Psychologists Talk About The Most Effective "pill" For Stress

Psychologists Talk About The Most Effective "pill" For Stress
Psychologists Talk About The Most Effective "pill" For Stress

Video: Psychologists Talk About The Most Effective "pill" For Stress

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A new study from the University of Michigan found that half an hour outdoors is enough to recover. Under one important condition: if you spend this time without a phone or the Internet.

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The authors of the study, which is published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, speak of a "natural pill" available to many. Rustle of leaves, green grass and the smell of pine needles - a short walk in a spring forest or park is enough to significantly reduce the level of stress hormones. “We already know for sure that the stress caused by high cortisol levels is reduced when you spend time in nature,” says Mary Carol Hunter, one of the authors of the article.

Recall that cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is produced in the adrenal cortex and broken down in the liver. Chronic stress, overweight, a weakened immune system, cardiovascular disease, depression and a number of other conditions increase cortisol levels.

The experiment involved 36 volunteers, to whom scientists from the University of Michigan prescribed a "natural pill" and a condition of admission: at least three walks a week in nature, lasting from ten minutes. Before the walk, during it, and after the experiment, the participants' cortisol levels were determined by analysis of saliva.

The volunteers themselves chose the day of walks, the duration and place of them - in accordance with their lifestyle. But they were instructed to minimize some of the stressors. "They had to take a 'natural pill' during the daytime, not exercise, and avoid social media, the Internet, phone calls, talking and reading," Hunter said.

The results showed that even a 20-minute walk in nature is enough to significantly lower cortisol levels. But the stress hormone decreased even more if the participants in the experiment spent 20-30 minutes outside the city, sitting or walking somewhere in the countryside.

The scientists hope that the result of their experiment will show everyone the availability of a "pill given by nature" and that many will use this effective therapeutic tool to neutralize the negative effects of urban life.

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