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Three Ways Birdwatching Benefits Our Mental Health

Birdwatching is a great outdoor activity that has been enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds for centuries. Apart from being a great hobby, birdwatching has numerous benefits for mental health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore three benefits of birdwatching for mental health and well-being.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2022 By BirdLife Australia - birdwatching on a boat
Image from Unsplash

Bird Songs Help Improve Mood And Reduce Daily Stress Levels

Where There Is Water, There Are Birds - 2

Hearing birds sing is one of the most enjoyable experiences of birdwatching. In Australia, the abundance of different species of water birds that came to Canberra after Lake Burley Griffin filled up in 1964 made it a great place for birdwatching. The lake, particularly its edges and the eastern areas where the water is shallow, is a really important place for water birds in the ACT and has been a popular hotspot for both hobbyists and professional birdwatchers throughout the decades. Bird songs and calls are not only pleasing to the ear, but they can also have a positive effect on mental health. Listening to bird sounds can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

In fact, studies have shown that exposure to natural sounds, such as bird songs, can have a significant impact on our mood and cognitive performance. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey, listening to natural sounds can help lower stress hormones, increase positive feelings, and contributes greatly to stress recovery and perceived attention restoration.

Learning to identify bird songs can be challenging, but it is a skill that can be developed over time with practice and the help of resources such as field guides and online databases. Additionally, joining birdwatching communities and attending guided tours can provide an opportunity to learn from experienced birders and gain valuable knowledge and skills.

Being Outdoors Helps Relieve Anxiety & Improve Mental Health

Neil Hermes holding binoculars for Plains Wanderer Safari

Being outdoors and in nature has proven beneficial to humanity for centuries, whether it’s in a local park, nature reserve or your own garden or backyard. Birdwatching is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. Spending time in nature has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health and well-being. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, spending time in nature can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and increase overall well-being.

The physical act of being outdoors and engaging in birdwatching activities can also have a positive impact on mental health. Walking through natural environments and observing birds in their natural habitat can help promote physical activity and boost endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels. Birdwatching can also provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment as birdwatchers work to identify different species and add to their personal birdwatching records.

Whether it’s the act of being outdoors and connecting with nature or the sense of accomplishment from identifying different bird species, there is no reason to not add spending time outdoors to your self-care routine.

Regularly Disconnecting from Daily Routine

Your Preferred Recording Device

Image from Unsplash

Taking a mental health break doesn’t have to involve an expensive vacation or a week-long getaway. Instead, you can incorporate simple mental health rituals into your daily routine that can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Some ways to do this is through taking a break from technology and social media,  immersing yourself in nature, journaling, meditating, and birdwatching which we will expound on in the next paragraph. Through these activities, you can disconnect from the stresses of daily life and gain a fresh new perspective on life.

Incorporating birdwatching into your daily routine can be as simple as finding a nearby park, nature reserve, or even your own garden to spend time observing the birds around you. Not only does this provide an opportunity to connect with nature, but it also allows you to slow down and appreciate the small moments in life. Taking time to observe and appreciate the beauty of the natural world can help you feel more grounded and connected to the world around you, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.

In conclusion, birdwatching is a great way to improve mental health and well-being. The benefits of birdwatching include hearing birds sing, being outdoors, and disconnecting from daily routines to gain a fresh new perspective on life. If you’re interested in birdwatching, be sure to check out Neil Hermes’ website where you can book upcoming birdwatching walks and safaris. So why not give birdwatching a try and experience the mental health and well-being benefits for yourself?

The Best Birdwatching Tours and Safaris in Australia | Neil Hermes: Author, Ornithologist, and Tour Guide

A scientist by background, and a keen author, researcher, tour guide, and ornithologist, Neil traveled to Australia and other parts of the world for decades. His expeditions are fuelled by his unwavering passion for birds, publishing his findings, planning birdwatching safaris, and participating in bird conservation efforts along the way. His passion for both birds and tourism gave him the much needed push to start Neil Hermes Safaris, touring aspiring birdwatchers and enthusiasts around Canberra, and all over Australia.

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