Arrowhead Students Relieve Stress By Enjoying Nature

Brooke Birkland, Reporter

Summer of 2017 has officially begun. Arrowhead students are out of class and done with school stress. With more free time and nicer weather students have more opportunities and options for activities.

One way students are taking advantage of their free time and nice weather and relaxing is outdoor activities.

Mykenzie Jensen, an Arrowhead senior, says, “I live on the lake and pretty much doing anything on the water is fun and relaxing. I’m pretty much out on the lake swimming or boating whenever I can. Whenever I’m out there I totally zen out and it’s really nice to just relax. Especially after nine months of stressing out over tests, papers, presentations, and homework. My stress levels have noticeably gone down since school ended. Without all that stress I think I’m just a generally a happier person, but I think that’s safe to say about anyone.”

Another Arrowhead senior Olivia Bastien says, “Since I don’t have to worry about having enough time to do all my school work and the weather has been so nice I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors. I think fresh air in general automatically relaxes people so sometimes I’ll just sit outside and listen to music or read. When I’m with friends we tend to hang out outside too I think everyone just feels happier in the outdoors. I’ve also been doing a lot of hiking and just enjoying nature. It’s so much more enjoyable because in the back of my mind I’m not worrying and stressing over all the stuff I need to get done for school the next day.”

Not only have students created the great outdoors to their stress relief but so has science. A study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning support the theory that nature naturally causes stress relief. Scientists took 25 healthy adults from Scotland and measured the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and asked them to fill out questionnaires about what stressors they experience at home and at work. Then they compared that information to the number of parks, woodlands, and other natural environments in the zip code of each participant. The results, compared to those that spent majority of their time in urban areas, those who lived in the rural areas with the most amount of green space had lower levels of cortisol, and their self-reported feeling of stress were lower.

Kyle Landowski, an Arrowhead junior, says, “Without a doubt in my mind am I happier and more relaxed while outside. Even when there was school I would do my school work outside in hopes that make things a little less stressful. It’s just nice now in the summer I can fully enjoy nature and all the greenery in my area without all my school work eating away at the back of my mind.”