How Nature Benefits Mental Health: Empirical Evidence, Prominent Theories, and Future Directions

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikel (Review)BeigetragenBegutachtung



We present an overview of the evidence of how nature benefits mental health, popular theories used to explain the effects, and the development potential of these theories. A large body of evidence highlights the beneficial effects of nature on mental health, with observed outcomes ranging from alleviating the symptoms of psychiatric disorders to improvements in cognitive abilities. The theoretical backbone for these salutary effects of nature consists of a set of models, mainly the attention restoration theory (ART), the stress reduction theory (SRT), and the Biophilia hypothesis. However, these high-level models are only loosely related and lack a pronounced biopsychological basis. While biopsychological measurements have been used widely in recent years, these efforts have not sufficiently been reflected in theories aiming to explain the benefits of nature contact for mental health. This paper seeks to encourage interdisciplinary work and further theory development to guide both research and practice toward strategically green and healthy living conditions.

Titel in Übersetzung
Die Wirkung von Natur auf die psychische Gesundheit.
Empirische Evidenz, einschlägige Theorien und Zukunftsperspektiven


Seiten (von - bis)223-233
Fachzeitschrift Zeitschrift für klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie : Forschung und Praxis
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 23 Nov. 2022

Externe IDs

unpaywall 10.1026/1616-3443/a000674
WOS 000888486900001
Scopus 85143272622
ORCID /0000-0001-7542-0243/work/142239756


ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • Natur, psychische Gesundheit, Stress, nature, mental health, biological psychology, environmental psychology, QUALITY, GREEN SPACE, ENVIRONMENT, CITIES, RESTORATION, RECOVERY, RESPONSES, THERAPY, STRESS, EXPOSURE