You know how good it feels to get out and relax in nature, right? It’s time out from the stresses of everyday life, space and clean air, to breathe and take some time for yourself. But did you also know that there are scientifically proven health benefits to connecting with the natural world? It’s so beneficial you could even call it nature therapy! Here’s how being in the great outdoors is great for you.
Nature reduces stress and anxiety
Being out in nature has a measurable effect on your stress levels. They go right down, also lowering your risk of anxiety and depression. Even if you live and work in high rise glass and steel buildings, having a dose of the natural world can help lift your mood, your cognitive function, and your mental health. Whether it’s a walk in the park or even having a plant on your desk or being able to look out of the window, any connection with nature will help.
Connection with nature is healing
Studies have shown that even being able to see a natural landscape can help hospital patients recover faster.
It also helps your immune system function better. Scientists have found more than twenty pathways or connections between exposure to nature and improved health, protecting you from heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
Nature changes your perceptions of the world
Researchers have found that walking through a rural area changed the study participants attitude toward their to-do list. They saw their tasks as more manageable than participants who walked through city streets.
People who exercise outdoors move faster, have a lowered perception of effort, enjoy their exercise more, and are more likely to stick to their routine than people exercising in a gym.
Nature is great for your mental health
Remember how good it feels to be near the ocean, a river or a waterfall? That’s because the air near moving water is full of negative ions that can act as natural anti-depressants. It’s the same effect as the change in the air after a thunderstorm when the air is no longer oppressive but clear and fresh.
There are now many studies which show that people living in green areas, or who have access to green spaces in cities, have significantly better mental wellbeing than people who live cut off from nature.
Even having an aquarium, houseplants, or a view onto green space can help.