We always say ‘appreciate the outdoors’ – and for good reason: studies show nature has healing properties for the body and mind, increasing your overall mood and feelings of well-being. As humans, we have a biological connection to nature, it’s called biophilia. Whether you enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass, the sounds of the ocean or laying in the sun, nature is a part of you and what your body needs.
So how exactly does it heal?
According to Forbes, many studies show that our moods take a positive shift when we spend time outside, resulting in:
- Increased happiness
- Reduced inflammation
- More energy
- Improved memory
- Stress relief
Meaning that spending time with nature can soothe, restore and even heal, which are great benefits for those looking to improve their mental health. Even by sitting in a comfortable chair and looking at nature, there is evidence that supports this simple act can reduce anxiety and restore the para-sympathetic into balance.
Incorporating biophilic elements such as plants or flowers into home or work environments can also make a big difference in behavior and aid in successfully completing both personal and professional tasks. A Harvard study, as reported by Slate, proved that productivity increased in people who were in environments where they had plants and views of the outdoors. While there are certainly benefits to bringing elements of the outside indoors, it is no substitute for the real thing.
Research shows that being outside simply makes us feel better. Connecting with the natural world and spending time outside is essential for our well-being and overall ability to be productive. Exposure to nature doesn’t just improve our emotional well-being but makes us feel better physically as well. Spending time outdoors can lead to reduced blood pressure and muscle tension, as well as decreased heart rate and production of stress hormones. Studies, as reported by Time article “The Healing Power of Nature”, have also proven that daily interactions with nature can relieve symptoms from health issues such as cancer, heart disease, attention disorders, depression, and anxiety.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just need a quick break to re-energize, get outside – and appreciate the outdoors!