- Encourages Mindfulness and Meditation
- Keeps You Physically Active
- Allows You To Connect With Nature Better
- Provide Moments Of Awe
- Improve Reflexes and Mental Alertness
- Provides Humor
- Improve Your Sleep
- Reduce Your Stress
- FAQs on The Health Benefits of Bird Watching
Have you ever wondered why bird watchers love bird watching so much? If you think about it, all they do is watch birds and all that. So, what makes it a really great activity to do?
Well, besides the fact that bird watching is something you can do anytime and anywhere without spending so much, it also offers many health benefits both physically and mentally.
- It encourages mindfulness and meditation
- It keeps you physically active
- It allows you to connect with nature
- It provides many moments of awe
- It improves your reflexes and mental alertness
- It provides humor
- It improves your sleep
- It helps reduce your stress
We’ll elaborate more on these benefits below, so if you’re interested to know more, read on…
Encourages Mindfulness and Meditation
The number one reason is that bird watching encourages mindfulness and meditation, allowing you to have a clearer mind and the ability to focus and be present. It takes you away from the busyness of your everyday life and just lets you stay grounded right then and there.
All you hear are bird calls, the blow of the wind around you, the rive flowing, the rustling of leaves, etc.
One bird watcher would recommend starting to be mindful about yourself.
- Before searching for birds, stay on the ground, close your eyes, and take slow and deep breaths.
- Focus your mind on your breathing, and then after about 10 seconds, try to shift your focus to your head, going down to your toe, stopping at each body part and noticing how it feels.
- Listen. What sounds are you hearing? Are they afar or near?
- Breathe deeply. What odors do you smell?
- Purse your lips. What are you tasting?
- Slowly open your eyes. What do you see? What colors? Textures?
This practice will help you quickly incorporate mindfulness into your bird-watching activity.
We have mindful walking, where we focus on each step, the sounds our feet make, and how our feet move in each step.
We also have mindful listening, where we focus on the sounds around us. This helps us know if there are birds nearby or if you need to walk a couple more steps to get to them. It might also help point you toward a water source or even a road up ahead.
By using your senses, you encourage body and mind improvement, which has lots of positive effects on your productivity or even creativity. It helps put you in the zone, which means lesser stress for you, too.
Keeps You Physically Active
While you can watch birds outside your home’s window or anywhere you want, the experience is always better when you take time to go where the birds are.
There are many bird spots here that are made for birdwatching, and it usually involves lots of walking. You could be walking for miles on a trail to find the specific bird you’re looking for. You might also be forced to hike up a mountain or climb rocky terrains to get a glimpse of a rare species.
Not to mention the load you’d have to carry with you. You might have cameras, binoculars, food, drinks, and probably your field guide in your backpack, making the trip even more challenging.
But hey, even if it’s challenging, there’s no doubt that this benefits you more than you think.
Such activity will help improve your cardiovascular health and probably lower the risk of you having several medical conditions.
Allows You To Connect With Nature Better
Speaking of going out on a trip to visit birding spots, bird watching allows you to connect with nature better.
Nature is healing; there’s no doubt about that. When you’re with nature, you get to leave everything behind. All you have with you is yourself and a few things you need – a phone, binoculars, a camera, and probably food.
And when you go out with nature, the goal is to forget about the stress from work and personal life. It’s all about you, the cool breeze, the beautiful scenery around you, and the birds.
How nice is that, right?
Provide Moments Of Awe
Bird watching also provides you with many jaw-dropping moments.
Birds are beautiful creatures. They are colorful, and each of them is unique. Depending on how you meet them, they can be doing certain behaviors that you haven’t seen yet, and this could be something awesome to note.
If you’re lucky, you might even meet some rare birds, which is definitely the most awe moment of all. Plus, if you get them on camera, you can brag it to your friends.
But why are awe moments good for your health?
Well, it’s believed that awe moments make you happy. It brings some level of excitement to your brain, which relieves your stress and improves your mental state. It also helps make you more content and patient with what life gives you.
