Nature’s Benefits On Our Wellbeing
In this episode of “Did You Know”, we’ll be exploring the benefits of being in nature.
Spending time in nature is good for you.
I want you to take note of any memories you have about being outside, how you felt after, or how you felt during and maybe how you felt later that night or the next day. A part of this wellness journey is an exploration of self-awareness and seeing what works for us and what doesn’t.
Studies show that being in nature positively increases our mood. It specifically reduces the stress hormone in our body called cortisol. It increases endorphin levels and dopamine production.
Research also shows that spending time in nature improves our mental health, so there are specific studies that show being in nature decreases our anxiety, decreases depression, decreases rumination. That’s when we have thoughts over and over again, decreases irritation and also decreases ADHD symptoms.
Other benefits of being in nature include improving our cognition and focus, improving the quality of our sleep, as well as creating this feeling of connection and contentment. Finding more meaning and purpose.
So it’s not necessarily a tangible feeling, but it’s one where we feel overall contentment and joy overall. There’s one research study that shows being in nature for 120 minutes or two hours a week has an optimal benefit, so if you stay longer, it’s not that it’s worse or better, but reaching that two-hour mark throughout the week, whether it’s at once or during multiple times during the week, has the best or the most positive benefit.
Think about how you could spend more time outdoors, even if it’s 15 minutes a day or an hour over the week. Just think about something that you might already do that you could do outside.
For example, maybe you workout a few days a week. Could you take your workout outside? Or perhaps you’re going outside taking your dog for a walk. But is it possible that you can bring the dog for a walk and yourself on a trail that has green and in the woods rather than on city streets?
Perhaps you’re used to taking your lunch break inside and scrolling social media, could you instead go outside for a walk rather than stay indoors?
One way to enhance being outside is to connect the practice of mindfulness with it. So mindfulness means fully paying attention to whatever you’re doing or observing at the moment.
So being mindful means to purposely slow down and focus on the task at hand in a relaxed, observant yet non-judgmental manner.
Is it possible for you to add a little more nature to your life? When and where could you add more nature and outdoors in your schedule?
You are worth it. Take it one day at a time, make those little changes one day at a time over time to enhance your life.