A University of Edinburgh study found that life is a lot easier when you’re being green. According to the analysis, when parks and green space were present in economically deprived areas, people were better able to cope with job loss, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue and anxiety.

The researchers found that people’s stress levels “are directly related to the amount of green space in their surrounding areas,” which they discovered by taking saliva samples from participants and measuring their cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress.

The samples revealed that for every 1 percent increase in green space in the areas, there was a corresponding, but much steeper, decrease in stress levels. The researchers said that where there is more green space, people tend to respond better to disruptive events, either by not getting as stressed in the first place or by coping better.

Previous studies have found that spending time outside can increase one’s overall sense of well-being and even reduce the severity of ADHD.

Source: PsychCentral

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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