After a successful launch on the pediatric inpatient units, the Journals of Hope Program has expanded into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where patients and families can find strength and hope through the power of writing.
The path to a greater sense of well-being may be found in your nearest park.
Researchers at King’s College in London found that being in contact with nature—particularly with exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong—was associated with higher levels of mental well-being. The investigators noted that the benefits of nature exposure were particularly noticeable in individuals who are at greater risk of mental health issues, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder and addiction disorders.
To determine how contact with nature affects mental well-being, the researchers developed a smartphone-based app called Urban Mind. More than 100 individuals in London used the app during a one-week period. In total, researchers collected more than 3,000 assessments, each of which prompted participants to answer a few questions about his or her location and momentary mental well-being.
The connection between nature and a positive outlook has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Time spent outdoors in a tranquil setting may help reduce stress, encourage physical activity and promote greater mindfulness of one’s surroundings.
The researchers hope not only that their findings will encourage more people to boost their mood through contact with nature, but that urban planners will use this information to design neighborhoods that include more parks and open spaces. They also note that the study is an example of how smartphone technology can be used to facilitate citizen science—a partnership between researchers and participants in real-world environments.
This article originally appeared in Mind, Mood & Memory, a publication of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, dedicated to maintaining mental fitness for middle age and beyond.
- Patient Education
- Jan | 21 | 2021
With recommendations to stay at home this winter to help stop the spread of COVID-19, David Mischoulon, MD, PhD, offers insights on SAD and how to stay well at home this winter.
- Dec | 9 | 2020
Parenting is always a balancing act and raising a child with a chronic illness poses extra challenges. Watch this video to discover ways to prevent, recognize and manage emotional distress that can improve the health of the entire family.
- Dec | 4 | 2020
In this recent presentation, Kristina Skarbinski, MSN, FNP-BC, describes both common and uncommon symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). She then outlines management strategies including lifestyle modifications, types of medicine and surgical options.
- Nov | 24 | 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of mental health care. In addition, there is increasing evidence of a sudden need for mental and behavioral health care. As a result, there has been a quick expansion of telemental health.
- Nov | 12 | 2020
¿Se siente estresado por la pandemia? Descubra cómo las técnicas de atención plena y estos hábitos saludables para su mente pueden ayudar
En este seminario, Tanzi compartió algunas formas en que los clínicos—y todos los que sufren problemas de salud mental inducidos por la pandemia—pueden practicar la atención plena.