Green Time: Good for Your Mental Health

November 4, 2011


Photo: Courtesy of UNH Photographic Services

The great outdoors, something that UNH has plenty of. Living on a college campus with lots of green space was a major selling point for me. It not only gave the campus a beautiful look, but it also calmed me. Going to school in Boston my freshman year was quite stressful at times. I would study for exams, quizzes and create presentations, THEN go outside for some relaxation and immediately be bombarded by honking horns, speeding cars, people going here, there and everywhere. It was a lot for the senses to handle, especially after studying for 3 hours. Luckily, Boston’s Public Garden by the Commons was just down the street. It was so relieving to be immersed in green grass, squirrels and fresh air. One could just forget thoughts regarding exams, quizzes, presentations etc. and just relax. Well after doing some research, I found that there is actually some psychological science behind this phenomenon.

The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana did a research study which proved that “green space” was beneficial for inner city individual’s concentration and coping ability regarding life’s challenges. While we students here at UNH are not inner city individuals, we still have life challenges and absolutely need to have good concentration. So, in order to help keep yourself sane and studious, take a break. Go for a walk in college woods, hang out on the quad by T-Hall and try to catch squirrels or take a stroll down to Old Landing Rd. and skip rocks on the good old’ Oyster River. Here at UNH we have outdoor resources in abundance, so use them!

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Being raised on a farm makes me appreciate getting out like this. Just open air, no concrete, good shoes, my running compression socks and bliss.

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