In other words, these awe moments, although fast, can have long-term effects on your brain and your mood, making you a happier person overall.
Improve Reflexes and Mental Alertness
Bird watching is not easy. It’s not as simple as walking somewhere, looking for birds, taking pictures, and done! No.
It’s an experience that requires you to move fast and stay alert. This is actually the reason why mindfulness is crucial in this activity.
The more focused and present you are, the more you become aware of your surroundings, and the easier it is for you to detect birds, where they are, or how far they are from you. But, detection is only one thing.
Birds move fast, especially when they are in their own environment. For this reason, you also need to move fast. That means grabbing your camera as fast as possible and taking that picture while making very few sounds as much as possible.
If you are not alert enough or your reflexes are poor, then you might miss an opportunity for a perfect shot.
Laughter is the best medicine. And birds are probably one of the most humorous creatures you may know.
Even in movies or cartoons, birds are always portrayed as silly, and we can agree there’s a good truth behind this. They have lots of fascinating behavior that would leave a smile on your face. Want proof?
Watch this video below to see some of the sneakiest, funniest, and smartest behavior of birds…
And that’s only some of them.
If you want to see more and enjoy seeing these behaviors in person, you should definitely get yourself into bird watching.
Improve Your Sleep
Another important health benefit that you can get from bird watching is that it helps improve your sleep.
Have you ever thought of what keeps you awake at night?
Usually, the answer is somewhere between the lines of too much stress from work or even personal life. When you’re stressed, you overthink a lot, and most of the time, you carry it to bed which disrupts your comfort, sometimes even leading to insomnia.
Going out to nature watching birds will help clear your mind and relieve you from all these. There are even some cases when having a clearer head enables you to think of a better approach to your problem. That’s why by the time you get home, you feel more relaxed.
On top of that, because bird watching involves a lot of exercises, you also force your body to get tired, making it easier to drift off to sleep.
Reduce Your Stress
Last but not least, with all the benefits above, it’s easy to say that bird watching reduces your stress. And when you relieve yourself from stress, the better your mood is, the happier you become, the more productive you are at work, and the better decisions you can make.
In other words, by simply watching birds, you can improve lots of aspects of your life and your overall well-being. Many bird watchers can attest to that.
FAQs on The Health Benefits of Bird Watching
Is bird watching good for your health?
Yes, bird watching is good for your health.
Many studies have supported that bird watching is great for peace of mind and better health. In fact, one study from the University of Exter found that people in neighborhoods with lots of birds and trees around are less likely to develop depression, anxiety, or stress.
If you’re not in a neighborhood like that, then you can go out and find the best bird spots in your area to enjoy the same benefits.
What are the advantages of bird watching?
Bird watching is not only an activity that can improve your health. At the same time, it actually helps you become a better person who cares about the environment. The more frequently you go out, the more you get to familiarize yourself with nature and how important it is to us and to birds.
It can also help grow your social circle. Being a bird watcher brings you to a bigger community, too. So, it’s not a boring activity at all.
Is bird watching therapeutic?
Yes, bird watching is therapeutic. In fact, they have a name for it called Ornitherapy.
According to studies, when you have depression or anxiety, going out into the world or even simply opening windows to see the world outside can be stressful. But when you’re a bird watcher, you have something to look forward to when you go out, and those are the birds.
It helps keep you grounded in the present, making you forget all about your problems. It also puts you into stillness and quiet, which is somehow healing.
Do birds help depression?
Yes, birds help depression and there are actually studies that support it. Birds are cute, silly, and fascinating creatures that bring joy to people of many ages.
In this day and age where stress triggers are almost everywhere, having something that somehow gets you out from all that is very helpful. For many people, bird watching is it, and it could be yours, too.
There’s no age requirement needed, just your interest. There are lots of bird watchers and communities out there willing to help beginners. If you want to have something that can help you destress, this could be the hobby that you’ll keep.
Try it out for yourself and figure out how bird watching can benefit you, as well.