How bird watching boosts mental health; 7 incredible benefits of observing birds, nature | Health

Photo of author

By Mahtab Ahmad


The popularity of bird watching as a hobby is growing across the world and is attracting even younger generation apart from the old and retired. As more and more people get interested in knowing about different species of birds, and exchanging facts about them with each other, one wonders, what is it about observing birds and connecting with nature that is appealing to people from across the globe? Let’s find out. (Also read | World Environment Day 2024: 5 sustainable and eco-friendly ways to observe the special day)

Bird watching involves observing birds, with or without binoculars or telescopes or listening to the sound of birds(Freepik)
Bird watching involves observing birds, with or without binoculars or telescopes or listening to the sound of birds(Freepik)

What is bird watching?

Bird watching involves observing birds, with or without binoculars or telescopes or listening to the sound of birds. It can be done within the confines of your homes by looking through a window or in an outdoor setting – doubling up as a form of physical activity.

3.6 Crore Indians visited in a single day choosing us as India’s undisputed platform for General Election Results. Explore the latest updates here!

As you are likely to walk to catch a glimpse of your favourite bird, it can not only help you avoid a sedentary lifestyle, but also aid in connecting you with nature and relieving stress, boosting your mental health.

Once you get interested in bird watching, it can be addictive and get people curious about different species of birds. No wonder, a host of birding apps are now available for download that can help people in identifying the different species, know about their features and other fascinating facts about the winged beauties.

The allure of bird watching

Bird watching brings us closer to the nature and helps beat stress and promote mental well-being. Bird watching can also encourage teamwork, communication, and knowledge sharing. Staying close to nature and those tiny birds can help foster empathy for other living things. Mental health experts say the process of watching birds can help release happy chemicals in our brain such as endorphins and dopamine that helps relieve stress and boost well-being.

Bird watching boosts mindfulness

Many find bird watching de-stressing and even meditative as the process can help you stay in the present moment. A kind of mindfulness practice, bird watching can help reduce anxiety, rumination, stress and negative thoughts.

All the benefits of bird watching explained

Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali in an interview with HT Digital opens up on several benefits of bird watching and staying close to nature.

1. Mental well-being: Birdwatching offers a peaceful escape from the chaos of daily life. Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while the serene act of observing birds can calm the mind and promote mindfulness.

2. Physical health: Engaging in birdwatching often involves walking or hiking through natural habitats, providing a low-impact form of exercise. Regular physical activity boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and improves overall fitness levels.

3. Connection with nature: Spending time observing birds fosters a deeper connection with the natural world. It encourages appreciation for biodiversity and ecosystems, leading to a greater understanding of environmental conservation and the importance of preserving habitats.

4. Educational opportunities: Birdwatching is a lifelong learning experience. It allows enthusiasts to expand their knowledge of avian species, behaviour, and habitats. Many birdwatchers also participate in citizen science projects, contributing valuable data to research and conservation efforts.

5. Stress relief: The simple act of watching birds can provide a sense of tranquillity and joy. Whether it’s the melodious songs of songbirds or the graceful flight of raptors, observing these feathered creatures can offer a temporary escape from life’s pressures and worries.

6. Community and social interaction: Birdwatching often brings people together with a shared passion for nature. Joining birdwatching clubs, participating in guided tours, or attending birding festivals provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering friendships and a sense of belonging.

7. Enhanced appreciation for beauty: Birds come in a dazzling array of colours, shapes, and sizes. Through birdwatching, individuals develop an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of avian life. This heightened awareness of natural beauty can extend beyond birds to encompass all aspects of the natural world, enriching one’s overall quality of life.



Source link