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How does nature affect mental health? Living close to park linked with happiness

A home close to an urban green space can be good for the soul.

For city dwellers, living within about 300 yards of a park or nature reserve was associated with higher life satisfaction, higher sense of worth and more happiness, British researchers recently reported in the journal Applied Geography.

The findings are based on residents of London, England, but would likely apply around the world since the benefits of green space are “pretty universal,” said co-author Victoria Houlden, a researcher at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University.

“Humans evolved in natural landscapes, which would have historically offered sustenance and shelter. It may be that being in nature makes us feel at home and encourages positive emotions, so we are more inclined to seek out these places,” Houlden told TODAY.

“Making time to connect with your local green space and spend time in nature may have a great impact on your mental well-being.”

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