Who doesn’t like birdwatching? Some people can spend hours watching our cute feathered friends flying about and doing their business.
A studied published in BioScience, however, showed that if you live in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees, you are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
Researchers from the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland studied over 270 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities though a mental health survey.
They found that folks who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.
The researchers studied the number of afternoon birds, since these birds were more likely to be seen by people than morning birds. These birds included blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows.
However, there was no correlation between bird species and mental health.
Birds Are Cool and Help You Relax
The main relationship was the number of birds people could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighborhood. In other words, there were positive health benefits in watching birds around your home.
In fact, the researchers think this positive relationship can be used for mental health therapy.
“Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live,” they said.
So the bottom line? If you want to feel happier, just put lots of shrubs and trees around your home so birds will come flocking. You’ll be in a good state of mind with these cute feathered friends always around for you to see them.
Daniel T. C. Cox, Danielle F. Shanahan, Hannah L. Hudson, Kate E. Plummer, Gavin M. Siriwardena, Richard A. Fuller, Karen Anderson, Steven Hancock, Kevin J. Gaston. Doses of Neighborhood Nature: The Benefits for Mental Health of Living with Nature. BioScience, 2017; http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biw173