May is Mental Health Month!
Courageous Connections provides our participants with the opportunity to be outdoors connecting with their horses as well as their human helpers.
Spending time in nature is linked to many positive mental health outcomes-improved focus, lower stress, better mood, and reduced risk of developing a mental health condition.
Seventy percent of respondents to a Mental Health America Survey reported wishing they had more time outdoors, ideally away from their neighborhoods. Even spending time in your backyard (if you have one) can produce positive outcomes, and feeling connected to nature helps your mood.
Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and vitamin D, which are associated with boosting mood and focus and reducing stress. Without enough sun, these levels can drop, leading to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Light exposure also has a direct impact on your body’s sleep-wake cycle, and consistent sleep is one of the most important factors in your well-being.
One of the greatest benefits you get from nature is connection, which is linked to a better connection to self, community, and purpose. Time in nature benefits personal growth, self-esteem, emotional regulation and social skills. When children connect with nature, they are more imaginative and independent, and they feel more connected to the peers they are playing with and other living things.
(Article Reprinted from Mental Health America)