People are attracted to nature. We feel better when we hang around natural environments and wide open spaces with lush greenery. Edward O. Wilson, the well known biologist, coined the term “biophilia” – the love of nature. It implies that an inherent bond already exists between human beings and other things that are alive – plants, animals and even microorganisms. Humans are naturally drawn to nature.
Comparable ideas are exist in other cultures – shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of immersing yourself in the woods (forest-showers). Friluftsliv is the Scandinavian term that describes the philosophy of living in the wild. There’s also scientific evidence to back up the idea that humans are inherently drawn to the nature – studies show that both physical and mental health improve when a person spends more time in the great outdoors.
Most of us don’t get enough time in the outdoors.
Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the physical and mental health repercussions of alienation from contact with nature. Scientists are just beginning to understand the negative effects that living in confined spaces in our concrete cities can have on health.
It’s good for the heart!
Japanese researchers have shown that spending time immersing yourself in woodlands – the aforementioned shinrin-yoku – can lower your blood pressure and pulse. It also has the effect of decreasing levels of hormones that are associated with anxiety.
It’s a great way to lose weight!
In both children as well as grownups, access or exposure to nature has actually been revealed to bring down the probability of obesity. This is more than likely due to the increased exercise (even if its just walking) that comes with being outdoors. Also, research shows that time spent in nature can decrease blood sugar levels and cortisol (the stress hormone) which are both linked to body weight issues.
You’ll be happier and smarter
Individuals that live near nature encounter less stress and anxiety. Being near nature has actually been revealed to boost your state of mind – to the degree that it can help improve short term memory! On top of that, living near or interacting with nature can help alleviate symptoms of depression and other forms of mental illness.
You’ll combat viruses and bacteria a lot more successfully.
Exposure to nature enhances immune system functions in healthy individuals, and raises the production of the cells in your body that fight off disease. These cells are a a fundamental part of our protection from viruses as well as things like cancer.
Your mind will function a lot better.
Studies show that time spent in natural environments reduces symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ADD in kids. , time invested in all-natural settings reduced ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. For older folks, regular contact with nature can enhance productivity and increase your attention span.
You’ll get even more from your exercise.
Being outside is good for your health and wellness, regardless of whether you exercise frequently or not. But if you do decide to work out in the great outdoors (e.g hiking or trail jogging or something), studies show that you’ll feel a higher sense of revitalization, energy, and satisfaction.
Decrease your pain sensitivity
There is some research that shows that just seeing a photo or an image of a natural environment can decrease your sensitivity to pain.