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How the outdoors can alleviate teen anxiety and stress

See Katie Arnold’s essay published in the Wall Street Journal on May 5, 2023

 

 

In her essay, “For Today’s Anxious Teens, Outdoor Adventures Can Be a Cure,” Katie Arnold highlights the transformative power of outdoor adventures for teenagers struggling with anxiety. The first sentence brilliantly paints the picture…”It’s a blazingly beautiful day, the Utah sky a cloudless bowl of cobalt blue arcing above 800-foot sandstone canyon walls on the Green River.”  If you have a child that could use a little respite, take them on an outdoor adventure. 

Arnold emphasizes that immersing oneself in nature and engaging in physical activities can provide a much-needed respite from the pressures of modern life. Drawing on personal anecdotes and expert insights, she emphasizes the benefits of outdoor experiences, including reduced stress levels, improved mental health, and enhanced self-confidence. By stepping away from screens and embracing the natural world, anxious teens can find solace, connection, and personal growth.  

 

Arnold cites a compelling report “released in February by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers in the U.S. are in the midst of a staggering mental health crisis. A survey conducted in fall 2021 found that 30% of teen girls have seriously considered suicide, a jump of 60% in the past decade. Boys are struggling, too. More than 40% of high school students reported feeling so despondent or helpless that they could not go about their normal activities for at least two weeks during the previous year.” 

Arnold also cites an April 2021 review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found exposure to outdoor environments reduces-stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity and executive function, and provides relief from chronic anxiety and depression.  

 

It’s not a surprise that 5ummit 5omething’s own research uncovered similar conclusions.  Professor Mark Berman, who researches the cognitive benefits of nature, found similar things while conducting studies at the Environmental Neuroscience Lab at the University of Chicago.  He found that outdoor activities benefit memory and attention by 20% as well as lower cortisol levels.  Here’s a link to his work:  https://psychology.uchicago.edu/directory/marc-g-berman

5ummit 5omething’s purpose aligns perfectly with the sentiments expressed in Arnold’s essay. As a company committed to promoting adventure and self-discovery for everyone, 5ummit 5omething recognizes the vital role outdoor experiences play in alleviating anxiety and nurturing personal development.  We are about the JOURNEY, the SUMMIT and the LIFESTYLEThe journey is not always easy, but the expeditionary lifestyle teaches us that difficulties make us stronger.  The joys of reaching the summit, should be cherished, collected and remembered.  We want to do our part to make people’s lives a little better and hope that by bringing these studies to our community, we can address an important topic in our society that really could use limitless attention.  We think that if we can just get one person to take a couple steps in nature and maybe improve the quality of life for that individual, we’d be really happy. And, maybe it could be FIVE or 55 or even 5,555.  Who knows.  For that reason, please share this article with your friends and families and let’s make a difference together!!  We’d love a follow on Instagram and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you stay up to date.

DISCLAIMER: This information provided by 5ummint Something, LLC is presented as a public service to those wishing to enjoy the outdoors. The recipient may use this information with the understanding that 5ummit 5omething, LLC makes no warranties, although every attempt will be made to ensure the information is accurate. This website and blog are not intended to replace official sources and information should not be considered error-free or not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. The use of the information provided by this website is strictly voluntary and at the user’s sole risk.  5ummit 5omething, LLC assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever associated with the use or misuse of this data.

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