Tension in every part of your body is building.
Migraines, frustration, short temperedness are all part of normal states of mind and body as you work yourself into frantic levels of getting things done.
What do you do?
STOP. Yes, walk away and IN…to nature. Even as something as taking your shoes off and walking around in green grass with bare feet is proven to be relaxing and lower blood pressure.
The benefits of getting into nature and out of artificial environments are numerous such as:
1. Stimulate anti-cancer proteins
Research on this connection is still in its earliest phases, but a few preliminary studies have suggested that spending time in nature — in forests, in particular — may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins. The boosted levels of these proteins may last up to seven days after a relaxing trip into the woods.
Areas like Japan, with greater forest coverage have lower mortality rates from a wide variety of cancers. While there are too many confounding factors to come to a concrete conclusion about what this might mean, it's a promising area for future research.
2. Restore your mental energy.
You know that feeling where your brain seems to be sputtering to a halt? Welcome to “Mental Fatigue”.
One thing that can help get your mind back into gear is exposing it to restorative environments, which, generally means the great outdoors.
People's mental energy bounces back just when LOOKING at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect.)
Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.
3. Reduce your risk of early death.
The health effects of green space are wide-ranging, and studies that can't prove cause-and-effect still show strong associations between access to nature and longer, healthier lives.
Nearby green space was even more important to health in urban environments, which is why so much city planning is now incorporating the need for city parks and places where nature can flourish.
Studies have show that a wide variety of diseases were less prevalent among people who lived in close proximity to green space. Other studies have made a direct link between time spent in forests and other measures of overall health.
Why the connection? Research pointed to "recovery from stress and attention fatigue, encouragement of physical activity, facilitation of social contact and better air quality" as well as nature's positive effect on mental health, which would boost overall health and longevity as well.
4. Decrease the risk of developing poor vision.
At least in children, a fairly large body of research has found that outdoor activity may have a protective effect on the eyes, reducing the risk of developing nearsightedness (myopia).
5. Relieve stress.
Tensed and stressed? Head for the trees. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city.
Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction. Why do you think we all compete for the “corner office” with a view?!
6. Improve your short-term memory.
Studies on depressed individuals found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments. Nature relaxes us, slows our rhythms and the restoration is healing.
7. Think more sharply — and creatively.
Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost. That's the promise of something being called, "nature therapy" — or, as a non-academic might call it, "time outside."
One study found that people immersed in nature for four days — significantly more time than a lunchtime walk in the park — boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%.
8. Reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage, but when inflammation goes into overdrive, it's associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.
9. Boost your immune system.
The cellular activity that is associated with a forest's possible anti-cancer effects is also indicative of a general boost to the immune system you rely on to fight off less serious ills, like colds, the flu, and other infections.
10. Improve your mental health.
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors — especially when that's combined with exercise. This is to be expected, as both greenery and exercise are known to reduce stress.
11. Improve concentration and focus.
We know the natural environment is "restorative," and one thing that a walk outside can restore is your waning attention. The attentional effect of nature is so strong it might help kids with ADHD, who have been found to concentrate better after just 20 minutes in a park.
As always, reach out to me if you a friend or family member is struggling with the challenges of stress and I can offer a few suggestion to help create the life you desire.
To your good mental health
Copywriting for content Blog
CLIENT: Noel McDermott
TITLE: 11 Amazing Benefits of Nature
DATE: April 7, 2017