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9 Ways In Which Birding Is Beneficial For Your Health

By Mahima Sharma
20 July 2018

Does stress, anxiety, or depression at times bother you like it does to me? Does it feel like an albatross around your neck? Then Dr Radhika Aggarwal Nair, a famous Psychiatrist based at Mysore in Karnataka, suggests that you must move closer to nature. And specifically to birds. Why? I will explain this in detail through this article. But before that, let me get you some facts based on a recent medical research.

University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology, and the University of Queensland have been working on mental health. This is being done in tandem with the natural surroundings  of the people. The recent findings of these two Universities find our that people having birds around their homes tend to have better mental health. The results — published in the journal BioScience – also indicate that when people from other surroundings moved to natural environs, their mental health improved. Dr Radhika says that cause of stress, depression, and anxiety vary from person to person. But even the smallest amount of interaction with birds or even just clicking them in your camera, helps un-ruffle your feathers!

And how does it happen? Dr Radhika Aggarwal, with the help of Canada based psychologist Sumona Paul Abrar, details how birding helps us stay healthy.

1. Appreciating Nature Feeds the Brain

Birding means being in harmony with nature. It not only requires you to be in the outdoors but also help breathe fresh air, absorb a lot of Vitamin D from the Sun as well as communicate with the nature in your own language. Be it imitating the sounds of the birds or chasing them to get  good capture or just sitting and admiring their beauty, infuses the happiness hormones in the body. And this in turn is good for your brain’s health.

2.  Enhanced Patience

Birding is not a hobby for those who aim for an instant gratification. Bird watching is an exercise that requires a lot of determination and study. For what? To get familiarised with the species of birds as well as where to look for them. And then wait for hours to capture that one perfect shot! Plenty of situations in life require us to be PATIENT. And bird watchers are the one who have an edge above all, since they come through all this grilling. Patience is one of the keys to a stress-free life. Thus, birding is again in-turn taking care of your mental well being.

3. Contemplation & Introspection

Bird watching is a very meditative activity. Sounds odd? “Birders need top be more focused, since when you are out to look for birds, you have to avoid in indulgence of distractions. Thus, bird watching is a great time to just zone out while you wait for that perfect click. Living and loving nature simply induces calming thoughts. And isn’t this peace and calm is what we achieve in meditation as well? Such a” ME TIME” slows down the decay of brain cells, which is a natural process as we age,” explains Dr Radhika Aggarwal, Senior Psychiatrist.

4. Mental Alertness

Bird is one of the most unpredictable living organism. Within  the blink of an eye…and it is gone. And to capture that one perfect shot, bird watchers have to operate make their brain run a million directions. And this is what propels, mental alertness.

5. Cardiovascular Health

Birding is very healthy not just for the mind, but the whole body as well..especially your heart. At times you need to hike to various places to watch birds or capture them in your camera. Not all places are accessible by a vehicle. And that’s where the body gets an opportunity to sweat out the toxins in the blood, flush our cholesterol, breathe in more oxygen, pump out bad blood, etc. In-turn keeping you in a good cardiovascular health.

6. Acceptance settles in the Mind

Psychologist Sumona Paul Abrar explains this as, “Humans are an impatient soul; never satisfied with what we get from the Almighty. But when you go bird watching, not always will you be able to watch or capture what you intend to. Slowly and gradually you learn to go with the flow of life. And that;s when you learn to accept life as it is, not meddling with it, not meddling with nature, not meddling with yourself to achieve what can be avoided. And this is what cut off stress from the body.”

7. Quick Reflexes lead to Good Physical Health

Bird watching means being ready to seize any and every great moment. And that too after a long wait, to be precise after long stretches of inactivity. A bird can appear out of anywhere. And the birding enthusiast has to be alert and active enough to capture the majesty of the moment. This is what builds quick reflexes of the mind as well as the body, thus keeping it active and healthy.

8.  More the Merrier’ builds Sense of Community

Bird watching in a group is more fun than going out alone. Thus, bird watchers usually go in a group, even if of say four people. They exchange a lot of emotions, knowledge, time, pleasantries etc. Thus, over the years several scientific studies have proven hat bird watchers have fostered a strong sense of community…by making and keeping lifelong friends.

9. NATURE CONSERVATION FOR FUTURE HEALTH

What more? Well, sharing your love for birds with others – especially those who have never experienced it before —is beneficial for the birds, too! After all the more people we get interested in birding, the more support we can build for nature conservation. And this, in turn, will keep our future generation healthy amid clean, green environs.

So what are you waiting for? Share the web link with your friends to reap the health benefits of birding as a community! Happy Birding to you!

Photo Source: From Pixabay’s Free Images by www.asianadventures.in 

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