More than likely, you’ve been told to head outside when friends have offered advice about your current well-being. Whether you’re stressed about work or life, recovering from an illness, or low on energy, reconnecting with nature is vital to your health and can help you overcome many obstacles. This article explores a few pros of using the great outdoors as medicine.
Mental Health Benefits
One of the most significant benefits of reconnecting with nature is its positive impact on our mood and mental health. Whether it’s spending time in green spaces, immersing ourselves in natural surroundings, or simply being surrounded by plants, the beauty of nature has a profound effect on our mental wellbeing. Studies have found that exposure to nature can reduce levels of depression, lower stress levels, and improve cognitive function.
Physical Health Benefits
The positive associations between nature exposure and human health extend beyond mental wellbeing. Research has shown that spending time in nature can have beneficial effects on our physical health as well. Outdoor exercise in natural environments has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease. Moreover, interactions with nature can improve sleep quality and duration, boost immune system function, and even enhance cardiovascular outcomes.
Social and Emotional Benefits
Reconnecting with nature also plays a crucial role in fostering social interactions and emotional connections. Green spaces provide opportunities for individuals to engage in conservation activities, creating a sense of connectedness with the planet and each other. Studies have demonstrated that contact with nature relies on the emotional benefits derived from these experiences. Additionally, exposure to nature has been associated with improved cognitive development, particularly in childhood.
Destress and Unwind
Nature has this really humbling way of bringing us back to reality. The undeniable result is overall stress reduction and ease with the next hard thing. We all face hard things every day, but our stress levels can drastically impact our ability to navigate hardships.
If your stress levels are too high, your body constantly produces cortisol. This level of cortisol production alone can hinder physical health and invite illness rather than wellness. When you feel the stress of constantly being on the move weighing on your daily life, consider taking a moment to pause and unwind in a luxury getaway cabin situated in nature with tranquil accommodations, many outdoor activities, and no upkeep demands.
Boost Energy Without Supplementation
Once your stress levels come down from watching the clouds roll by or enjoying a hike, your energy levels will naturally follow. People often drink excessive amounts of caffeine or turn to another stimulant to boost their energy enough to survive the day. Something as simple as going outside, or unwinding more often, can boost your energy and help you gain clarity to progress easily and with fewer external additives.
Boost Your Immunity
When cortisol goes down and your energy goes up, you will start to feel better overall. These efforts significantly impact the immune system and its ability to fight off infections or illnesses.
The sun provides pure vitamin D, and the fresh air can help us better understand how we are breathing. Many would be surprised to find their breathing too shallow, hindering their well-being. Regardless of the activity you engage in outdoors, this is an easy and healthy way to boost your immune system without forcing your digestive system to accept an external aid.
Enhance Your Recovery Capabilities
Illness will come, and illness will go. Being sick is a part of life. And when the illness is on its way out the door, you should follow suit and consider getting some fresh air. Reconnecting with nature is vital to your health when you’re in the recovery process.
It can revive various parts of your body that need the boost after being down and out, in addition to helping you recoup some energy and take some stress away. Being sick can be stressful because no matter what, life keeps going.
By recognizing the numerous benefits of reconnecting with nature, we can prioritize spending time in natural environments, incorporating the beauty of nature into our everyday lives. Whether it’s through outdoor activities, engagement with conservation efforts, or simply enjoying the scenes of nature through documentaries or videos, let us remember that a dose of nature is essential for our overall health and wellbeing.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.