As most of us live busy lifestyles these days, it seems to be harder and harder to find time to spend outdoors. Moreover, it seems even when we do have spare time, it is spent surfing the internet, playing games or watching TV! A recent study shows that 25% of people are spending less time in nature than they did 20 years ago. This is a shame because so many people are not only missing out on the physical activity that comes from spending time outside but the psychological benefits, as well!
Here are 8 incredible ways that reconnecting with nature can help to heal your mind!
A greater sense of belonging!
Spending time in nature can enhance your senses as well as your appreciation of beauty. It can arouse your senses to take a bigger notice of color, symmetry and balance. This appreciation and arousal will allow you to feel nature’s power entirely, and a humbling feeling will more than likely take effect. Experiencing these feelings can create a sense of belonging to the world in which you live in.
Feel more alive!
Doesn’t being inside all the time cause a dull feeling after a while? Where things are always the same? This feeling can lead to boredom, fatigue and sometimes, depression. Studies have confirmed that spending time outdoors helps people to feel more alive! Have you ever heard the saying, “Nature is food for the soul”? Research suggest that a great way to feel more energized is to connect with nature!
Reduce stress and anxiety and help to relieve aches and pains!
Did you know that in Japan, they make it a daily habit of taking a walk in the forest to improve their mental health? This practice is called shinrin-yoku, which literally means “forest bathing.” To learn more about this technique, take a look at the link! Research has shown that walking in the woods or spending time in nature, in general, has big natural health benefits when it comes to relieving stress, anxiety and pain.
Back to the studies!!- but they show that spending time in nature can increase short-term memory by 20%!
Increase self-esteem and mood!
Any activity in nature can help to boost your self-esteem, which contributes to improving your mood. As we have already spoken of, creating a greater sense of belonging, feeling more alive and reducing stress will all help with boosting your mood and increasing your overall self-esteem!
Creates a sense of tranquility!
Experiencing tranquillity as a state of calmness and reflection helps to restore the natural functions of the brain. The feeling of tranquility combats the stressful effects of negative thoughts sustained throughout day-to-day life.
A mental health boost!
People who spend a significant time in nature experience a natural increase in mental health! Take a look at this study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, which finds that people who walk for an hour and a half in nature, as opposed to those who walk in high-traffic urban settings, show a decrease in activity of a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression. This suggests that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world!
Increases concentration and creativity!
With all the interruptions and loud noises that we experience throughout our day, it can be easy to become distracted and even harder to concentrate! By spending some quiet time in nature, it allows our minds to refocus, which leads to creative thoughts and ideas!
In conclusion, put down the cell phones, turn off the TVs and computers, and get outside into nature! You just might be pleasantly surprised in how your mind begins to heal and how much healthier you feel overall!
Robin, and The ZEN Team
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Cover Photo Source– Pixabay.com