5 Reasons You Should Reconnect with the Outdoors
Improve Your Health, Well-Being and Reduce Stress
If you spend each day indoors at your desk, under fluorescent lights, with your eyes glued to a screen then this article is for you! Especially if you return home and spend your free time watching TV or scrolling through your phone. Disconnecting from our phones, TV’s, tablets and laptops and reconnecting with nature has proven to have many benefits. Continue reading for 5 reasons you should make a change.
Studies have found that spending time in natural surroundings can decrease cortisol levels, reduce muscle tension and lower both heart rate and blood pressure. This proves that there is something about being outside that changes the physical expression of stress in the body. Being in nature has been shown to replace feelings of anger, fear and stress with pleasant feelings of happiness, peace and relaxation. One of the reasons behind this is that connecting with nature allows you to feel like you’re a part of something bigger, this realization helps people come to terms with what they can’t control and improves their coping skills.
Improve Your Sense of Well-Being and Mental Health
It has been found that spending time in the outdoors can provide relief from feelings of anxiety or depression. Something as simple as taking a walk in the forest has been shown to improve mood, and one study found that outdoor walks could be useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments for major depressive disorder.
Increase Your Attention Span
A study done at the University of Michigan found that memory and attention span improve by 20% after people spend an hour interacting with nature. Taking small breaks outdoors allows our overactive mind to refresh and allows us to return to a task with increased focus.
Boost Your Creativity
One study found that people who were immersed in nature for four days boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%. One of the possible reasons behind this is that spending time in nature may provide you with a different perspective allowing you to look at challenges and obstacles in a different way then you would have previously.
After a while our brains start to suffer from what is called “mental fatigue”. Research has found that exposing yourself to “restorative environments” can help you overcome brain fog and improve your ability to process information. Natural environments have been found to be particularly rich in the characteristics that are necessary for mental restoration.
If you weren’t before, you should now be convinced that making a conscious effort to spend more time outdoors can be very beneficial for your health and well-being. As a result of these benefits spending time outdoors might even reduce mortality. Next time you go to pick up your phone and mindlessly scroll through social media, stop yourself and go sit in your backyard or go for a nature walk instead. Your body and mind will thank you!
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