Most of us are children of concrete and asphalt. Our ancestors wanted to hide from the hostile nature and created structures that would give them safety. As a result, we conquered nature, but at the same time we forgot what exactly we came from.
You probably know the feeling when returning home after a country trip, there is a certain discomfort – due to dirty air, noise, constant movement and rush. A little time – and everything falls into place. But getting used to it doesn’t mean defeating the stress behind it all. You need to be in nature as often as possible. Here are some reasons for this.
Nature improves your vitality
In “Your Brain On Nature” book, Eva Sellab and Alan Logan explain how nature can affect human health. They point to several key benefits, among them improved vitality for people who spend only 20 minutes in nature. By vitality, the authors mean emotional strength and consideration in the face of internal and external adversity, enthusiasm. Therefore, if you want to be more persistent and have more vitality, go to nature.
Living close to nature will lower your stress levels
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or wooded area experienced less anxiety and were less depressed than those who lived further from the green space.
This means that city planners can potentially use green space to improve overall mental health. Also, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you should consider living close to nature.
Plants and parks boost immunity
Through a series of studies, scientists have found that when people spend time outdoors – in forests, parks, and other places with lots of trees – they improve their immune system. One of the reasons for this is phytoncides, aerial chemicals that plants release to protect themselves from decay and insects, and which also benefit humans.
Studies have also shown that when a person lives in nature, he has a lower concentration of cortisol (stress hormone), and lower heart rate and blood pressure.
In Japan, for example, people visit forests for a therapeutic practice called “Shinrin-Yoku” or “Forest Bathing”.
Sunlight is useful
When sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the creation and activation of vitamin D. Research shows that it helps prevent osteoporosis and cancer. Additionally, one study found an increased risk of heart attacks in people with low vitamin D levels.
The amount of sunlight you need depends on your skin tone. People with fair skin require a minimum of 10 minutes of sunlight per day, while darker people may need 15-20 minutes.
Being in nature increases your level of happiness
In May 2013, over 10,000 Canadians participated in the David Suzuki Foundation “30X30: Nature Challenge”. The task was as follows: to be in nature for 30 minutes for 30 days.
Here is a list of the results of this call:
- People have reported an increase in energy levels.
- Feelings of stress and anxiety were significantly reduced.
- Many of them returned to healthy sleep.
- They felt happier.
Nature inspires creativity
A 2012 study found that a group of people became 50% more creative after spending four days hiking. In addition, it was found that creativity peaks about 3 days after a person is immersed in nature.
A walk in the park improves memory and cognitive function
Walking in parks and nature sounds are good for the brain. Research by Dr. Mark Berman and colleagues at the University of Michigan found that memory and attention test scores improved 20% after participants paused for a walk through the arboretum. When they were on a busy city street, cognitive performance remained within their metrics.