Deep down, we all know that we should spend less time in front of a screen and more time outdoors. Researchers’ opinions vary on the ideal amount of time spent outside to improve mental health, which ranges from 2 hours a week to 90 minutes a day. However, something that most researchers agree on is the fact that just looking at the landscape is not enough. You have to immerse yourself in nature to obtain all the benefits . The Japanese are already very aware of this. So-called “forest bathing” (shinrin-yoku) has been popular in Japan for decades. It involves a complete sensory experience outside, which is achieved by walking very slowly and very consciously sound healing.
But if you don’t have much time (or a natural environment close to home), but want to enjoy the benefits of nature, we have good news for you. Research shows that even though they are artificial, the sights, sounds and smells of nature can have positive health effects. Listening to the sounds of nature with headphones, for example, is a very accessible way to be in contact with nature. It can improve mood, reduce stress levels and make us feel more connected to those close to us.