Friluftsliv a Norwegian Approach to Better Mental Health

Better Mental Health

Nature and Mental Health


Friluftsliv means "free air life" in Norwegian, which signifies understanding the healing effects of nature. This Norwegian concept is showing positive contributions to improvements in your health. Within the last year, non-communicable forms of activity became increasingly more prevalent. Green prescribing is a now popular medical intervention used in the UK to treat stress, particularly mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, obesity, diabetes, and attention deficit disorder.   

A comprehensive analysis from the Nature Conservancy cites that time spent in nature can enhance immune function, anti-inflammatory effects, and reduce levels of the immune- triggering cytokines linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and depression.  

This nature-based health intervention prescription would include park visits, gardening, hiking, walking, etc. Evidence supports that time in nature decreases the risk of chronic disease. Here in Maricopa country, we have access to several hiking trails. The Maricopa Parks and Recreation Department has several programs offered to get people outdoors. They have a campaign called "Go Wild for Flowers." This encourages hikers to share their wildflower pictures by using the mention #GoWildforFlowers/@GoWildforFlowers on social media. 

We've always known of the benefits of nature. Put away the computers, cellphones, and tablets and get out to a calmer space.


Resources: 

1. https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/

Outside_Our_Doors_report.pdf

2. https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/nature-centers/

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