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We all know intuitively that getting out in nature is good for us.
After some fresh air in a park, a day at the beach, or time in the bush, you just feel better.
Humans and nature have always been innately connected. We need trees and plants for oxygen and they need us to breathe out carbon dioxide. In his 1984 book Biophilia, Edward O. Wilson put forward a theory that the affiliation we have with nature is deeply rooted in our biology and genetics. But until recently, substantial scientific evidence to back up anecdotal claims and old wives’ tales were few and far between.
In the last few years, however, the science world has caught up and is now telling us spending time outdoors not only does wonders for our physical health but our mental health too.
In short, it makes us calmer, more creative and focused, happier, and more socially connected.
With research telling us the average American spends 93 percent of their life inside, and at a time when more than half of all humans live in cities, there has never been a more compelling reason to get outside.
Here are just a few of the key benefits of getting out in nature:
Lowers stress. By promoting our calming brainwaves and reducing the production of stress hormones.
Lifts our mood. Fresh air regulates our serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter in our bodies).
Increases productivity, creativity, and focus. As it restores depleted attention circuits, which are exhausted from all the device time and multitasking
Strengthens our immune functions and helps reduce inflammation. Thanks to the hit of Vitamin D from the sun.
Helps us sleep. Our natural circadian rhythms are supported when we get outside in natural light.
Enhances feelings of calmness and clarity. Due to the endorphins released when we do physical activity, which usually goes hand in hand with time outdoors.
Research conducted in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room or view of nature out a window can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.
So Mother Nature really is medicine.
The great outdoors changes our brain chemistry in a positive way that just makes us happier and healthier. And it’s as easy to start as stepping outside or getting a new desk plant.