Bird Watching Can Improve Mental Health
Living in an area with plenty of trees, bushes, and birds—whether in a rural, suburban, or urban neighborhood—can be good for your mental health and well-being, according to a recent study. Researchers in Great Britain found that people who can watch birds from their homes have a lower risk for depression, stress, and anxiety than those who live in areas with limited bird activity. The study also showed that people report higher levels of depression and anxiety when they have to spend more time than usual indoors over a given period of time.
Specifically, researchers determined that the more birds people could watch during the afternoon hours, the less stressed they were likely to be. The study, which included many types of birds—including robins, crows, and others—and didn't show a correlation between bird species and mental health.
The benefits of bird watching were consistent—even when the researchers controlled for other factors like household income, age, and other socio-demographic factors. In general, watching birds was shown to help people relax and feel more connected to nature.
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