A new study from the U.K. finds that living in a neighbourhood with more birds, shrubs, and trees may help to reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, stress and. I consider this to somewhat true, my anxiety and stress fades making me much happier when i am in the country, than when i am in built up areas. The problem these days that it is getting more and more difficult to find open spaces when you live in the town.
Researchers studied hundreds of people and found that being able to see birds, shrubs, and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighbourhoods.
University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology, and the University of Queensland study involved a survey of mental health in over 270 people from different ages, incomes, and ethnicity.
Researchers also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious, depressed and suffered from nausea, dizziness, panic attacks and palpitations.
After conducting extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon of three communities, the study found that lower levels of depression, anxiety, panic attacks and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon.
Researchers studied afternoon bird numbers — which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning — because are more in keeping with the number of birds that people are likely to see in their neighbourhood on a daily basis however, this will help
In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue tits, and crows were seen. However, the study did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds they could see from their windows, in the garden, or in their neighbourhood. This will also help
Previous studies have found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low, suggesting that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.
University of Exeter research fellow Dr. Daniel Cox, who led the study, said, “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being and reducing anxiety and panic attacks. Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”
The positive association between birds, shrubs, and trees and better mental health applied, even after controlling for variation in neighbourhood deprivation, household income, age, and a wide range of other social-demographic factors have found it helps with depression, anxiety and panic attacks
The current study expands an earlier which found that watching birds makes people feel relaxed and connected to nature.