The benefits of being in nature abound. When we get closer to it – be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree – we do our brains and bodies a favor. This is true for all ages and walks of life; the outdoors offers one of the most reliable boosts to our mental and physical well-being. In fact, studies show that what you see, hear, and experience in your environment changes not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems work as well.
Take A Look At Some Benefits
- Accessibility to everyday green spaces encourages people to simply get out the door. This in turn motivates them to be active physically, spiritually, and socially, which can offset chronic illness, disability, and isolation. Spending time outdoors also fights boredom and raises self-esteem. Plus, being outside makes us feel more energetic and alive – a good enough reason to get out and get moving.
- Stress reduction is one of the most well-known benefits of being in nature. Getting outdoors, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Consequently, it may also help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Even viewing nature out of a window is associated with lower stress and reduced mortality.
- Believe it or not, being in nature can help improve your short-term and working memory. In fact, one study suggested that walking in nature could improve your short-term memory by 20 percent. Another similar study on individuals with depression found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.
- Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats, like a stubbed toe or exposure to the flu. But when there’s too much inflammation in the body, it’s associated with other illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.
- Simply sitting in a green space or listening to the sound of falling water helps people feel more alive, and for those who struggle with depression or feelings of hopelessness, this is an immeasurable gift. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors – especially when it’s combined with exercise.