Bird watching to benefit children’s mental health can be fun and beneficial for not only your children but for you!
If you have read our post about “5 fun bird watching activities for kids” you will know how much we love the big bird watch, that is ran each year by RSPB. The opportunity to connect with our children on something we can do together has benefits on both our mental health and it doesn’t end there. Bird watching can benefit both our mental health and our child’s mental health and here’s how:
1. Connect with Nature
Connecting with nature can help us feel calm. This is due to the sensory stimulation we get from nature. Visually watching birds and other animals can help us grow in empathy skills and allow us to see the simplicity of life. The sounds the birds make can have a calming, soothing effect on us and the touch of grass, soil or sand can not only meet our need for tactile (touch) sensory stimuli, but can also be beneficial to our health.
Soil contains a bacteria called “Mycobacterium vaccae”, this can be absorbed through our skin and triggers Serotonin to be released from our brain! Serotonin helps regulate our mood and as a result can make us more happier, calm and focused.
2. Being Outside
As well as the benefits on our mental health of connecting with nature, being outside has even more mental health advantages. Because trees and plants produce oxygen, by simply being outside with nature we are given the benefits are being able to breath healthier air.
Studies have also shown that visually plants help us feel “less stressed” and this has shown through lower blood pressure levels in people who have been around plants for just 10 minutes, compared to people who have not.
Bird watching allows us to see more plants, as well as birds! Which overall could help reduce stress levels and improve mental health!
3. Physical Exercise
When bird watching, it can be useful to remain still and quiet. Although with this in mind, to find your perfect bird watching spot, you may need to walk to a few different spaces!
This gives the additional benefit of improving mental health through producing more blood flow to your brain and releasing endorphins!
4. Keeping Your mind active
A happy mind is a healthy mind! As well as the increased blood flow to your brain, our brain also benefits from Bird Watching by demeaning active and focused on the goal of spotting different species of birds.
Keeping your brain active in this way can also help improve brain help long term.
5. Connecting with family and friends
Bird watching is also a fantastic opportunity to connect with your child!
There is a reason “children’s mental health week’s” theme is “connect”. Connecting with others not only helps our brain health, but also supports healthy relationships. It supports empathy skills, trust and cooperation between parents and children. This can result in healthy social and emotional development in your child.
So, whether you decided to go bird watching as part of The Big Bird Watch or at a different time during the year, you might want to check out “The best binoculars” so you are all set and ready to go!