Nature and ADHD

ICRIA1E6DEDid You Know There is a Positive Link Between Spending Time In Nature and ADHD?

Researchers at the University of Illinois found that 20 minutes in nature (green therapy) helps reduce unwanted symptoms of Adult ADHD among its participants. One of the reasons why green therapy works is because when you and your brain is in a relaxed place, your voluntary attention decreases (goaldirected attention) and your involuntary attention takes over, so your brain can rest and refresh itself.

Good news for city dwellers! the benefits of being outside in a green area were present, whether the participants were in a city park or a remote rural setting.

There are all sorts of ways to incorporate green time into your day, from a gentle stroll to something more adventurous. Here is a list of some activities you can do to while you are spending time in nature.

1. A stroll or gentle walk

2. Bike riding

3. Inline skating / skateboarding

4. Horseback riding

5. Growing a garden

6. Hiking

7. Canoeing

8. Fishing

9. Running

10. Flying a kite

11. Camping

12. Gardening

13. Yoga or Tai Chi (outside)

14. Bird watching

15. Walking your dog


Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, some of these activities, you will only be able to do at the weekend, while others are more accessible and you can do them every day. If you aren’t used to being outside in a green setting, slowly integrate it into your life, until its part of your daily routine.

Remember, its important to be in a green setting and not just outside: The greener and more natural the environment, the bigger the reduction in ADHD symptoms.

Action Steps for Spending Time in Nature

1.     Have at least 20 minutes of green time a day (but there is no maximum).

2.     Try every item on the list once, just for fun.

3.     On days that you aren’t able to go outside, notice and compare how you feel and function to those days that you are outside.

How do you spend time in nature?


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  1. Rosemary Janicki says:

    I would love to walk in nature, but for me to walk in the type of nature that I would like to be able to walk in I would have to hop in the car and drive there. I think that is so pointless. I like to walk where there is no traffic noises. I only want to hear the sounds of nature. Our only city park that even comes close to a natural type setting has a highway along two sides of it, so can get quite noisy. In my youth I did a lot of cycling, but my knees won’t allow that anymore.
    I live in an apartment, so the only gardening is a few houseplants, that I seem to be killing, I don’t have the patience for that anymore.
    I have never been much of an exercise buff, but one of these days I might get out my rebounder, although that doesn’t seem to last long either.
    Patience and concentration are not strong virtues for me, and right now I have so many things going on in my life I don’t know whether I am coming or going.

  2. Darrell says:

    I have managed my adhd for years with a walk almost daily and bike riding with a social group, when possible. Getting out and walking, in particular, eleviates my worries, etc. within about 10 minutes. Endorphine flow is very important to my long-term well-being.

  3. Sandie says:

    I am 38 with ADD and I can testify that this is true!

    There is nothing that grounds me more than being outside in nature! It helps me relax, get in touch with the whole and I guess simply gives my brain some good old oxygen.

  4. Michael says:

    Interesting. I wonder what the logic/theory behind this is?

    I’ll add photography and having a picnic to your list.

    Thanks 🙂

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