Birdwatching can help students improve mental health, reduce distress | Science & Technology

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For college students seeking to improve their mental health, a potential answer may be right outside their window: birdwatching.

A new study finds people who have nature-based experiences report better well-being and lower psychological distress than those who do not. Birdwatching in particular yielded promising results, with higher gains in subjective well-being and more reduction in distress than more generic nature exposure, such as walks. Because birdwatching is an easily accessible activity, the results are encouraging for college students — who are among those most likely to suffer from mental health problems.

“There has been a lot of research about well-being coming out through the pandemic that suggests adolescents and college-aged kids are struggling the most,” said Nils Peterson, corresponding author of the study and a professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University. “Especially when you think about students and grad students, it seems like those are groups that are struggling in terms of access to nature and getting those benefits.

“Bird watching is among the most ubiquitous ways that human beings interact with wildlife globally,…

Source www.sciencedaily.com

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