our research shows that you need to spend at least 20 minutes to half an hour in nature every day,” said the author of this study.
You can walk in the park or in the woods, ride a bike, sit on the grass and meditate. It is important to be surrounded by greenery and nature, away from city noise.
The study involved 44 people and lasted eight weeks. All participants went to nature three times a week, for at least 10 minutes. They were advised to avoid talking, not to use social networks and phones. That was the only restriction, and participants had the freedom to choose activities in nature and to explore.
Each participant gave a sample of their saliva at the beginning of the study and then again after the first, third and last week. The results showed that the level of cortisol (stress hormone) decreased by 21% in people who spent at least 20-30 minutes every day or every other day in nature.
Based on the research, it was concluded that you need to spend only 20 minutes a day to achieve a balance of cortisol levels and reduce stress. If you spend time in nature more often, you both your mental and physical health will improve.
Numerous studies also show that outdoor physical activity and meditation in nature can be very important in regulating mental health in humans.
If you think you are over-stressed, here are 10 Simple Ways To Fight Stress And Reduce Cortisol.