Feeling Tense? Here are Seven Outdoor Activities to Reduce Stress Levels

By Top.me

Look great, feel healthy and live happy with Top.me.

Remember when your parents would tell you to go outside and play? Remember the feeling of fresh air and the sun beaming down as your rode your bike around the block? Maybe you have fond memories of playing tag at the playground or throwing the football as the leaves turned brown.

We tend to look back on our childhood as the easy, stress-free days before the grind of the 40-hour workweek, continuous bills, and jammed-packed schedules. However, we forget the reason why we felt so free in the first place. We were always outside.

Make Time to Go Outside

Of course, we can’t be outside all hours of the day like we could when we were 12. As adults, we hold real responsibilities that we can’t ignore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take some time out of our lives to unplug and unwind.

The guy is lying and relaxing on the tree trunk in the forest

According to the USDA, spending time in the great outdoors can increase physical wellness, ease stress, improve mental clarity, and minimize feelings of depression. So whether you’re stuck in the office all day or working from home, here are seven stress-relieving outdoor activities you can enjoy as an adult.

Running

Taking the time out of your day to go for a run outside can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Running or jogging at a steady pace revitalizes the mind and helps your body combat mental tension and fog. As your run, your body releases endorphins that naturally calm the mind. Consider running in a park or on nature trails to take in the beautiful scenery as you exercise.

Walking

Not everyone loves running, and that is okay, but it is still important to get in some physical activity each day. Walking on its own is a fantastic low-impact workout that can drastically reduce stress, calm the mind, and even relieve pressure on your joints.

Walking is also a great way to improve your mood as your body produces happy chemicals called dopamine and serotonin as you log in the miles. If you feel stressed at work, going on a walk can be a great way to gather your thoughts and come back feeling fresh and focused.

Hiking

Sometimes getting away from civilization, even for just an hour, can do wonders for your mental well-being. Not only do you get all the physical benefits of walking, but hiking in nature can combat depression, reduce stress, and calm anxiety.

There is something to be said about taking in all the sights, smells, and feelings of nature. Surrounding yourself with wildlife, trees, and, mountains can really put the stresses of everyday life into perspective.

Photography

If you are looking for a rewarding hobby that allows you to enjoy the great outdoors, then photography could be right up your alley. Photography allows you to get up close and personal with nature and see the world in a new light. Taking pictures on a hike can help ease stress and boost your creativity as you reimagine your surroundings.

Fishing

Fishing is one of mankind’s greatest pastimes that allows you to escape the pressures and stresses of everyday life. As an active form of meditation, fishing teaches you to slow down and live in the present moment. Instead of worrying about the next thing on your to-do list, you’re forced to focus on making a catch and enjoying your surroundings.

There is nothing like the therapeutic effects of being out on the water surrounded by nature with a pole in hand, so next time you feel stressed, give fishing a try. 

Grow A Garden

You do not have to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy the great outdoors. Gardening is another therapeutic activity that can do wonders for your mental health. Having direct interaction with nature and helping plants grow can help boost your mood and increase your self-esteem.

A girl is holding a flower in the pot. She is doing gardening to reduce stress

Watching your garden transform from a patch of dirt to a full-blown ecosystem teeming with plant life is a wonderful feeling. It is also good to have a responsibility outside of work where you can focus your attention on calming activities like planting and watering flowers.

Get Creative Outdoors

You do not have to be a modern-day Picasso to reap the benefits of creating art. Going outside to write or draw is a great way to escape reality for a bit and work on your creative side. Sitting outdoors creating art allows you to enjoy the little things in life, like the warmth of the sun and the sound of chirping birds. Who knows, you might just end up with a masterpiece once you are done.

Relax With Mother Nature

Sometimes all we need when we are feeling stressed and burnt out is a healthy dose of the great outdoors. Stress can have negative effects on both the body and mind, and going outside, can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall well-being.