Birds are beloved creatures that bring delight and wonder into our gardens, parks and backyards. Their charming songs, vibrant feathers and graceful movements have long held our attention, yet did you know that watching birds in their natural environments may also provide immense mental wellbeing benefits?
Studies suggest that bird watching can be an excellent stress relief technique and improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression levels, enhance cognitive performance and strengthen overall cognitive ability. We will explore some ways birds are beneficial to mental wellbeing in this article.
1. Bird watching can reduce stress.
Daily life can be draining, and the constant exposure to stress can take its toll on our mental wellbeing. One effective way of combatting stress is through spending more time outdoors; bird-watching is an excellent way to do just that – according to research published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, people who engaged in bird watching reported lower stress and anxiety levels than those who did not spend any time bird-watching.
2. Birds may help enhance cognitive function
Bird-watching requires concentration and attention to detail, requiring your full concentration and focused focus. As such, bird-watching can improve cognitive functions like memory, attention, and focus. According to research published in Journal of Environmental Psychology, people who spent time bird-watching had improved performance on tasks that require concentration and memory.
3. Bird watching can improve mood.
Birds have long been recognized for their soothing effect on people, and viewing them can have a beneficial effect on one’s mood. According to research conducted at the University of Exeter, people exposed to more birds had lower rates of depression, anxiety and stress than those not exposed as often; additionally, watching birds on television or photos could also have positive results on one’s overall state.
4. Bird watching can foster a sense of community.
Bird-watching is an increasingly popular pastime, and many who enjoy it also join bird-watching communities. Such groups provide a sense of community support which can be great for mental wellbeing; additionally, bird-watching offers the potential to connect with like-minded individuals and foster lasting friendships.
5. Birds provide us with an entryway into nature.
Today’s hectic world can make it easy to become disconnected from nature, yet reconnecting with it is essential to mental wellness. Bird-watching is one way we can reconnect with nature; studies published by Journal of Positive Psychology indicate that those who spent more time outdoors (birding included!) had greater levels of happiness and wellbeing.
Bird-watching is an easy and effective way to improve mental health, providing relief from stress and anxiety while improving cognitive function, mood, community connection, and connecting us back with nature. So next time you feel overwhelmed or need a break, take some time outside and watch birds for just a few minutes – your mental wellbeing will thank you.