The power of blue spaces. Something in childhood can make us happy in adulthood
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How and where we spend our childhood depends on our future mental health.
Splashing in the river or relaxing on the beach – most of us have similar memories and, as a rule, they have a positive connotation. What could be better than a day spent with friends or family by the pond? But scientists have found that such a vacation can not only leave pleasant memories, but also has a significant impact on our mental health throughout life, writes Science Alert.
Previous research has already shown that spending time in nature significantly improves mood, helps manage stress, and has a positive impact on a person's mental health. However, despite all the arguments of scientists, many people still do not follow these recommendations, especially in big cities. Researchers believe that this behavior is due to lack of time, an overabundance of responsibilities, as well as the presence of entertainment and other distractions that make people neglect to relax on the shore of a reservoir.
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Scientists from the University of Rome La Sapienza conducted their study aimed at studying the “blue spaces” and their relationship with human mental health. In total, the study used data from 16,000 people. After analyzing the data of recipients from different parts of the world, the scientists came to the conclusion that there is a direct relationship between children's impressions of outdoor recreation and further well-being in life.
According to lead author of the study Valeria Vitale, she and her colleagues found that most people who were in a good mood and experienced joy, in childhood, played in “blue spaces”, that is, near lakes, rivers, streams and on the ocean.
In the course of the study, scientists asked the recipients to recreate memories from childhood, connected with nature – how often they went out into nature, how long they had to go and how comfortable the outdoor recreation was. In addition, the interviewees were asked to talk about their current life, such as how often they visited the green or blue zones in the last month. It turned out that childhood memories not only affect mental health, but also the amount of time a person will spend in the blue or green zones in adulthood.