Study Shows that Nature can Reduce Anger Levels

Anger has been known to affect a person in more than one way. It could cause harm to a person’s physical and mental health. The American Psychological Association cites four anger-induced illnesses that often lead to death. This includes heart disease, lung ailments, cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver. Anger is also a factor in other causes of death such as accidents and suicide.

The number of anger-related deaths is noticeably rising. Some studies show that 48% of people who experience high levels of anger are at risk to have a heart attack or die.

A study has been recently published that deals with coping with anger in a less conventional way. While there is a conventional method of getting help from a psychologist or a professional, the recent study focuses on using nature to fight off anger.

Mary Carol R. Hunter is the study’s lead author and an associate professor at the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. In their study, Hunter and her team attempted to ratify the connection between nature and a person’s well-being.

Participants were asked to spend a minimum of 10 minutes in a place of their choice that brings them a sense of connection with nature. This 10-minute break from their jobs or daily life should be done for three times a week for a course of eight weeks. Results have shown that participants who immersed themselves in the mandatory nature experience for at least 20 minutes per outing have a significant decrease in their anger hormone cortisol levels.

The researchers are looking to develop a nature prescription, or a nature pill, where the “pill” is actually time spent to connect with nature. Hunter explains that their research is the first step to reach their goal.

Their study used an adaptive management approach where 36 participants were allowed to choose the place, time, and the duration of their immersion in nature. However, the participants will have to follow the rules and conditions set for the study. These include not using phones or internet-connected devices to make calls, check social media, read, and other gadget-related activities. The participants are also not allowed to exercise.

However, the study and the results cannot be used to generalize the whole population just yet. Hunter explains that the 36 participants were limited only to a group of demographics, particularly women with the age of 46. Although, the study does suggest that being immersed in nature has its benefits.

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