More and more of us are suffering from stress and anxiety brought on by modern technology and a 24/7 world, particularly after the long bleak deep mid-winter months.
You might think you need a spa break, a holiday in the sunshine or a relaxing massage, but in reality, the answer is much closer than you think…..all you need to do is look out of your window!
The psychological benefits of bird watching are well known. It allows us a chance to switch off from the modern world and get back to nature, to re-boot our brains and take some much needed rest.
Here are five reasons why you should give bird watching a go to boost your mental health:
1. It forces you to live in the present moment
Sitting and watching the birds forces you to be mindful, turn off your mobile phone and concentrate on the here and now.
2. It’s a prescription for Nature-Deficit Disorder
As human beings, we’ve evolved to rely on nature to regulate our moods and behaviour. Switching off completely can have damaging effects on our minds and bodies. Getting out into the fresh air for a walk in the park, or a visit to your local RSPB site to watch the birds can have a powerful impact on your brain.
3. It’s a bit like meditation
The benefits of meditation are well known and if you think about it, there are many parallels to bird watching. Both activities force you to sit still, to be quiet and to eliminate distractions. Plus, as you gaze out your mind will automatically wander, allowing you time to process the hustle and bustle of your busy day.
4. It gives you perspective
Have you ever watched a blackbird build a nest? What about a fledgeling taking its first flight, flapping perilously close to the ground? These mini-dramas created by nature have real life or death implications, giving your looming work project or family troubles a bit of perspective.
5. It’s entertaining
Last, but not least, we don’t love bird watching so much because it’s good for us. That’s just a happy coincidence. We enjoy it because it’s entertaining. When you stop and look you will see that birds have fascinating lives that really are a joy to sit back and watch. It’s like an episode of your favourite soap opera being acted out in front of your very eyes! Be prepared to laugh out loud at the antics that are going on in your very own garden!