Love taking off to hills to unwind? The idea may prove to do wonders for your mental health too. According to a latest study, people who build their homes in the lap of nature may have a healthier brain and may be at a lower risk of developing stress-related depression and anxiety disorders.
The findings revealed that those who live in the city, are relatively at a higher risk of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. City dwellers who often scramble in a confined space, and in an environment full of noise and pollution are at an increased risk of chronic stress.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, revealed that city dwellers had higher activity levels of amygdala - a central nucleus in the brain that plays an important role in stress processing and reactions to danger.
On the other hand, people living close to a forest showed indications of a physiologically healthy amygdala structure, which makes it easier for them to cope with stress compared to those living the urban areas.
"That is why we are interested in the environmental conditions that may have positive effects on brain development," said lead author Simone Kuhn, psychologist at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) Hospital in Germany. "Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being. We therefore decided to examine city dwellers," Kuhn added.
While taking off to the hills could be an option to de-stress, there are some foods which can effectively bust stress too. Here are some foods that you can eat to beat stress in any given situation:
Lentils are power packed with vitamin B which is known to reduce fatigue and tiredness. It also helps fire up your energy levels.
Bananas are rich in vitamin C which is an effective stress fighting nutrient. It also helps repair cell damage caused due to stress.
Yogurt is packed with calcium which is great for slashing stress. It also has good bacteria that kill anxiety and depression.
Coconut contains medium chain fats that improve our mental health and infuse positivity. The scent of coconut is known to have a psychological effect on our brain that helps reduce anxiety and slows down the heart rate.