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How to improve your physical and mental well-being through interactions with nature

How to improve your physical and mental well-being through interactions with nature

Maxine Perthel

20 February 2021 

Recently, doctors all over the world have actually started prescribing time in the outdoors to improve mental and physical well-being as well as to combat anxiety and depression and fight conditions such as high blood pressure.

Exploring the outdoors and spending time in nature has many scientifically-proven benefits.

  1. Spending Time in Nature Boosts your Mood, Energy Levels and Decreases Anxiety and Depression

According to recent studies, spending as little as 15 minutes in nature can help psychologically restore your mind. Walking in nature is not only a great form of exercise, promotes weight loss and is good for your heart, it also reduces anxiety levels. It has been proven that walking helps us to stay focus and centred and allows our mind to relax. This is due to the brain’s automatic response to protecting you and keeping you safe. Therefore, other stresses such as work deadlines, home-life struggles or school work is often put in the background of your mind. Being immersed in nature allows us to switch off and take a break.

  1. Improved Memory and Brain Performance

Due to overstimulation and the stresses of modern life, humans are constantly either stressing about the past or the future. Allowing time to relax in nature helps us to be in the present and as a consequence lower stress levels and think more clearly; improving memory and brain performance skills.

  1. Increases Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium; therefore assisting in forming strong bones. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, making it more possible and likely to break and fracture bones. Vitamin D may also be connected to the prevention of cancer and heart attacks.

  1. Improves Sleep

Through the reduction of stress levels and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, the outdoors allows us to reset our sleep cycles and significantly improve sleep. Improved sleep results in improved mood and energy levels, which increases overall well-being.

  1. Makes Us Better People

According to psychologists, being in the outdoors releases societal pressures and expectations, allowing us to reconnect with more important values. Letting go of these expectations often gives us an increased sense of worth. In the outdoors, we are able to connect with others, building strong relationships and improving our sense of community.

  1. Increases Immunity

Scientists have discovered that being outdoors, and subsequently breathing in chemicals released by plants, increases our white blood cell count and therefore, helps us fight off infection and disease.

The outdoors have a variety of incredibly significant benefits, for mental and physical well-being. Leave a comment below to tell us how the outdoors have helped you! Reconnecting with our natural environment is a perfect antidote to life’s stresses and gives us the much needed grounding we seek while living in uncertain times.

References:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70548/11-scientific-benefits-being-outdoors

https://natureconnectionguide.com/us-doctors-are-prescribing-nature-in-34-states/

https://selecthealth.org/blog/2019/07/10-reasons-why-being-in-nature-is-good-for-you

https://mainehuts.org/discover/blog/3-incredible-ways-hiking-will-change-your-life

https://hikeitbaby.com/blog/can-spending-time-in-nature-play-a-role-in-disease-prevention/

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