Picture this: you’ve had a tough day with the kids, didn’t get enough sleep, are worrying about the future and still haven’t planned dinner. Sound familiar? The pressures of parenting catch up with all of us, but there’s a simple 20-minute hack to get rid of stress and The pressures of parenting catch up with all of us, but there’s a simple 20-minute hack to get rid of stress and you’ll want to try it, STAT.

A study by the University of Michigan recently published in Frontiers in Psychology has found that the key to reducing your stress hormone levels is taking a 20-minute walk in nature. Permission to get outside and enjoy nature has been granted!

photo: Andre Furtado via Pexels

The “nature pill” as the study coined it, lowers the stress hormone cortisol when you time to walk for at least 10 minutes, three times a week. Researchers found the hormone was lowered by at least ten percent and that’s all we need to hear!

When it comes to finding your piece of nature, it’s up to you. Anywhere you feel you’re coming into nature fits the bill––a city park, a forest or a lovely field. There are just a few catches to get the most out of your nature pill. First, you need to take your walks during the day. Second, no reading, texting, talking, social media or even exercising! Communing with nature may not take long to get the stress-relieving benefits, but it does need your full attention.

So the next time your partner comes home after a long day, be sure to tell them you’re just taking your nature pill before hitting the trail––alone.

––Karly Wood

 

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