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Just 5 Minutes Outdoors Can Make You Happier, According to a Study

Nature therapy.

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Nature therapy isn’t anything new—after all, it’s pretty common knowledge that an energizing hike, a walk through the park, or even a cup of coffee on a front porch can do a lot for your mood. Now, as reported by Travel + Leisure, a new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology shows that just five minutes in nature can make you happier.

In two different tests, researchers saw that when subjects spent at least five minutes outdoors—focusing totally on their surroundings (and not their phones), they reported greater feelings of awe, comfort, and gratitude when compared with subjects who remained seated in a windowless area.

The second study increased the amount of time spent in nature to 15 minutes, and the results showed no additional emotional benefit from spending more than five minutes outdoors—still, though, subjects who sat outside expressed less anxiety and stress than those indoors.

That just goes to show that you don’t need to block off a ton of time to spend outside to get health benefits. Just five minutes in a park or even a stroll around the block in a green neighborhood can do a lot for your mood. You might even be inspired to add a more time-consuming hike or a nature walk to your calendar.

More wellness advice:

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Rebecca Deczynski


Rebecca is most often found digging through troves of vintage treasures, both in-person and online. Ask her to recommend a good book to read or an obscure Instagram account to follow, and you won’t be disappointed.